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Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner Continues His Standoff With Jeff Sessions Over Marijuana
13 January 2018, 05:08 | Rufus Hill
As a result, each U.S. attorney now has more flexibility to enforce - or not - the federal prohibition on production and sale of the drug in those states.
Sessions, on the other hand, has just repealed the Department of Justice's guidance for USA attorneys regarding legalized marijuana.
Sessions announced Thursday that he was rescinding the Cole Memo, which put boundaries on marijuana-related issues that USA attorneys would prosecute. "And I guarantee you all the tax money the state of Maine from medical marijuana really helps people all around".
Fans of President Donald Trump who use marijuana say Attorney General Jeff Sessions' move to tighten federal oversight of the drug is the first time they've felt let down by the man they helped elect. In announcing the decision to rescind the memo, the DOJ painted it as adding a tool to the belt of prosecutors "to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis and thwart violent crime across our country".
That could include an idea championed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado, ) which would be to de-fund any federal law enforcement action against recreational marijuana operations that comply with state laws and regulations. Former Reno reporter Brandon Rittiman, now a Colorado journalist, asked Trump during the campaign about the chance that his attorney general might try to crack down on marijuana. What will happen to those folks, among others currently engaged with the industry, has now been thrown into a new state of uncertainty by Sessions' move.
"I just can't see, really anywhere, criminalizing or using the federal criminal process to investigate and prosecute doctors or patients who have a valid - in that state - a medical prescription or medical diagnosis or treatment plan that's been done by a doctor or a physician or a medical professional", he said. It directed law enforcement officials not to interfere with marijuana programs like Colorado's except for when product was leaving states where it was legal or getting into the hands of children.
On Wednesday, U.S Attorney Mike Stuart, who represents West Virginia's Southern District, said on MetroNews "Talkline" about the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, "I think [marijuana is] a little dubious for medical use, however, the Rohrabacher amendment and Congressional mandate has made very clear, including here in West Virginia, that we're going to leave the states the use for medical purposes of medical marijuana".
Sessions didn't invent marijuana prohibition or the War on Drugs.
That means any kind of marijuana use, even in minuscule amounts, would be prohibited under federal law. Both involve the federal government.
But would they still go after illegal pot shops?
Both used a payment processing company that worked with a MA bank that processed medical marijuana transactions.
Across the aisle from the Republican governor, the Democratic speaker of the house said Monday that Lelling's statement brings uncertainty to the entrepreneurs and investors who are compliant with MA law.
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