Many law enforcement agencies cautioned that the new federal policy of not targeting medical-marijuana users and their sanctioned suppliers in the 14 states that have legalized its use does not signify a major policy shift, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Said San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis: “It’s not a great triumph for legalizing marijuana. The federal guidelines that I read today actually reflect what we’ve been doing in practice with the U.S. attorney in San Diego for as long as I can remember.”
The Justice Department guidelines direct federal prosecutors to focus on more serious crimes. They were told it’s not a good use of resources to go after pot smokers or suppliers who are in compliance with state laws. Authorities estimate there are about 60 dispensaries in San Diego County, many of them operating illegally. “I would suspect that very few operate as the guidelines intended,” said Capt. Roy Heringer of the Sheriff’s Department. A raid last month shuttered 14 dispensaries, resulting in charges against two. Issues included selling for profit and possessing more marijuana than allowed under state law, he said.