New DOJ Guidance on Pot Enforcement; Mixed Bag for Medical Marijuana


Medical marijuana businesses worried that federal agents will close them down have a roadmap to avoid prosecution, reports the Associated Press. It is last week’s U.S. Justice Department announcement that it won’t intervene to block state pot laws or prosecute as long as states create strict and effective controls that follow eight conditions. “The DOJ is saying you guys need to color inside the lines,” said Teri Robnett of the Cannabis Patients Action Network, a Colorado-based medical marijuana advocacy group. “If you color inside the lines, we’ll let you keep your crayons. If you don’t, we can come in and take your crayons away.”

In California, “some cities and counties are banning (dispensaries), while others are licensing them and encouraging them,” said Benjamin Wagner, U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of California “It’s hard to see how the current system fits the description laid out in the memo.” While advocates say it’s too early to gauge the impact of the new recreational pot push, there were signs it could hurt medical marijuana. In Washington, the governor and many lawmakers were already looking to rein in the state’s unregulated medical marijuana market because they worried its untaxed cannabis would undercut the highly taxed recreational pot.

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