Marijuana businesses in states that permitted some form of lawful marijuana use took comfort under the Cole Memoranda that if they operated in accordance with state law, they would generally be free from federal criminal prosecution.
Gardner says he plans to stick to a promise to block all nominees to the Department of Justice, including U.S. Marshals, and U.S. attorneys from other states until federal forces let up on the issue.
He also explained the importance of medical marijuana to those who have come to rely on it.
According to a poll conducted by HuffPost and YouGov shortly after the DOJ announced new federal prosecution guidelines for marijuana at the state level, 56 percent of Americans surveyed said they are opposed to the federal government interfering with states that have legalized cannabis for either medical or recreational purposes. Tom Darcy, liaison to Dist. 1 County Supervisor and Board Chair Robert Lovingood, pointed out in the NDBA meeting that with 29 states approving medical use votes likely now exist to change federal marijuana law. Republicans Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational grass, expressed a sense of betrayal.
"Trump needs to realize that a lot of his supporters are pro-cannabis and it would be extremely hurtful to them if he allowed Sessions to move forward with this", said Damara Kelso, a Trump voter who runs Sugar Shack Farms, a marijuana grower in Eugene, Oregon.
"Really what we're going to need is some robust discussion between the federal officials and the state officials", says Chief John Carmichael, who's on the Cannabis Advisory Board. But unless Congress keeps in the 2019 budget the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment to stop the Department of Justice from spending money on medical marijuana crackdowns, law enforcement could target the marijuana industry.More news: Tax reform: IRS, Treasury take first step toward raising your paycheck
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What other reason could President Trump's attorney general have for interrupting the orderly process undertaken by various states over the past two decades to decide marijuana laws for themselves?
Both used a payment processing company that worked with a MA bank that processed medical marijuana transactions.
"Libertarians certainly knew when he appointed Jeff Sessions that there was a serious risk in an escalation of the war on drugs", he said.
The federal government clearly has the legal authority to prosecute and punish sale or possession of marijuana under current law. 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. Without a court order, the feds won't be able to arrest people complying with state marijuana laws.
"Trump had said that he would respect voters' rights in places that have elected to modify their drug laws". Eight states, including MA, have legalized recreational use for adults. Sessions called their hard work and thoughtful approach "unnecessary". Both involve the federal government.