Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind marijuana policy

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What this does is create an inevitable stand-off over the 10th Amendment rights of seven states and the District of Columbia that have fully legalized cannabis, including California, which officially made pot legal on January 1.

Today Sessions said he'd be ditching policies from the Obama administration that set up some basic rules for marijuana use in legalized states. And it said it won't speculate about federal decisions. The legal pot sector extends to home growers, medical patients, industrial hemp operations and the millions of legal consumers in Colorado, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and now California.

"The previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission", wrote Sessions, according to NBC.

By Thursday afternoon, one US attorney in a key jurisdiction said Sessions' new guidelines wouldn't change federal enforcement there.

"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.

So either Trump lied about protecting marijuana laws and actually wants to crackdown or he just doesn't care about the issue and is just letting Sessions do whatever he wants.

Jeff Sessions has stated that it is up to Congress to change federal law regarding marijuana, and until such a change occurs, it is up to him as Attorney General to enforce federal laws as they are.

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Here's how the Sessions memo affects five areas of Colorado's legal marijuana field.

In what became colloquially known as the "Cole memo", the department recognized that the drug was still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act but gave federal prosecutors permission to focus their resources elsewhere, so long as the states didn't threaten other federal priorities, such as preventing the distribution of the drug to minors and targeting cartels.

Gardner said he only found out via Twitter that Sessions was changing the policy.

The change, he said, removes "clarity and consistency" for an industry that depended on it. "I can't sit here and say whether or not it will or won't lead to more marijuana prosecutions", one anonymous official said.

Former Republican Maryland state delegate Don Murphy, who now works in conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the AG's move, presumably sanctioned by Trump, is odd considering the populist wave in favor of decriminalizing marijuana across the country-not only in blue states, but places like Arkansas, the first Bible Belt state to legalize medical marijuana, and with 53 percent of the vote.

"The president believes in enforcing federal law - that's his top priority - regardless of what the topic is, whether it's marijuana or immigration".

Back in 2013, as an increasing number of states began to legalize marijuana, Cole released a directive to federal prosecutors that essentially adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws. Just Sessions' announcement has already sparked backlash from politicians on both sides of the aisle, he noted. Cory Gardner of Colorado, which has permissive marijuana laws, threatened to hold up Trump administration appointees unless Sessions reverses course.

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