"At the California Department of Justice we intend to vigorously enforce our state's laws and protect our state's interests".
Among companies that have invested in the industry, Scotts Miracle-Gro, a gardening product manufacturer, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire companies that sell soil, lighting, fertilizer and other products to marijuana growers. Justice Department officials said they would follow the law but would not preclude the possibility of medical-marijuana related prosecutions. He says that's consistent with Sessions' latest guidance. California users of medical marijuana insisted that the law should not apply to them because their state had legalized their behavior. "If something does happen to occur because of this we'll just have to roll with it", owner of the Coos Bay cannabis dispensary Way High 101 Aaron McKinley said. "You need to double down on compliance, be a good neighbor, pay your taxes, and that should keep you out of the crosshairs with the federal government", he says.
"We're moving forward as an industry and as a patient organization we're happy that things are moving forward here in Arkansas and we'll let things in D.C. play out as they will", he said. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said Sessions' announcement was "disruptive to state regulatory regimes." Sen.
"In California, we decided it was best to regulate, not criminalize, cannabis..." I stand with the voters of California in defending California's efforts to legalize cannabis.
The new USA attorney in Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, a Trump appointee who was confirmed by the Senate in mid-December, called marijuana "a unsafe drug" in his statement on Sessions' action.
Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson Thursday criticized the Trump administration's announcement that it is rescinding a federal policy providing legal protection for marijuana sales in states with recreational pot. But he also said his office will focus on "bulk cultivation and trafficking cases, and those who use the federal banking system illegally" while considering its available resources, the seriousness of each crime and its effects. She did not elaborate.
There has been a surge in legalization of marijuana at the state level in recent years.
"It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission", Sessions said in a statement. And opening the door to allow the federal government to prosecute more citizens in states where marijuana has been legalized by overwhelming majorities of the people makes no sense. They had closed down several hundred before Congress intervened with budget restrictions that halted the lawsuits - one of them targeting Harborside Health Center in Oakland, the nation's largest licensed cannabis dispensary - as well as most federal criminal prosecutions.
Former Republican Maryland state delegate Don Murphy, who now works in conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the AG's move, presumably sanctioned by Trump, is odd considering the populist wave in favor of decriminalizing marijuana across the country-not only in blue states, but places like Arkansas, the first Bible Belt state to legalize medical marijuana, and with 53 percent of the vote.
Legal marijuana business owners have the most to lose financially from the Sessions memo.