The Obama administration had – until this week – been taking a sort of laissez-faire approach to medical marijuana, if not one of outright benign neglect. Not anymore, apparently:
As some states seek to increase regulation but also further protect and institutionalize medical marijuana, federal prosecutors are suddenly asserting themselves, authorizing raids and sending strongly worded letters that have cast new uncertainty on an issue that has long brimmed with tension between federal and state law.
No one seems to know why the sudden change in tactics or viewpoints – although in the article, “a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, Jessica Smith, said: ‘This is not a change in policy. It’s a reiteration of the guidance that was handed down in 2009 by the deputy attorney general’.” That comes as news to various states’ officials, not to mention the burgeoning growth industry in medical marijuana dispensaries, who are quite clear the climate has changed. It’d be interesting to know whether this truly is a defacto (if not stated) change in policy, and why, or whether it’s merely much ado about nothing from the pot growers. Either way, its seeming less and less likely that this guy will be making a (re)appearance on the campaign trail any time soon: