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New federal guidance raises questions for legal marijuana

12 January 2018

Despite the uncertainty, there is a spirit of optimism that the status quo won't change as much, and that the move was created to reflect posturing on the part of the Sessions-led Justice Department.

Disrupting marijuana businesses is exactly what Sessions intends.

At a time when an opioid epidemic of mammoth proportions continues to rage across parts of the USA, to see the federal government return to its misguided and publicly unsupported campaign against cannabis is not only disheartening, but risky.

But what effect will this legislative change have?

"It throws all of the state laws into chaos", said Frosh, a Democrat.

Sessions' move to rescind the Cole Memo comes only a few days after recreational pot sales began in California. Six pot shops confirmed they were selling recreational marijuana Saturday after receiving their state licenses the day before.

Cole had ordered the memo out of respect of the Traditional allotment of the several drug-enforcement responsibilities that the states have when the regimes in the state are not following the federal priorities.

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The Trump administration has threatened to withhold funding from states and cities that offer sanctuary status to immigrants, arguing that localities must cooperate with federal efforts to identify and remove those in the country illegally. He was originally against legalizing marijuana when it first hit the ballot. "The federal government still has laws against it". A Pew Research Center study released on January 5 states that 61 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization.

With the memo being repealed, it is easier for federal prosecutors to take states to task over their relaxed marijuana regulations. On the heels of Sessions' announcement, cannabusiness stocks slipped sharply as well. Online news and marijuana information site Leafly is the firm's biggest US investment.

"Patients have waited long enough for these important medications, in many cases suffering with chronic pain and debilitating illnesses", said Van Wingerden, who plans to open SunMed Growers in Cecil County later this year.

Additionally, the protection for medical marijuana disappears if the amendment is not renewed.

Currently, most states allow medical use.

"I'll be asking the Arkansas attorney general to update her 2017 opinion that the Medical Marijuana Amendment is the law in Arkansas", House told The Leader.

Marijuana advocates are trying to get Rohrabacher-Farr included in the next spending bill passed by Congress.

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"The Justice Department's decision to rescind the Cole Memorandum completely disregards the steps the state of Colorado has taken to regulate legal marijuana dispensaries and retail stores", Bennet wrote.

"With the exception of the medicinal use, think of it as you would with alcohol", she said.

This move came to a surprise to many and some people such as Republican Senator Cory Gardner disagreed with Sessions' decision. Every lawmaker, including those in West Virginia, illegally attempted to override federal law. It is illegal to obtain medical marijuana without a prescription, and with Sessions ordering prosecutors to pursue harsh sentences against offenders of recreational marijuana, then more strain will be placed on the judicial system and prisons.

Before the Obama administration's announcement, states felt more risk in advancing laws to allow recreational or medical use of cannabis, which is classified under federal law as a risky drug. It loosened the reins on federal prosecution for marijuana offenses.

At one point, most marijuana users acknowledged that smoking pot was unhealthy.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he and his office is prepared to fight to defend his state's laws although there is no specific enforcement from the Department of Justice to fight just yet.

But marijuana opponents applauded the move.

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A landlord renting to a marijuana-related business might well have his rental property seized by the feds, should a federal attorney emboldened by Sessions' renewed anti-marijuana crusade be inclined to press the issue.

New federal guidance raises questions for legal marijuana