An intensifying federal crackdown on growers and sellers of state-authorized medical marijuana has “badly shaken” the billion-dollar industry in California, which has evolved since voters approved medical use of the drug in 1996, and has highlighted the stark contradiction between federal and state policies, the New York Times reports. The possession and sale of marijuana is a federal crime, and there are no exceptions for medical use.
Medical pot programs in 16 states and the District of Columbia exist in a legal limbo. In recent weeks, federal prosecutors have raided or threatened to seize property of scores of California growers and dispensaries. California Attorney General Kamala Harris called it “a unilateral federal action, and it has only increased uncertainty about how Californians can legitimately comply with state law.”