Pot Laws Just Become More and More Confusing

Dep. Atty. Gen. James Cole/doj photo
By Allan Lengel

The controversy over the legality of medical marijuana only seems to be getting more and more confusing.

The Associated Press reports that James Cole, the number two person at the Justice Department, has written a memo saying state medical marijuana laws do not provide immunity from federal prosecution, and refused to say Wednesday whether a recent crackdown in California by fed prosecutors signals a shift in federal policy that could impact other states.

Cole, the deputy Attorney General, said it’s up to individual U.S. Attorneys to decide how to enforce federal laws, AP reported.

“I think it says what needs to be said,” Cole said of his memo and the fed policy after a press conference in Colorado, AP reported.

Sixteen states have passed laws legalizing marijuana for medical use, AP reported. California was the first in 1996.

The feds have raised concerns that some medical marijuana dispensaries are buying pot from unauthorized places and dispensing to people who don’t have a valid medical reason to use the drug.



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