Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder Announces New Medical Marijuana Policy

In what is being recognized as a shift towards a more sensible U.S. drug policy, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new policy for medical marijuana. Under the policy spelled out in a three-page legal memo, federal prosecutors are being told to prioritize their prosecutions to focus on issues including violent crime and large scale drug traffickers. The Attorney General stated:
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.

"This is a major step forward," said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. "This change in policy moves the federal government dramatically toward respecting scientific and practical reality."

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