Williams said that he has been given "wide latitude" from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to "deploy department resources", after Sessions' memo last week rescinding the Holden-era Justice Department Cole memo that restricted federal enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that had legalized the sale of cannabis. Colorado and Washington are already selling marijuana in retail settings, so will California marijuana do so as well?
But neither the Obama Administration nor Jeff Sessions should do anything other than enforce the law, and federal law criminalizes marijuana.
In 2016, Long Beach voters passed two local measures that together regulate and tax marijuana businesses, and past year, the City started issuing business licenses to medical-marijuana dispensaries as owners completed a rigorous application process. But the research on medical marijuana is clear: Marijuana has legitimate medical uses.
There are approximately 1.2 million users of medical marijuana in these 29 states.
But Quinnipiac Law Professor John Thomas said Sessions's reversal could definitely create some challenges for existing and new businesses. Advocates of marijuana legalization also argue that by fully legalizing or even simply reclassifying marijuana, millions of Americans who are now prevented from using medical marijuana would be able to benefit from its therapeutic value. It can permanently lower IQ, reduce initiative, cause long-term memory impairment, and lead to deaths on the highways (every state which has legalized recreational pot use has seen a spike in DUI deaths).
In Connecticut, lawmakers have yet to legalize marijuana's recreational use. The 2013 Cole memo told USA attorneys to stay away from prosecutions on marijuana charges as long as entities complied with state-run regulatory systems for medical or recreational use. But the more than 100 million Americans who have consumed cannabis, and particularly the 35 million who enjoy it on a regular basis, know better.
Poll: 70% say DOJ shouldn't enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it's legal
Rudder forewarned that in either scenario, "the medical value - as well as the fallacy of numerous anti-arguments - of cannabis will be recognized and state will continue to implement cannabis programs as they see fit and with the support of the voters". If they are caught with more than those designated amounts, it's possible to be charged with intent to distribute, which entails a substantial fine or even jail time. My mandate now is to wisely regulate marijuana, not second-guess the will of the voters. The bill would allow for the possession of up to an ounce of weed, 16 ounces of infused pot products, and 72 ounces of liquid infused products, but would not allow for home cultivation.
The announcement from Sessions didn't frighten Joe Grumbine, a cannabis-rights advocate who, years ago, ran an illegal dispensary in Long Beach.
In last week's announcement, the Justice Department made no mention of parallel marijuana guidance that FinCEN issued in February 2014 in coordination with Justice officials. Marijuana prohibition was one of the failed fronts in the US drug war, which fostered a criminal underground and puts too many people in jail. While recreational sales of weed will certainly be beneficial to the economy, there are certain risks that need to be addressed. He equates the drug with heroin, has blamed pot for a rising tide of violence, and has said that medical use of marijuana has been "hyped, maybe too much". California legal pot to test supply pipeline. Also big business will be more reluctant to get involved.
Alaska marijuana sales drop in November. State law allows for up to eight dispensaries, with more to be added if necessary. "The three most common business taxes that any standard business pays to the federal government are federal business taxes, payroll taxes and sales taxes", De Carcer explained.
Other lawmakers from states that benefit from relaxed marijuana laws are promising to retaliate.