Medical Marijuana – The Federal Response

Medical marijuana regulations are clearly state-specific, and there are no federal laws authorising the use and cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes. In fact, federal laws banning the possession, selling, and cultivation of cannabis are in direct contrast with several state laws allowing the use of prescription marijuana for medical purposes. read more

Until recently, the federal government’s exact response to state medical marijuana rules was unknown, but since Attorney General Eric Holder’s memo on October 9th, 2009, the federal government’s stance has become a little less ambiguous.

The memo details how federal resources should continue to be focused on combating organised drug trafficking across the fifty states, but it also states that resources should not be spent on individuals who are in full compliance with local, county, and state medical marijuana regulations. Major budget shortfalls in law enforcement around the country provided additional rationale for this position.

The Justice Department memo also addresses how criminal organisations can masquerade as legal operations for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis, and how to identify these organisations using a few guidelines. The government can also launch an investigation if a suspected suspect or group of suspects is in possession of illegal weapons or using them illegally in conjunction with cannabis cultivation.

The government will pursue, investigate, and prosecute a group of criminals who are cultivating cannabis while committing terror, trafficking to minors, producing or selling other illicit drugs, or working for organised crime.