January 4, 2018, 11:30am —
The United states Department of Justice has officially released a memorandum that advises the many US Attorneys that “Previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and rescinded.” The basis for the decision is that, “prosecutors should follow well established principles that govern all federal prosecution.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Justice Department Issues Memo on Marijuana Enforcement
The Department of Justice today issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy announcing a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents. Since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.
In the memorandum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities. This return to the rule of law is also a return of trust and local control to federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.
“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs 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.”
Full Memo sent to all US Attorneys is located here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1022196/download