Marijuana Update: Medical Vs Recreational
Clarification of Key issues in the sector after USAG Sessions rescission of Hussein Obama era memo
The US Justice Department cannot go after medical use of marijuana, because since Y 2014, Congress has maintained a policy in spending bills prohibiting the agency from prosecuting people for conduct permitted by state medical marijuana laws.
The most extreme, worst-case scenario is that some US attorneys decide to shut down distributors of recreational marijuana on a large scale.
On the recreational front
Do not expect wide-scale prosecution anytime soon. Of the 13 US attorneys presiding in the 8 states with laws making recreational marijuana use legal, several have indicated they are interested only in going after marijuana distributors or users with ties to crime or violence.
And they have the resources to seek charges against a questionable distributor of recreational marijuana if they are seeking to put a chill on that sector of the industry.
USAG Sessions’s announcement may prompt more members of Congress to get behind measures making marijuana legal on a federal level or at least prohibiting DOJ from prosecuting recreational use in States where it’s legal.
As it stands now, those of us who understand the government’s traditional approach to marijuana view USAG Sessions’s move as more of a public-relations strategy designed to signal his overall disapproval of marijuana, especially since it became legal in California on 1 January 2018.
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