Legal pot could bring U.S. $132B in taxes, 1M jobs

Pauline Gross
January 13, 2018

"We will not inhibit that in any way, in fact, I've added special precautions in our bill to ensure that local law enforcement does, in fact, close down illegal marijuana operations", he said.

"My concern is that there is a lack of transparency when it comes to priorities at the Department of Justice, how those will be carried out, and that we now have...50-plus USA attorneys...who are going to be making decisions that may be at odds with other states", Gardner told Denver7 Wednesday.

Dispensaries that relied on MA banking lost their ability to process debit cards after MA U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said Monday that he can not guarantee marijuana operations in his state would be immune from federal prosecution. Congress is responsible for passing and upholding the CSA, which defines marijuana as a substance that supposedly has no medical benefit and is as unsafe as heroin. It also rolls back a 2014 Cole memo that directed U.S. Attorneys to apply the same eight enforcement priorities in prosecuting financial crimes based on transactions involving marijuana proceeds. "For several years, I have run a bipartisan amendment which would prohibit the Dept. of Justice from using federal resources to interfere with legal medical and recreational marijuana activities".

"Trump needs to realize that a lot of his supporters are pro-cannabis and it would be extremely hurtful to them if he allowed Sessions to move forward with this", said Damara Kelso, a Trump voter who runs Sugar Shack Farms, a marijuana grower in Eugene, Oregon.

Sessions announced the change Thursday when a blizzard shut down federal and state offices and schools throughout the state.

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The amendment barring federal prosecutors from spending tax dollars to impede states' medical marijuana programs is included in the continuing resolution that is now funding the federal government, said Becky Dansky, a spokeswoman for the Marijuana Policy Project.

That belief was strengthened by then-candidate Donald Trump's answer to a 9NEWS interview question in 2012, saying that the states should be left to decide marijuana policy for themselves. So Congresspeople can't say they were caught off guard by his anti-cannabis stance.

Sessions issued his one-page announcement three days after California formally launched the world's largest regulated commercial market for recreational marijuana. The Obama administration preferred to duck a fight with state governments, while the Trump administration seems to be courting one.

This state's recreational marijuana industry, already rejected or restricted by many communities, now faces a new but not totally unexpected obstacle - the federal government.

Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. "I do not want Arkansas to become a recreational use state". The frequency of violence committed by someone under the influence of marijuana is normally far below that of legal alcohol. "Once they get above that, it slows the transition and makes the consumer think twice about making that legal purchase".

Other reports by GizPress

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