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Feds Issue New Medical Marijuana Policy

This article is more than 9 years old.

The Justice Department is issuing a new policy for pot-smoking patients and their medical marijuana suppliers.

The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines. (AP)
The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines. (AP)

A three-page memo says those abiding by state medical marijuana law shouldn't be targeted for federal prosecution.

Prosecutors are being told that chasing after those who are strictly complying with state law isn't a good use of their time.

The guidelines, however, make clear that federal agents will go after those whose marijuana distribution goes beyond what is permitted, and those using the law as a cover for other crimes.

It's a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted on enforcing federal law regardless of state code.

The Marijuana Policy Project is calling the move "a major step forward."

Fourteen states allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes. They are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

This program aired on October 19, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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