On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice issued new guidance on the prosecution of marijuana offenses. The guidance essentially asks federal prosecutors to look the other way when a state or locality has a regulated marijuana program with tight controls.
Mike DeBonis reports in the Post:
There is a catch, the memo makes clear: Localities with legalized marijuana industries must have “strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to control the cultivation, distribution, sale, and possession of marijuana.”
“A system adequate to that task must not only contain robust controls and procedures on paper; it must also be effective in practice,” the memo continues. “Jurisdictions that have implemented systems that provide for regulation of marijuana activity must provide the necessary resources and demonstrate the willingness to enforce their laws and regulations in a manner that ensures they do not undermine federal enforcement priorities.”
By that standard, the District should be in good stead. The city’s medical marijuana system is among the nation’s most tightly regulated, with a strictly limited number of cultivation centers and dispensaries; tight security and handling requirements; and recommendations limited to patients certified by a doctor to be suffering from a small number of maladies.
Real DeBonis’ full piece on the potential effect on DC’s medical marijuana program here.