Justice Department Will Enforce Federal Marijuana Laws
By MARY KAUFFMAN
January 04, 2018
In the memorandum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities. This return to the rule of law is also a return of trust and local control to federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.
"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," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "Therefore, today's memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country."
U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) in a prepared statement said, “Although I did not support the 2014 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana [in Alaska], it strongly passed and I passionately believe in democracy and the principals of states’ rights. For these reasons, I have worked with federal officials and Alaskans to try to address a number of areas where our state and federal marijuana laws are in conflict."
Sullivan said, “Today’s action by the Department of Justice - which contradicts previous statements by the President that this is an issue best left to the states, and adds new confusion and uncertainty for numerous states and communities - could be the impetus necessary for Congress to find a permanent legislative solution for states that have chosen to regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana."
" As we move forward," said Sullivan, "I will be examining new and existing legislative proposals and working to ensure the rights of Alaskans and the State of Alaska are protected.”
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