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States unhappy with rollback of hands-off federal guidelines on pot laws

States unhappy with rollback of hands-off federal guidelines on pot laws

The AP is reporting that Jeff Sessions will rescind key Department of Justice guidelines that were promulgated to allow states, at their discretion, to relax certain restrictions on the recreational use of marijuana without the threat of federal interference.

MA marijuana regulators say "nothing has changed" for them after a shift in official USA policy toward legal pot.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, has long viewed pot as a public menace and a source of street crime. His action will now let federal prosecutors in those states decide how aggressively to enforce federal marijuana laws.

The federal perspective, however, has never changed.

Leafly contributor Lisa Rough explains that the memo directed federal prosecutors to limit their focus to cannabis distribution to minors, those involved with the black market, and transferring marijuana from a state where it's legal to another state.

The Justice Department described the move as a "return to the rule of law to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis and thwart violent crime".

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In its place, New Agey Jeff Sessions says US attorneys should decide for themselves which kinds of marijuana cases to bring. The first pot shops in MA are slated to open later this year.

Reached Thursday evening, Trump personal attorney John Dowd said, "I know nothing about that", and hung up. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement he was "disappointed and troubled" by Sessions's decision.

Speaking at a stop in Snyder County on Thursday afternoon, Wolf said that he doesn't believe medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania should be anxious about losing their firearms. "The war on drugs has also been used as an excuse by local law enforcement to heavily police communities of color, contributing to the context in which large numbers of police killings of black people have happened, but if US attorneys start enforcing federal prohibition in states that have legalized, those most affected will be people in those states who have built businesses, invested, and bought marijuana legally under state law, who will now have a very real reason for concern".

Senior Justice Department officials who were asked Thursday about the potential impacts declined to answer. Then, they sell it across state lines for more money.

Murphy has argued that legalizing recreational marijuana would help reduce racial disparities in arrests and incarceration while also bringing in much-needed tax revenue.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said on Twitter the move "directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation", and he threatened to impede the nomination of Justice Department leaders in response.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Washington. Democrat U.S. Rep Diana DeGette retweeted the same video, and issued another tweet calling the decision "unconscionable".

"Going against the majority of Americans - including a majority of Republican voters - who want the federal government to stay out of the way is perhaps one of the stupidest decisions the Attorney General has made", Blumenauer said in a statement.

"This is a direct betrayal of President Trump's campaign promise, which he made in Colorado", Kopel told TAC on Thursday.

Trump had said that he would respect voters' rights in places that have elected to modify their drug laws. "And I think it's time for him to go", Chaffetz said. "It should be up to the states, absolutely". In November, he told reporters that marijuana is not "harmless" and suggested that people should avoid it.

She said the Justice Department's new guidance "simply gives prosecutors the tools to take on large-scale distributors and enforce federal law". Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to divert attention from the Russian Federation investigations.

It is time for congressional representatives in these districts to step up and defend the rights of their constituents - many of whom rely on these policies for their health and welfare, and who have repeatedly demanded federal legislators to once and for all amend federal law in a manner that comports with cannabis' rapidly changing legal and cultural status. This is why in recent years support for legalization among the public has grown to record highs, especially in marijuana regulation states.

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