Nevada marijuana industry reacts to possible federal crackdown

Laura Christensen
January 8, 2018

Locals in the marijuana industry were jolted Thursday when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed prosecutors to more aggressively enforce federal drug laws. Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado said he plans to reach out to other legislators from states that have legalized recreational marijuana - Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington - to seek congressional protection for those programs.

"I'm not anxious. Everything we do here follows state laws, and everything is up to code. I think it should be up to the states, absolutely", he told Brandon Rittiman from Channel 9 News at the time.

Other state officials expressed disappointment.

"It's going to be up to the new USA attorney, but we don't know what her position is on this yet".

The policy put in place under Democratic former President Barack Obama, outlined by then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole in a series of memos, had discouraged federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana-related criminal cases in states that had legalized the drug.

Some advocates and political leaders are warning the new Department of Justice guidance on marijuana prosecutions could have dire consequences for chronically ill patients for whom marijuana products provide a measure of relief. Sessions, a longtime critic of marijuana legalization, says it causes spikes in violence and crime.

USA attorneys might continue to decide not to take up marijuana cases that don't fall under the Obama-era rules.

The decision, which rescinds previous marijuana prosecution policies, comes just days after the State of California began legal recreation sales of marijuana on January 1.

Since 2014, Congress has attached amendments to the Justice Department budget forbidding interference with laws in states that allow medical marijuana, a list that began with California in 1996 and has grown to 29 states and the District of Columbia, with a combined 60 percent of the US population.

Nokia 6 (2018): Specs, Price, Release & More (What To Expect)
So an anniversary upgraded model is a nice gesture, but the Nokia 6 (2018 ) packs in competitive hardware for the asking price. The Nokia 6 which was launched in China on Friday will finally go on sale in India via Amazon India from August 23, 2018.

"One wonders if Trump was consulted - it is Jeff Sessions after all - because this would violate his campaign promise not to interfere with state marijuana laws".

OR collected more than $108 million in taxes from marijuana sales between January 2016 and August.

"We use the money we get from marijuana sales to fund our school resource officer and to bring in a D.A.R.E officer to speak to the schools", North Bend City Administrator Terence O'Connor said. Before Sessions' announcement, experts predicted the US market might reach $50 billion by 2026. They are surrounded by attorneys who have spent their careers arguing federal cases before judges who can make their displeasure with a US attorney known in sentencing decisions and in the scheduling of cases.

States and localities - not federal prosecutors - would be responsible for low-level pot dealing and use, one of Cole's memos said. "In fact, they don't even need to convict, they just need to start sending threatening letters to landlords".

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, has long viewed pot as a public menace and a source of street crime.

"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.

State Sen. Richard "Tick" Segerblom, a Democrat and the dean of marijuana legislation in Nevada, anxious the Trump administration reversal of the hands-off Obama-era policy would snuff out a budding business.

Patrick McCarthy, spokesman for the NY cannabis association, sidestepped a question on how revocation of the Obama-era memos would affect medical marijuana providers, practitioners and patients.

Other reports by My Hot News

Discuss This Article