Patients Worried About Future Of Medical Marijuana
Jan 13 2018
Sessions' move allows federal prosecutors to decide what to do when state rules conflict with federal.
The so-called Cole Memoranda, named for James Cole, the Deputy Attorney General under President Obama, were a series of memoranda issued by the DOJ from 2009 through 2014 and articulated the federal government's desire to prioritize its investigative and prosecutorial resources in light of the enactment by several states of laws relating to the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Washington state supports these priorities, which include keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors and organized crime, and from crossing state lines. On Jan. 5, Sessions said that he was rescinding the Cole memo and returning to the "rule of law".
With recreational pot shops set to open in MA in July, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is urging his state's U.S. Attorney to focus his efforts on cracking down on the opioid epidemic, rather than the regulation of marijuana in the state. California also this month began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana.
Polis has been a longtime advocate for updating federal marijuana policy. The former Alabama senator and federal prosecutor once joked, according to Senate testimony by a former colleague, that the Ku Klux Klan was "OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana". An amendment to a budget bill that would prohibit the Department of Justice from spending money on marijuana enforcement in states like Colorado that have legalized pot is one idea that is gaining traction among Colorado lawmakers. I have filed 19 lawsuits against the Trump administration, so I have some experience in the courtroom with the federal government.
This state's recreational marijuana industry, already rejected or restricted by many communities, now faces a new but not totally unexpected obstacle - the federal government. But until federal law changes, the VA is not "able to prescribe medical marijuana". Just imagine if some states legalized alcohol sales despite a federal prohibition against it?
The study estimates that about 25 percent of the marijuana market will continue to be illicit, and will shrink if the legal marketplace is not overly taxed or expensive. "I do not want Arkansas to become a recreational use state". For Connecticut, where medical marijuana is legal, it puts both patients and the businesses that distribute it at risk. Even for those arrested and never prosecuted or convicted, arrest records have real harms in terms of the ability to get jobs, loans, housing and benefits.
Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. The primary argument for keeping marijuana illegal is that it is harmful. Sessions called their hard work and thoughtful approach "unnecessary".
The new guidance directs VA clinical staff and pharmacists to discuss with veterans how their use of medical marijuana could interact with other medications or aspects of their care, including treatment for pain management or post-traumatic stress disorder.