Fed Prosecutor: No Immunity for Legal Marijuana Businesses

An employee stocks cannabis at a store in San Francisco

Noah Berger Associated Press An employee stocks cannabis at a store in San Francisco

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era directives to "go easy" on state that legalized pot. MA voters approved the legalization of marijuana in 2016, and stores were expected to open in July, the Boston Globe reports.

"Deciding, in advance, to immunize a certain category of actors from federal prosecution would be to effectively amend the laws Congress has already passed, and that I will not do", U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement.

"I am calling on every member of Congress to take up the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act to remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances."

Republican U.S. President Donald Trump's stepped-up federal enforcement could take a toll on the burgeoning legal marijuana industry.

While federal prosecutors in some other parts of the country quickly reassured licensed marijuana growers and retailers that little would change, Lelling - a Trump appointee who took office on December 21 - has declined to make such a pledge.

The statement came hours after the sponsors of last year's marijuana legalization initiative called on Lelling to clarify his intentions, following a recent change in federal policy that granted the prosecutor broad powers to crack down on the state's emerging cannabis industry. ME has not yet cleared the way for retail sales. How are states to make up for the local losses in revenue?

The DeWitt Republican is the latest candidate for state attorney general to speak out against the move by Sessions, appointed a year ago by GOP President Donald Trump.

"We will continue to enforce the MI medical marijuana statute, specifically related to large-scale violations", Bitely said, noting state prosecutors usually focus on illegal traffickers, not individual users.

Schuitmaker, in a statement provided to The News, said she also would enforce state law and hopes that medical marijuana use will not be a top priority for federal prosecutors that oversee terrorism, immigration, corruption and civil rights cases. However, that amendment is due to expire later this month along with the current federal budget; Sessions previously called on Congress to drop the language.

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