Big news for legal marijuana in the US today — the Department of Justice has announced that long standing conflicts between states with some provisions for legalized recreational or medicinal cannabis and federal laws prohibiting it are becoming a thing of the past.
The DOJ will no longer target legal marijuana operations in states like Colorado and Washington, two of the most liberal in the nation when it comes to pot laws.
While marijuana is legal medicinally in several states and recreationally in far fewer, federal laws marking pot as a Schedule I drug have long placed the government at odds with those states on the matter of weed.
A memorandum dated today (August 29, 2013) to all states attorneys titled “Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement,” in part passing enforcement discretion to the states with a “trust but verify” approach.
A DOJ official told TPM under the condition of anonymity that the Feds will no longer challenge states on legal weed:
“The Attorney General has called the two governors of those states today and told them… it’s up to them to make sure they’re able to regulate their marijuana policies significantly to make sure it doesn’t infringe on our enforcement priorities. Based on assurances from the two governors that the laws will not infringe on them, the DOJ is not going to seek to challenge those two laws.”
The DOJ’s historic new position on legal marijuana in accordance with state laws is embedded below in full. While President Obama seems personally hesitant to address the sticky topic of legal marijuana, he has also admitted the federal government has “bigger fish to fry” than pot dispensaries.
DOJ Marijuana Memo by tpmdocs