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