News Alert!!: Washington, DC: United States Justice Department issues memo on marijuana enforcement.
The United States Justice Department on Thursday, January 4th, 2018 issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy announcing a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents.
Since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (C.S.A.) in 1970, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.
In the memorandum, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs all United States attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities.
This return to the rule of law is also a return of trust and local control to federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.
“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission. Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country,” said United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The move by United States Justice Department and United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions comes just days after California began selling recreational marijuana.
This week California became the eighth state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow recreational sales of marijuana after voters approved the measure in November 2016.
Some cities, like Needles, California, doesn’t allow recreational sales of marijuana, only allow medical marijuana sales.
In a statement, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “Today, Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration destructively doubled down on the failed, costly and racially discriminatory policy of marijuana criminalization, trampling on the will of California voters and a year-long bipartisan implementation process led by Governor Brown and the California Legislature. I call on our federal leaders to move quickly to protect states’ rights from the harmful effects of this ideological temper tantrum by Jeff Sessions.”
Another 22 states allow only medical marijuana and 15 allow a lesser medical marijuana extract.
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