Marijuana Policy Rescinded by the Department of Justice
The Department of Justice formally rescinded the Obama era policy that had discouraged federal prosecutors from bringing charges of cannabis-related crimes in states that have legalized sales of the drug. (See the DOJ memorandum of January 4, 2018). While the rescission of this policy does not necessarily mean that the DOJ will immediately begin enforcement of federal cannabis law, it does free up federal prosecutors to use their discretion to enforce the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as they would any other federal law.
However, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment regarding medical cannabis is presently still in effect, and precludes the federal government from using its resources to enforce the CSA regarding medical marijuana use if permitted under state law. In order for it to remain in effect, this budget amendment must be included in every subsequent appropriations bill providing funds to the DOJ. This includes current bills proposing to extend federal government funding on a short-term basis.
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DAVID S. FISHER, ESQ.
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