“An incredibly destructive thing to do.” That’s what Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to revoke Obama-era guidelines that allowed states to legalize marijuana.
Individual US Attorneys now get to decide how to prosecute marijuana crimes that once fell under the Cole Memorandum, which was created in 2013 and ordered US Attorneys to back down from enforcing federal laws on cannabis in states that choose to experiment with legalization.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Warren said:
Jeff Sessions has left it up to the individual U.S. attorneys, but that creates a whole new level of uncertainty that makes it much more difficult for a state like Massachusetts to be able to finish and implement rules that Massachusetts believes are the safest rules and the best ways of dealing with marijuana.
According to MassLive, the US Attorney for Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling, has said he’ll focus on “bulk cultivation and trafficking cases, and those who use the federal banking system illegally.”
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Massachusetts is expected to open its first retail shops in July, after legalizing marijuana on the ballot in 2016.