WashU Expert: Marijuana Enforcement Change Could Backfire

A woman in Seattle smoking marijuana at Hempfest

A woman in Seattle smoking marijuana at Hempfest

West Chester The U.S. Department of Justice decision to rescind Obama-era guidance on marijuana enforcement is facing bipartisan criticism from local lawmakers.

Last night, Stephen Colbert criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions about his stance on marijuana, and its legalization throughout the United States.

Claiming a "return to the rule of law", Sessions directed "all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities".

"I hope it dooms his reelection. It really is because I think Jeff Sessions is one of the most honorable men in Washington, D.C., and I mean that sincerely", Stewart said in an interview on CNN.

Medical marijuana is used to treat cancerous tumors, ALS, epilepsy, and opioid addiction. Under Pennsylvania law, patients with certain illnesses may legally access medical marijuana as part of their treatment regimen.

"Does my state have my best interest in protecting me through this process if we get a license or once they get the money are we left out to dry if something goes wrong from the federal government", says Barron. Thursday's announcement is a major decision that could have ramifications for every state. Should the Green Mountain State's leadership move forward as promised, it will mark a huge turning point in the national movement to end the criminalization of marijuana.

"If they crack down on medical or recreational programs, it's going to hurt access", Sean Kiernan - who works with the Weed for Warriors Project, an organization that provides access to free cannabis for veterans with the proper paperwork - told Stars & Stripes.

The Justice Department considers marijuana a Schedule 1 drug, the same category as heroin, LSD and cocaine.

But Coffman said she doesn't foresee a major shift in Colorado in the current marijuana enforcement and regulation.

With the state of California enjoying its first week with legal recreational marijuana this could put a damper on the new law but Jamie garzot is hopefully that this may start a further debate. It's also among the majority of USA states that have legalized medical marijuana. The protections apply to 46 states, including Pennsylvania.

"There are 29 states with medical marijuana programs now".

The state's Cannabis Control Commission still plans to begin marijuana sales this year. "Unfortunately, the previous administration gave states the impression that federal law was irrelevant on the production and usage of marijuana, but the law has not changed, only federal enforcement".

The decision came just days after California legalized recreational use of marijuana. In Colorado, marijuana is big business.

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