Feds Roll Back Obama Pot Policies, Allows Federal Intervention
Back in 2013, former President Obama announced the federal government would not obstruct or interfere with states that were attempting to pass legalized recreational pot. The states would have to have drug policies that would not hinder 'key' federal enforcement laws, including preventing minors.
That changed on Thursday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to Fox News. He rolled back the Obama policies.
"Give the Department's well-established general principles, previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately," Sessions said in a new memo.
The move takes aim at the budding mainstream marijuana industry, even as it leaves up to U.S. attorneys to what extent to enforce federal law on marijuana.
As for how the reversal will affect states where recreational pot use is legal and the marijuana industry as a whole, the situation is unclear.
When asked if the DOJ would be bringing suit against states like California and Colorado, a senior DOJ official said only: “Further steps are still under consideration.”
Marijuana is still considered illegal at the federal level, and now this ruling leaves the future of the growing industry in doubt; at least when it comes to states vs. federal government.
According to Fox News, Sessions has taken a hard-line stance against the legalized pot industry, saying:
“I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful,” he told law enforcement officials in March. “Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”