That policy has been tossed aside by Sessions, and now will lead to plenty of confusion as to whether it will be legal to grow, buy, or use marijuana in those states where recreational marijuana has been legalized.
Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner - a Republican from Colorado, a swing state where adult-use cannabis is also legal - told reporters he intends to block all Justice Department nominations in response to the Trump administration's sudden change in marijuana policy. Joining me now from Washington, D.C., is John Hudak, the deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution, to help assess the impact of this move.
The federal government did not regulate marijuana until Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 at the urging of Harry J. Anslinger, who became the first commissioner of the new Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930.
On the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump promised that he would leave marijuana legislation in the hands of the states, a position that echoed with his Republican base.
She marveled at the difference between buying a legal bag of weed from the times in her 20s when she was buying marijuana on the streets, a situation she said exposed her to contaminated products and unsafe situations.
Among the guidance that Sessions rescinded was the so-called Ogden Memorandum of 2009, which instructed federal prosecutors not to pursue cases against medical marijuana patients and distributors who complied with state laws.
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The U.S. Constitution does not give the federal government any authority to criminalize marijuana.
Regardless of inferior state policy, all marijuana usage is illegal under federal law.
Before the Obama administration's announcement, states felt more risk in advancing laws to allow recreational or medical use of cannabis, which is classified under federal law as a risky drug. Every lawmaker, including those in West Virginia, illegally attempted to override federal law. He has referred to marijuana as a "dangerous drug" on more than one occasion. Vermont Senator Pat Leahy confirmed to Politico that he would in fact be fighting to include his amendment offering protections for medical marijuana in the 2018 omnibus spending bill.
In 2013 the Obama administration announced that it would not stand in the way of states that chose to legalize marijuana.
If marijuana is grown from scratch in a state where it's legal and targeted for sale and use only in that state - I'm not seeing how the Feds can claim jurisdiction.
Disrupting marijuana businesses is exactly what Sessions intends.
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Medical marijuana plants in Cottage Grove, Minn., in 2015.
This new information is to create further confusion to the now emerging medical and recreational marijuana industries in many states across the USA and the now ongoing regulatory laws and rulings in effect at the state level.
Republicans have been split on the issue, with many arguing that leaving regulation up to individual states has always been central to the party's platform on issues including Obamacare, guns, abortion and gay marriage.
In response to Sessions rescinding the Obama-era marijuana policies, Frank says he is consulting with his management team to discuss "how it may impact our charging decisions in ME".
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he and his office is prepared to fight to defend his state's laws although there is no specific enforcement from the Department of Justice to fight just yet.
Although his own investigative panel recommended decriminalizing marijuana, Nixon's aides later cited his animus toward hippies and black political activists as leading him to reject that move.
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Another speed bump is the fact that because pot remains illegal federally - and, thanks to Sessions' announcement last Thursday, its use is again prosecutable - banks are refusing to do business with cannabis retailers, meaning sellers can not accept credit cards. In Washington state alone, the marijuana industry paid Dollars $280 million in taxes in the last fiscal year.