Jeff Sessions says US prosecutors will not pursue small-time marijuana cases

Law enforcement lacks resources to take on routine cases and will focus on gangs and larger conspiracies, attorney general says

Federal attorneys will not take over small-time marijuana suits, despite the Trump justice department’s decision to lift an Obama-era policy that discouraged authorities from cracking down on the trade in countries where the drug is legal, Jeff Sessions, the us attorney general, said on Saturday.

Federal law enforcement lacks the resources to take over” routine lawsuits” and will continue to focus on gangs and larger conspiracies, Sessions told students after a speech at Georgetown law school.

In January, the Trump administration hurled the burgeoning marijuana legalization motion into uncertainty by reversing the largely hands-off approach of the Obama administration, saying federal prosecutors should instead handle marijuana suits however they see fit.

The Obama-era policy permitted the trade to flourish, with eight countries decriminalize marijuana for recreational use.

The reversal under Trump added to embarrassment about whether it’s OK to grow, buy or use marijuana in states where it is legal, since long-standing federal statute prohibits it. And it caused concern that prosecutors would feel empowered to jail someones for marijuana possession.

” I am not going to tell Colorado or California or someone else that possession of marijuana is legal under United States statute ,” Sessions said. But, he added, federal prosecutors” haven’t been working small marijuana instances before, they are not going to be working them now “.

Of particular interest are problems that federal authorities have tried for years to tackle, such as illegal marijuana-growing operations on national parklands and gangs that peddle marijuana along with most harmful drugs.

Some law enforcement officers in legal nations argue the legal trade has caused unintended problems like black-market marijuana growing and dealing by people who don’t even try to conform to the legal framework.

It remains to be seen whether prosecutors will seek to punish state-sanctioned industries. Some have indicated they have no plans to do so.

” Those are the kinds of things each one of those US attorneys will decide how to handle ,” Sessions said.

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