Sessions nixes Obama-era rules leaving states alone that legalize pot

Lines swell outside of Berkeley Patients Group as consumers eagerly lined up on the morning of Jan. 1 to get a taste of legal cannabis

"Marijuana is a failed experiment in Colorado and Attorney General Sessions' memo provides USA attorneys the power to stop the powerful drug cartels from getting a permanent foothold in our state and bring drug dealers to justice", the statement said.

In guidance issued Thursday, Sessions rescinded those policies and instead will permit individual USA attorneys to decide how aggressively to go after marijuana in their jurisdictions. Sessions is leaving it up to federal prosecutors in states that allow its sale and use to decide whether to crack down on the marijuana trade.

Sessions called the policy "unnecessary", stating that marijuana remains "a risky drug" under federal law and that marijuana activity is "a serious crime".

That reversed the election campaign stance by President Donald Trump favoring state marijuana laws, and set up a potential clash with the six USA states that have already moved ahead to legalize pot sales.

Adult-use cannabis became legal in July in Nevada, where the federal prosecutor's office is now in transition.

"We don't know what this means", Durrett said of Sessions' comments.

"The Camp David retreat is an opportunity for the President to bring together bicameral congressional leadership to discuss this year's legislative agenda", said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters.

"At the Oregon Department of Justice we will continue to make sure Oregon's marijuana industry thrives under our carefully considered state regulatory requirements".

It was not immediately clear what practical effect the attorney general's decision would have in states that have legalized marijuana or on the increasingly sophisticated and lucrative legal pot industry.

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Q: Can congress reverse Sessions' action - and would lawmakers be inclined to do so?

Another 21 states have medical marijuana laws on the books, including red states like Arkansas, which passed its ballot referendum in 2016, and Florida, which put its own measure over the top by a whopping 71 percent at the polls.

But at Green Dragon, Levine said the move won't cause any changes and they won't slow growth plans or scale back any operations.

Experts say they think the multi-billion dollar business now legal in some form in a majority of states is too large to bust.

"I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the attorney general lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation", Gardner wrote on Twitter.

The policy being rescinded is known as the Cole memorandum, and was enacted as a response to several states passing more lenient responses to non-violent marijuana crimes, and a few years later recreational use.

Former Republican Maryland state delegate Don Murphy, who now works in conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the AG's move, presumably sanctioned by Trump, is odd considering the populist wave in favor of decriminalizing marijuana across the country-not only in blue states, but places like Arkansas, the first Bible Belt state to legalize medical marijuana, and with 53 percent of the vote. "This is a very bad thing and it's very unnecessary, considering what the president said publicly and that we are dealing with an opioid crisis right now", Don Murphy, who actually served as a delegate for Trump and volunteered on his campaign, told TAC. Just Sessions' announcement has already sparked backlash from politicians on both sides of the aisle, he noted.

Although Sessions gave permission to prosecute marijuana cases, a Justice Department official believes that he did not demand prosecutions or threaten the marijuana industry, NBC reports.

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