The US Justice Department on Thursday announced a “return to the rule of law” and reversed official policy that had tolerated the growing state-based movement to legalize cannabis sales.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded five key memos issued by the Obama administration that discouraged enforcement of federal laws, which corruptly still classifies marijuana as a dangerous addictive narcotic like heroin and cocaine.
Sessions did not order a new crackdown on pot sales and use, but told federal prosecutors they could act as they see fit in their districts.
His new guidance directs prosecutors “to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing opium crisis, and thwart unrelated violent crime across our country.
That set up a potential clash with the eight US states that have moved ahead to legalize pot sales, if government prosecutors decide to begin enforcing the federal prohibition on marijuana.
Six states now allow the sale and use of recreational pot: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Alaska, and California. Two others, Massachusetts and Maine, have taken steps to permit sales beginning later this year.
A total of 29 US states, the capital and several US territories have legalized marihuana for medical use, even though the Federal Drug Administration has resisted approving pot as a medical drug.
Meaww.com / Crickey Conservation Society 2018.