Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana restrictions on states where cannabis has been legalized. That could put medical marijuana businesses and patients in CT at risk. Clarifying, he added, "As long as individuals are compliant with state laws on medical marijuana, then the Rohrbacher-Farr Amendment to the Budget Act prevents the use of federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana cases, as long as the individuals are in strict compliance with the state's laws". All this was fostered by a 2013 document called the Cole Memorandum issued by the Obama administration that set marijuana priorities for federal prosecutors.
A majority of the state's medical marijuana dispensaries were forced to stop accepting debit cards from patients Tuesday, after threats of a federal crackdown prompted a key payment processing company to pull out of the MA cannabis market.
For almost a year, I waited for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to accept the longstanding offer from me and Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee to have a conversation about federal priorities with respect to marijuana.
"Voters in my state made a decision to be proactive and move forward to recognize that a prohibition isn't going to make marijuana go away - we need to regulate it to make it safer", Moulton said in a statement Wednesday. "So what the attorney general did is at odds with what the president has said".
But when Sessions does not like what states are doing, such as legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, his commitment to federalism and states' rights vanishes.
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., Rep. Coffman, R-Colo., Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., sent the letter together, and have been actively pursuing options to stop the Attorney General and Dept. of Justice from going after states, like Colorado, where marijuana is legal - both medical and recreational.
Eight states, including MA, have legalized adult use of recreational pot. Washington, a state with a severely regressive taxation system, levies a 37 percent excise tax on legal marijuana sales.
Local pot shops are preparing for a crackdown on federal drug agents despite the legalization of recreational marijuana.
"Libertarians certainly knew when he appointed Jeff Sessions that there was a serious risk in an escalation of the war on drugs", he said. I have filed 19 lawsuits against the Trump administration, so I have some experience in the courtroom with the federal government.
With a total of 29 states and the District of Columbia now allowing for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs, there will be significant attention on whether the DOJ follows through on the apparent aggressive stance signaled by the move to rescind the Cole Memoranda, whether Rohrabacher-Farr will be renewed and, whether Congress will pass laws that legalize, decriminalize or further restrict marijuana.
At the same time, people suffering from a variety of ailments ranging from glaucoma to social anxiety can, with a physician's recommendation, procure marijuana to alleviate their symptoms in states that allow it. It further articulated a position by the federal government that in states that had enacted laws authorizing marijuana-related conduct, the federal government meant to take a "hands-off" approach regarding the enforcement of such conduct, which, over the past several years, has led to very few prosecutions and a growing marijuana economy.
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.