Trump administration clears the way for federal marijuana enforcement
The Trump administration says federal prosecutors will begin to more aggressively enforce marijuana laws, even in states where marijuana is now legal.
The Justice Department is planning to roll back a policy instituted during the Obama administration that discouraged those prosecutions. It's not yet clear what specific type of enforcement the government is planning.
Michigan marijuana legalization advocates are protesting the change in policy. "When it comes to state-based medical and adult use marijuana programs in America, you can't put the smoke back in the joint. You cannot undo what has already been done," says Rick Thompson, a member of the Board of Directors with MI Legalize.
Thompson urges patients, caregivers, and business owners to continue participating in legal marijuana sales in Michigan until the new federal policy is translated into action.
"The Sessions policy change is really the worst example of a lose-lose situation ever," says Thompson. "On the one hand, people will face federal prison in 2018 for things they did legally in 2017. And on the other hand, it makes ripe the opportunity for state-based legal challenges of federal marijuana policies and enforcement tactics, which will cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Jeff Sessions may not know it, but starting a war with the states over the legitimacy of federal drug policy is the best way to end federal marijuana prohibition."