State's medical pot program looks to be safe


Last Thursday morning (January 4), U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a move against legal marijuana.

While many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, the drug is still illegal under federal law, creating a conflict between federal and state law.

In 2013 the Obama administration announced that it would not stand in the way of states that chose to legalize marijuana.

Raids of medical marijuana establishments continued after the memos went out, but the amendment put an end to those raids and to other federal efforts to shut down licensed medical dispensaries.

Glenn Ballman, CEO of düber, a technology platform that allows marijuana consumers and sellers to exchange information, said the cannabis market had been expecting such a move from the Justice Department since Sessions was appointed attorney general.

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"An excess of currency in the hands of otherwise law-abiding business people is an invitation to evil, a public danger and a prescription for robbery, extortion, kidnapping, murder and official corruption". "This is where the issue belongs". The whole logic of the Obama policy was that it would not act against states that had legalized pot for medical or even recreational use.

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The Deputy Attorney General at the time James M. Cole decided that the federal government would only step in to stop trafficking of marijuana in places that it was still illegal. The Trump administration, unlike the Obama administration, is committed to the rule of law, enforcing federal regulations rather than ignoring inconvenient ones, as did the Obama Justice Department. "I have not confirmed this", House added. "There will be no Federal agents chasing individual users-but it will give law enforcement the discretion it lost when the Cole Memo was issued".

Meanwhile, all four Democrats in the state's congressional delegation said they support keeping marijuana lawful for medicinal purposes.

The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which restricts US attorneys from taking legal action against people who use medical marijuana or produce it, was maintained in a last short-term funding bill passed by Congress. Medical marijuana and CBD oil, which comes from hemp but on the molecular level is the same as CBD from marijuana, are both in this category.

Mikos said the federal government has limited resources for this kind of enforcement and that going after the recreational marijuana industry would require pulling resources away from other tasks, such as fighting the opioid epidemic.

Georgia state Rep. Allen Peake, a Republican who sponsored a bill in his state's legislature that legalized possession of medical marijuana in 2015, denounced the move.

Sessions has had a strong opinion about marijuana throughout his career.

"At the Oregon Department of Justice we will continue to make sure Oregon's marijuana industry thrives under our carefully considered state regulatory requirements".

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Sessions and some law enforcement officials in states such as Colorado blame legalization for a number of problems, including drug traffickers who have taken advantage of lax marijuana laws to illegally grow and ship the drug across state lines, where it can sell for much more.

The crux of the Cole Memo was that prosecutors and law enforcement agencies should focus on specific issues related state-legal cannabis operations.

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The attorney general's anti-pot crusade runs against the grain not only of public sentiment - almost two-thirds of Americans say pot should be legal - but of GOP sentiment as well: A slim majority of Republicans support legalization, and support is particularly high (pardon the term) among young Republicans.

States with legalized marijuana are concerned, as are investors, growers, consumers, and banks that underwrite marijuana businesses.

Since 2014, the Department of Justice has been prevented from prosecuting medical marijuana businesses, thanks to amendments offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California. He cites the lack of federal resources to go after marijuana cases and says federal prosecutors in California tend to be more liberal than in other parts of the country.

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