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Feds change marijuana policy, which could affect businesses involved

Feds change marijuana policy, which could affect businesses involved

That was House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi's reaction to the news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is increasing federal enforcement of laws against marijuana in states that have legalized it.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, has long viewed pot as a public menace and a source of street crime.

Recreational marijuana became legal for adults in California on January 1.

The federal perspective, however, has never changed.

Of particular note, Sessions said, "previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately".

In the memo, Sessions emphasized that he "simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country".

The change allows for each state's US attorney's to decide whether to aggressively enforce the federal marijuana law, even if it's also been made legal in their state.

Prosecutors in Western states wanted guidance from the Justice Department when the likelihood of state marijuana legalization became clear in 2010 and 2011.

In California's Eastern District, newly sworn-in U.S. Attorney McGregor "Greg" Scott grew up in Humboldt County, deep in California's famed "Emerald Triangle" marijuana-growing region. He says things will now be left up to federal prosecutors.

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"[He] did not tell any U.S. Attorneys to go after any businesses", Sillitoe said.

Robert Troyer, who was appointed an interim USA attorney for the District of Colorado by Sessions in November, said his office's decisions regarding marijuana cases would be guided by similar principles as before: "focusing in particular on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our communities around the state".

According to USA TODAY, senior Justice Department officials said there is "no de-facto safe haven" any longer for marijuana.

Most cannabis businesses are uncertain as to how this change will affect them, but many have faith in lawmakers to defend state laws.

Rohrabacher wasn't the only Republican taking on Sessions. Sen. "You need to double down on compliance, be a good neighbor, pay your taxes, and that should keep you out of the crosshairs with the federal government", he says. Pelosi isn't sponsoring a bill to eliminate federal laws against in-state marijuana commerce.

Trump had said that he would respect voters' rights in places that have elected to modify their drug laws. I am a states person. "It should be up to the states, absolutely". As long as Congress doesn't revise the law in accordance with the wishes of voters in at least 29 USA states, the Attorney General office is tasked precisely with applying it as is.

"The president believes in enforcing federal law", Sanders said at Thursday's press briefing.

Federalism on marijuana would entail letting states set their own policies on the issue, and confining the federal role to helping states when interstate commerce threatens their ability to enforce their laws. Sessions said he was "astonished" to hear this evidence. He has likened marijuana to heroin.

Wykowski said the fear of prosecution "could make investors more concerned about putting money into the industry". Cory Gardner of Colorado, which like Alaska and California has legalized adult recreational use of marijuana, said he was prepared to hold up the confirmation of Justice Department nominees if Sessions pursued his policy.


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