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Sessions takes aim on marijuana enforcement

Sessions takes aim on marijuana enforcement”

Medical and recreational marijuana use is still illegal nationally under the Controlled Substances Act and marijuana is listed under the Schedule 1 list of drugs, along with heroin and LSD.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said Oregon will continue to move forward with pot sales.

"I advise clients continue to focus on operating their businesses in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations and try to ignore the chaotic, political and shock-motivated headlines which have unfortunately become the norm", said Laura Bianchi, head of the cannabis practice at the Rose Law Group in Scottsdale, Arizona.

President Trump, who in other contexts has advocated "states' rights", provided a degree of support for his attorney general through spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

David Kopel, an adjunct professor of constitutional law at the University of Denver and research director of the Independence Institute, said Sessions' announcement is sending a shock wave across Colorado, which not only changed its laws, but amended its state constitution to legalize pot.

"Could they disrupt the industry?"

He announced that the Department of Justice was making it easier for the feds to prosecute Americans for breaking federal marijuana laws-even in states where it is legal-by rescinding a policy that called for noninterference in the weed biz in those states where it is as legal as chewing gum. What Sessions repealed today is known as the "Cole memo".

Do marijuana-hostile prosecutors have the money and manpower to go after legalized rec businesses?

One question raised by the Sessions memo is the availability of federal resources to conduct direct enforcement of marijuana laws.

At Harborside in Oakland, one of California's largest shops, founder and CEO Steve DeAngelo said it was business as usual and he wanted to assure customers not to fear shopping there.

"Who will be least likely to be prosecuted?".

More significantly, this move by the administration runs contrary to the wishes of the overwhelming majority of US voters, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents - who support the regulation of adult cannabis use and also strongly believe that decisions about marijuana policy ought to be a state issue, not a federal one.

Sessions has always been a cannabis foe who famously said "good people don't smoke marijuana" during a 2016 Senate hearing. "They could create major problems". Instead of the earlier hands-off policy, Sessions will let federal lawyers in states where marijuana is already legal decide how aggressively to enforce federal law.

The California Cannabis Industry Association represents the interests of more than 400 members at the state Capitol and is deciding how to take action.

"Everyone will keep going full steam ahead. It's like banking", said Herzberg, who owns stakes in five marijuana business licenses in California. "I can't imagine this putting the brakes on the industry". "Is the federal government going to come into California" to raid businesses?

He said the federal government must "respect all of the decisions of the states when it comes to cannabis".

"In states with legalized cannabis, as long as businesses are compliant, they'll be left alone".

Krista Whitely - CEO of Altitude Products, a cannabis products company in Las Vegas - agreed that compliance is a key to businesses protecting themselves from federal interference. "With the state regulating, it should take a lot of pressure off the federal government in worrying about bad actors". "The 10th Amendment says what it says", he said, noting that as a conservative he's been able to appeal to other Republicans on states' rights grounds alone.

She added: "Being a cannabis entrepreneur isn't for the faint of heart". These are people who are used to taking risks. He said he was withdrawing an Obama administration policy that was meant to defer to state cannabis laws. "If I were an investor, and there are billions of dollars being invested, I would be nervous", Vitiello said. "No. 2, we still have the benefit of the Rohrabacher Amendment, so that sort of ties them up for the time being".



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