Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Baker Urges US Attorney to Focus 'Limited Resources' on Fentanyl, Not Marijuana

Record-High Support for Legalizing Marijuana Use in U.S. - Gallup News Do Republicans Still Believe in States' Rights? Sessions's Marijuana Policy Is Ultimate Test
Glenn Montgomery | 13 January, 2018, 03:58

Twenty-nine states allow the use of medical marijuana. Rohrabacher-Farr (now known as Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, in honor of Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who co-sponsored the amendment) is set to expire on January 19, 2018, if it is not renewed. Clarifying, he added, "As long as individuals are compliant with state laws on medical marijuana, then the Rohrbacher-Farr Amendment to the Budget Act prevents the use of federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana cases, as long as the individuals are in strict compliance with the state's laws".

Recreational marijuana in West Virginia is not happening anytime soon, according to state officials.

"Local law enforcement should not waste their resources on going into legal state and local cannabis establishments", said Jones-Sawyer. Polis has offered the McClintock/Polis amendment several times throughout the years.

Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg have all publicly backed the Cannabis Control Commission and its work to stand up a regulated marijuana industry, even as that industry became far more vulnerable to federal prosecution. In announcing the decision to rescind the memo, the DOJ painted it as adding a tool to the belt of prosecutors "to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis and thwart violent crime across our country".

The marijuana industry that was expected to generate roughly $40 billion in economic impact nationwide by 2021 is at a crossroads given a recent move by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to eliminate certain protections created for the industry by the Obama Administration. "We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we're able".

Denver-based U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer has indicated that he will not change the way his office treats marijuana.

"We need. a long-term legislative solution", he said.

A spokesman for Kenneth Elser, acting US attorney for the Western District of Arkansas (Duane "Dak" Kees assumed the role on Friday), referred the Times to the DOJ's main office.

Regardless of smoking history, 55 percent of Americans surveyed believe marijuana should be legal at both the state and federal levels. Sessions, who has always been an outspoken critic of marijuana legalization, wrote a series of letters to the governors of Washington, Oregon, and Alaska expressing grave concerns over each state's ability to comply with the Cole Memo guidelines. "'Because of the comments of the United States attorney, we are no longer able to use debit cards, '" Will Luzier of the Marijuana Policy Project of MA said. "It didn't surprise me that we reached no consensus or ultimate decision by the end of the meeting, I think we still have our difference of opinion on this matter, and look forward to future conversations".

Stephen Hudak, a FinCEN spokesman, said in a statement that the agency's guidance "remains in place", despite the Justice Department's actions.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren called the legal threat "reckless", saying it disrupts states' abilities to enforce their drug policies. "I think this, to me, is about states' rights".

Also yesterday, Bennett said the exit of a major debit card payment processor from the MA medical marijuana industry could set up a safety risk for dispensaries that are now forced to only accept cash.

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