U.S. Won’t Seek to Reverse States’ Legalization of Marijuana

The Obama administration said that it would not challenge laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington state as long as those states maintain strict rules involving the sale and distribution of the drug.
August 30, 2013
 

The Obama administration said that it would not challenge laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington state as long as those states maintain strict rules involving the sale and distribution of the drug. In a memo to U.S. attorneys in all 50 states, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole said the Justice Department is “committed to using its limited investigative and prosecutorial resources to address the most significant threats in the most effective, consistent and rational way.” He stressed that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The memo, which was welcomed by proponents of marijuana legalization, directs federal prosecutors to focus on eight areas of enforcement rather than spending time targeting individual users. Those aims include preventing distribution of marijuana to minors, stopping the growing of marijuana on public land, keeping pot from falling into the hands of cartels and gangs, and preventing the diversion of marijuana to states where it remains illegal.

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