Massachusetts Officials Critical of Shift in Federal Pot Policy

Sessions Said to Kill Policy That Ushered in Legal Weed

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scrapping Obama-era guidelines that essentially removed marijuana from the list of federal drug enforcement priorities as more states legalized it.

The use of recreational marijuana became legal throughout California on January 1, 2018. He pointed to the chill this would put on businesses, landlords, and particularly banks that are still hesitant to work with cannabis clients, despite the millions of legal dollars changing hands.

"Going against the majority of Americans - including a majority of Republican voters - who want the federal government to stay out of the way is perhaps one of the stupidest decisions the Attorney General has made", Blumenauer said in a statement.

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

Regulators pledged on Thursday they would push ahead with implementation of the state's voter-approved recreational marijuana law despite potential confusion stemming from a shift in official US policy on enforcement of federal laws against pot.

"The (Sessions) memo will mobilize us, mobilize the people around the country" who support legalization, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Costa Mesa (Orange County) Republican who has sponsored the budget amendments, said in a conference call by the House Cannabis Caucus.

However, it's not clear that the announcement will lead to drastic changes in the way that federal officials in OR handle pot.

Prosecutors in Western states wanted guidance from the Justice Department when the likelihood of state marijuana legalization became clear in 2010 and 2011.

Brendan Moss, a Baker spokesman, said the governor would monitor the impact of what he considered the "wrong decision" by Sessions, and any policy changes that might come from the U.S. Attorney in MA.

Oregon, being one of the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, reacted to the news in a different ways.

Acting Supreme Court Justice W. Brooks DeBow rejected the companies' contention that the law enabling medical marijuana production in the state meant to restrict the number of companies to five. Session's memo repeals that Obama-era policy. "There is a belief that that is inconsistent with what federal law says", a senior Department of Justice official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Politico.

"President Trump has recognized medical marijuana as an appropriate exception to federal enforcement policy, but he has not said the same thing about recreational use", he said.

Rosenblum, who characterized Sessions' decision as overreach, made no indication of specific next steps other than she "valued her working relationship" with Williams and looked forward to working with him. And for medical marijuana, "it is not likely an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on seriously ill individuals or their individual care givers". Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade.

"The cultivation, distribution and possession of marijuana has always been and remains a violation of federal law for all purposes", she later said in a statement.

The only time he's ever acknowledged marijuana was in May 2017, when he note (in a statement) that a spending bill he helped pass included a provision that prevented the DOJ from prosecuting medical marijuana cases in places where it's legal.

Advocacy groups said the Sessions revision not only flouted the president's previous commitments to local democracy but also amounts to bad public policy.

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