Ryan Grim ryan@huffingtonpost.com
Medical Marijuana Memo: DOJ Cracks Down On Pot Shops
Posted: 07/ 1/11 06:11 PM ET

WASHINGTON — Medical marijuana advocates are pushing back against a new Justice Department threat to raid and prosecute medical pot shops even in states where the drug is legal.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama promised to end such raids, which were commonplace under the Bush administration. Once he took office, the Justice Department, citing that campaign pledge, issued a memo that instructed federal law enforcement officials to back off. If a person was in compliance with state and local laws, the memo instructed, just let them be.

The new memo, from Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, purports to provide “guidance” on the previous memo, but reads more like a warning shot to medical marijuana shops. The previous memo, Cole writes, “advised that it is likely not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or their caregivers.”

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