Medicinal marijuana distributors who voted for Obama are feeling a little more chill today.
The Justice Department announced it would no longer pursue those who distribute or use marijuana if they are acting within state law.
This is a departure from Bush administration policy and a change that has been expected since Barack Obama took office, the New York Times reports.
The Justice Blog has the memo sent by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden to the affected states, which says that the Justice Department is “committed to making efficient and rational use of its limited investigative resources” and that pursuit of the prosecution of significant traffickers of illegal drugs should not focus federal resources on individuals “whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”
Not surprisingly, the move was praised by supporters of medicinal marijuana use. “This is a major step forward,” Bruce Mirken of Marijuana Policy Project, which supports legalizing the substance, told the NYT. “This change in policy moves the federal government dramatically toward respecting scientific and practical reality.”
But it’s not a completely celebratory time for pot smokers. The district attorney for Los Angeles county said last week that he plans to shut down medicinal marijuana clinics that sell pot for profit, an AP report says.
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