DOJ to States: We Won't Challenge Your Marijuana Laws


Oh my, things have just gotten interesting…

The Justice Department will not attempt to challenge state laws that allow for the medical and recreational use of marijuana as long as the drug sales do not conflict with eight new federal enforcement priorities.

Those include the distribution of marijuana to minors and sales that assist or act as cover for trafficking operations, according to a directive being issued Thursday to federal prosecutors across the country.

So what about Washington and Colorado?

Although the directive issued by Attorney General Eric Holder will apply nationwide, it will largely affect the 20 states and the District of Columbia that allow for medical marijuana use, and Colorado and Washington where state laws allow medical and recreational use by adults.

A Justice official, who was briefed on the directive but not authorized to comment publicly, said Holder briefed the governors of Colorado and Washington earlier Thursday on the new prosecutorial directive in a conference call. Federal prosecutors were expected to begin briefing authorities in other states later Thursday. Source:

The new directives will not alter marijuana’s CSA classification as a schedule #1 narcotic, noted the Dept of Justice. However the new directive effectively discourages cases from being pursued in the event of personal, non-violent pot consumption, that shows no relationship to “criminal gangs or cartel operations.”

The DOJ’s 8 high priority areas of enforcement will be:

Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors

Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels

Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states

Preventing state authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity

Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana

Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use

Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands

Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property

About Author

Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.