Department of Justice rescinding the marijuana enforcement policy

Department of Justice rescinding the marijuana enforcement policy

And Sessions sent a letter to congressional leaders in May arguing against the continued restriction of Justice Department funds for prosecutions, suggesting that such a policy was "unwise", "particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic".

Until Sessions' announcement on Thursday, federal prosecutors followed guidelines laid out in the so-called Cole memo, which was issued by the Justice Department during the Obama administration.

It's no surprise that Sessions, who once said "good people don't smoke marijuana", opposes state legalization.

"There is no more safe haven with regard to the federal government and marijuana, but it's also the beginning of the story and not the end", said Kevin Sabet, president and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, who was among several anti-marijuana advocates who met with Sessions last month. On Friday, though, many of those stocks recovered.

The rebound suggests investors believe the status quo will largely be maintained for US marijuana businesses. "This kind of stunt will not have a substantial effect on the industry".

In a memo, Sessions asked federal lawyers to consider the seriousness of the crime and its impact "in deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under these laws".

Sessions' move created further uncertainty for states, including Maryland, that have legalized some level of marijuana use.

The full effect of the Sessions memo isnt immediately clear.

Could any legal issues arise by asking employees if they're using marijuana for medical purposes?

State and local officials are right to defend enlightened marijuana laws that reflect the will of the people.

Shabnam Malek, a 44-year-old lawyer and mother of three, waited in line for a half hour for Apothecarium to open its doors in San Francisco.

Is legal marijuana one of those? Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said it will "continue to move forward in accepting and processing applications for state operating licenses", according to a statement from David Harns, the department's public information officer. "And never underestimate the power of states that don't want to give up their tax money", Dayton said. But they could go after owners of pot shops, and even landlords who rent space to them.

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Sessions' action also was on the mind of Kevin Johnson, director of operations at Grass Roots, which also opened its doors for recreational pot in San Francisco on Saturday.

"There are certain choke points when an industry is developing", he said. "We're in this for the long haul".

Even with the apparent change in direction from the Trump administration, those in the medical cannabis industry have some protection - for now - through a provision called the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment.

The legal sale of marijuana has become a multi-million-dollar business.

In Michigan, which only began accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses in December, it's business as usual despite the Sessions memo. "He will be hurting the grandfather with Alzheimer's, the soccer mom with breast cancer, the college student with Crohn's disease, the young child with seizures - these are the people that will be impacted by this action by the attorney general".

"We don't see that there is a whole lot to worry about", she said. And Canadian share prices actually closed at record highs.

"If this is in any way accompanied by a changing of the guard through the appointment of very conservative, anti-marijuana candidates, that's a red flag", he said. "This is an industry that Oregonians have chosen - and one I will do everything within my legal authority to protect", Rosenblum said.

That amendment has been put into federal spending bills, preventing the federal government from using its resources to stop states from implementing medical marijuana programs, said Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project.

Finally, U.S. Attorneys have said the Cole Memo made little or no difference to them in the first place.

Both mayors said they believe marijuana should be reclassified from a Schedule 1 drug to something less unsafe.

The prospect of an aggressive federal prosecutor swooping in isn't just a threat to marijuana businesses, but also anyone who does business with them, such as financial institutions or landlords.

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