In 2009, a Department of Justice memo instructed U.S. attorneys not to pursue charges against medical marijuana operations that comply with the laws of the states in which they are located. However, as Mike Riggs reports at Reason, that no longer appears to be the case:
“Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law,” the memo reads. “Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district, such persons are subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution. State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA.”
Emphasis added. This is disappointing on a number of levels. First, it destroys almost any possibility that President Obama will live up to liberal ideals and led on any issue related to drug law reform. It also means that all the dispensaries in California, Colorado, Michigan, etc. will now have to worry about the possibility of having all their cash and assets seized and forfeited by the federal government. This is a major step backwards, and I hope Obama feels some backlash from the left over this.