In the News: America Goes Green-Herbal Style

weedBy: Tiffani Haynes

The smog seen in L.A. might get a little hazier if the United States government keeps with its plan to become more lenient on marijuana usage.

The Justice Department has said that federal resources shouldn’t be wasted on prosecuting medical marijuana users who live in states that legalize the herbal drug. Yet those who go beyond the medical marijuana measures will be prosecuted.

According to the Associated Press, “It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

This new marijuana policy comes as a large change from the Bush administration. During the Bush administration, there was a strict policy for prosecuting marijuana users, even though there are some states that allow it.

The policy was written in a three-page memo to federal prosecutors and Federal Drug Administration officials. Deputy Attorney General David Odgen wrote the memo and emphasized that each case’s prosecution was left to the discretion of the prosecutor.

According the Associated Press, “In particular, the memo urges prosecutors to pursue marijuana cases which involve violence, the illegal use of firearms, selling pot to minors, money laundering or involvement in other crimes.”

This could prove to be a major step towards success for marijuana advocates.

“This change in policy moves the federal government dramatically toward respecting,” said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project.


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