Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Obama Administration Medical Marijuana Policy Released

medical_marijuana_dea_raid62.jpg
From a 2007 medical marijuana raid in Hollywood (more photos here) | Photo by Shay Sowden
Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

In a major switch from the Bush Administration, Attorney General Eric Holder in a memo today told agencies in 14 states to stop prioritizing raids and cases against those who comply with state medical marijuana laws. It's not a good use of time, the three-page legal memo said, urging that criminals should be the focus of any efforts.

"It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal," Holder wrote.

However, the Associated Press notes that the policy "does not rule out the possibility that the federal government could still prosecute someone whose activities are allowed under state law."