Last week, the Department of Justice released their guidance in light of ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington -- we thought you'd want to see the news:
Justice Department Announces Update to Marijuana Enforcement Policy
Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced an update to its federal marijuana enforcement policy in light of recent state ballot initiatives that legalize, under state law, the possession of small amounts of marijuana and provide for the regulation of marijuana production, processing, and sale.
In a new memorandum outlining the policy, the Department makes clear that marijuana remains an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act and that federal prosecutors will continue to aggressively enforce this statute. To this end, the Department identifies eight (8) enforcement areas that federal prosecutors should prioritize. These are the same enforcement priorities that have traditionally driven the Department¹s efforts in this area.
Outside of these enforcement priorities, however, the federal government has traditionally relied on state and local authorizes to address marijuana activity through enforcement of their own narcotics laws. This guidance continues that policy.
Original Article posted below:
A majority of the public and in some states a majority of lawmakers, but The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers oppose
A memo sent to states by the DOJ said as long as states set up comprehensive regulations governing marijuana, there would be no need for the federal government to step in, a decision that will save the Justice Department from having to use its limited resources on prosecuting individuals for growing or smoking marijuana.
This memo appears to be sending the message to states regarding marijuana prohibition that is a recognition that a majority of the public and in some states majority of lawmakers no longer want to continue down the road of illegal cannabis, and would rather experiment with different regulatory schemes of license and retail sale of cannabis.
The federal government will only walk away from marijuana crimes in states where there is a solid regulatory system for the drug's growth and dissemination.
For other states to mimic the systems in Colorado and Washington, they will first have to get legalization laws on their ballots or in their state houses, which could post a challenge
The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers oppose legalization their thought process and ours, where is the disconnect? The only fault with the status quo is that we aren't making a bigger dent and we'd like to make a bigger one.
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