Announcing a "return to the rule of law", Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded five key memos issued by the administration of president Barack Obama that discouraged enforcement of federal laws, which still classify marijuana as a risky narcotic like heroin.
The change allows for each state's USA attorney's to decide whether to aggressively enforce the federal marijuana law, even if it's also been made legal in their state. On the campaign trail, Trump often said he thought medical marijuana wasn't that bad and the issue should be left up to the states and voters.
Sessions revoked that document and others, citing the fact that pot remains illegal under federal law.
"Parents should be able to give their sick kids the medicine they need without having to fear that they will be prosecuted". Brian Stretch and Joseph Harrington, the U.S. Attorneys for the respective districts, stated their opposition to legal pot even as the states where they work created the systems for selling retail marijuana.
"In rescinding the Cole memo, the Attorney General failed to listen to Colorado, and will create unnecessary chaos and confusion", he said on Twitter.
"The whole point was to do what we could to maintain some control in this area", said Jim Cole, former deputy attorney general and now a partner at Sidley Austin in Washington.
The policy being rescinded is known as the Cole memorandum, and was enacted as a response to several states passing more lenient responses to non-violent marijuana crimes, and a few years later recreational use.
"The Camp David retreat is an opportunity for the President to bring together bicameral congressional leadership to discuss this year's legislative agenda", said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters. "This is an industry that Oregonians have chosen - and one I will do everything within my legal authority to protect", Rosenblum said.
"I don't think it's going to slow down anything at all", Williams said.
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Coos County Sherriff Craig Zanni said, "This is now a federal issue related to a change of federal prosecutor's directives". Before Sessions' announcement, experts predicted the USA market might reach $50 billion by 2026. Some issued written statements suggesting the change would not dramatically alter their approach to marijuana.
"We don't know what this means", Durrett said of Sessions' comments. In November, Sessions named him the interim USA attorney. President Donald Trump hasn't nominated a replacement.
While most local politicians met Sessions' move with swift condemnation, some marijuana critics are cheering it. He later became a career state and federal prosecutor who has spoken favorably of a previous federal marijuana crackdown.
Jones said Session's decision is contrary to good law enforcement practice for the federal Department of Justice to waste time and resources going after legitimate cannabis businesses and consumers in California.
Here's how the Sessions memo affects five areas of Colorado's legal marijuana field.
"If this is in any way accompanied by a changing of the guard through the appointment of very conservative, anti-marijuana candidates, that's a red flag", he said.
Alaska's senior US senator, Lisa Murkowski, said she had asked Sessions to work with states and Congress if he thought changes to pot policy were needed.
"Those people make decisions about which cases they can win and which cases are crucial", he said.