Policy-ish

Feds Won't Pursue Medical Marijuana Users, Sellers Abiding By State Laws

In a big switch from the last administration, the Obama Justice Department won't go after users or suppliers of medical marijuana who comply with state laws.

A customer shows medical marijuana she received free at the Roscoe Compassionate Collective in Canog i i

hide captionA customer shows medical marijuana she received free at the Roscoe Compassionate Collective in Canoga Park, Calif., in July.

Genaro Molina/AP/Los Angeles Times
A customer shows medical marijuana she received free at the Roscoe Compassionate Collective in Canog

A customer shows medical marijuana she received free at the Roscoe Compassionate Collective in Canoga Park, Calif., in July.

Genaro Molina/AP/Los Angeles Times

The Associated Press reports new guidelines making the change official are expected to go out to federal prosecutors today. Sellers and smokers in 14 states that allow pot to be used for medical reasons, including California and Maryland, will be able to breathe a little easier from now on.

A couple of unnamed Justice Department officials told the AP that it's a waste for the feds to arrest pot users and their suppliers when they're in compliance with state laws.

Back in March, Attorney General Eric Holder said the feds wouldn't bust medical marijuana suppliers who complied with state laws, making good on President Obama's campaign promises. But there was still some confusion about the details.

Obama, in an interview with the Medford Mail Tribune in Oregon the year before, said about the legalization of marijuana for medical use, "I'm not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue."

Update: Yes, even the Justice Department blogs, and you can find the memo on marijuana prosecution here.

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