On Wednesday, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions publicly stated that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will likely come after recreational marijuana states. This time his remarks come on the heels of California legalizing recreational marijuana, which takes effect in January 2018.
Previously, Sessions and some DOJ officials said they’d uphold the guidance of the Cole Memo, which prevents the DOJ from using federal funds and local resources to crackdown on legally-operating marijuana businesses in states that have reformed their marijuana laws, The Sacramento Bee reports.
In a press conference, Sessions said, “In fact, we’re looking at that very hard right now, we had a meeting yesterday and talked about it at some length. It’s my view that the use of marijuana is detrimental, and we should not give encouragement in any way to it, and it represents a federal violation, which is in the law and is subject to being enforced.”
He also said, “We are working our way through to a rational policy, but I don’t want to suggest in any way that this department believes that marijuana is harmless and people should not avoid it.” No one knows what Sessions means by “rational policy,” and the DOJ declined to comment.
Alex Traverso of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control said, “It’s understandable that those investing money into their businesses would be concerned about what may happen, but the Bureau has been so focused on the incredible amount of work we’ve had to do to get ready for January 1 that we can’t really focus on hypotheticals.”
In California, officials are planning to continue operating under the Cole memo’s construction. California state treasurer John Chiang said, “We’ve certainly tried to extend our intent that we want to work with the administration in good faith.”
The topic has been so up and down since the Trump Administration took over that Chiang said he knows it “could change in an instant” when it comes to Trump not acting against states with marijuana reform.
Regardless of what the DOJ decides to do they still lack the resources to take down each state’s legal marijuana industry.
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