States Won't Back Down From Sessions On Marijuana

Sessions to rescind Obama-era marijuana policy

Sessions Unleashes the Hounds on Pro-Pot States

Therefore, he said, US attorneys should exercise "investigative and prosecutorial discretion in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and appropriations". Lindemuth said her office has a duty to uphold and implement state law.

The U.S. attorney for Colorado took office in August 2016 after former President Barack Obama's appointee stepped down.

Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel with the Marijuana Policy Project, said prosecutors previously had discretion.

Q: Will this make it harder for businesses that sell marijuana?

The potential political fallout may be clearer: Republican Sen.

The author of the Obama administration's policy, James Cole, told the AP it was meant to put states on notice that they had to regulate the industry and the federal government would still prosecute cases that threatened public safety.

Sessions called the policy "unnecessary", stating that marijuana remains "a risky drug" under federal law and that marijuana activity is "a serious crime".

Sessions said the previous guidance "undermines the rule of law". Their home state might have legalized the drug (and indeed, 29 U.S. states have passed medical marijuana laws so far, with 8 states, plus the District of Columbia, legalizing recreational use as well), but federal prosecutors and marshals are still well within their rights to arrest anyone found using or selling the drug.

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Spokesman Jonathon Taylor said Walker and state Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth were evaluating possible options for doing that.

Lessar said, "The way I understand it the government just wants to be more involved in crimes like exporting and selling to children, which is not something I would necessarily be against, but we hear changes every day so it's still uncertain". Justice Department officials said they would follow the law but would not preclude the possibility of medical-marijuana related prosecutions.

Sessions drew a swift and angry response from Senator Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who said the AG was "trampling the will of the voters". The Obama era guidelines gave some leeway on this point, stating that prosecutors should leave states well enough alone when it comes to legalizing marijuana, as long as these local decisions didn't interfere with federal law enforcement primary directives.

According to Brown Oregon's marijuana industry has created over 19,000 jobs since it was legalized in 2015.

The policy being rescinded is known as the Cole memorandum, and was enacted as a response to several states passing more lenient responses to non-violent marijuana crimes, and a few years later recreational use.

The change, he said, removes "clarity and consistency" for an industry that depended on it. "This is an industry that Oregonians have chosen - and one I will do everything within my legal authority to protect", Rosenblum said. Just Sessions' announcement has already sparked backlash from politicians on both sides of the aisle, he noted.

The Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, a regular critic of legal marijuana, issued a statement advocating a federal crackdown.

The new USA attorney in Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, a Trump appointee who was confirmed by the Senate in mid-December, called marijuana "a risky drug" in his statement on Sessions' action.

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