It's official. The Justice Department issued a memo this morning advising federal prosecutors not to go after medical marijuana dispensaries that are operating in accordance with the legal guidelines of their respective states.
You can read the memo here.
"It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana, but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
So the announcement indicates federal authorities will not turn a blind eye to shady entrepreneurs trying to get a free ride on the marijuana bandwagon. Nor does it appear have any bearing on LA County District Attorney Steve Cooley's pledge last week to crack down on illegal pot clinics. It simply suggests the feds may be trading places with local authorities. LA County law enforcement agencies have tended to be tolerant of dispensaries. Now it appears they may be leading the crackdowns, while the feds back off.