The Federal Government announced on Saturday that they won’t take on small-time marijuana cases. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this decision stands even though the Justice Department recently lifted policy speaking to the contrary. Authorities didn’t pursue cases in states that had legalized marijuana during the Obama years.

The marijuana industry clearly recalls that back in January, Sessions announced that prosecutors would now need to decide themselves whether to go after cases from states where marijuana was legal. The memo directed “…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.”

Cannabis Counterattack Against Sessions

Following the release of the memo, a number of lawmakers responded to Sessions:

Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa.: “In 2016, PA passed a law to allow patients facing certain illnesses to legally use medical marijuana, and I believe it is critically important the Commonwealth’s law and patients who benefit from it are protected.”

Another voice of dissent was that of Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif. Brownley stated that, “The state of California has the right to enact its own policies on marijuana, and the voters have spoken. Rather than wasting taxpayer money going after medical and recreational marijuana users, Attorney General Sessions should concentrate on protecting Americans from criminals.”

Finally, Gavin Newsom, Lt. Gov. of California, had this to say in response to Sessions: “States rights” is nothing more than a catch phrase to Jeff Sessions. CA overwhelmingly voted to legalize marijuana. Sick and tired of elected officials who lack the courage to stand up for those that are unjustly targeted by the failed war on drugs. The time to speak out is now.”

A Lack of Resources

In truth, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) doesn’t really have the resources to crack down on the average marijuana users anyway. Law enforcement at the federal level lacks the manpower for smaller cases. So, they will devote their attention to bigger fish, so to say, (e.g. gangs and bigger trafficking organizations).

The industry welcomes this change of heart. This is especially so ever since the Trump administration reversed the Obama-era approach, of staying hands-off. It was also during this seemingly free time that eight states accepted recreational marijuana use.

“I am not going to tell Colorado or California or someone else that possession of marijuana is legal under United States law,” reiterated Sessions, at Georgetown Law School.

Nothing has really changed though even after this official announcement. He said that prosecutors, “haven’t been working small marijuana cases before, [so] they are not going to be working them now.”

The Fed’s Real Beef

National parklands have been a popular location for illegal growing operations. Authorities argue that the legal trade has created other issues. These include a growers’ black market – which encourages individuals who have no desire to follow the legal guidelines anyway and now see a way get in on the action in a semi-lawful fashion.

But authorities have yet to make a final decision whether to go after state-sanctioned cannabis businesses – due to the federal legality issue. But a number of them have already stated that they do not plan to pursue legal action.

The Risk is Low

To many, Sessions’ original statements and recent memo stems mostly from his personal dislike of the substance. New markets opening up, like in California have raised the stakes for states who have not yet legalized cannabis. All of the discussion surrounding this has also impacted the U.S. Marijuana Index. It has waxed and waned since 2015 and bounced back in October 2017. It also made a significant jump on Tuesday March 13. Either way, investors are still game.

Do You Know What is Also Low Risk?

A consultation with Pinnacle. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Schedule a consultation or call us today at (719) 330-5301. We have expertise in all stages of marijuana business creation as well as growing. Partner with us to increase your revenue and decrease your annoyance in dealing with applications, compliance, accounting, operations, and more. Turn your headaches over to us, and watch your business grow.