WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has announced that it will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday.
The Justice Department officials described the new policy saying that federal prosecutors will not waste their time arresting people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state laws.
This new policy is a significant departure from strict Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.
Of course this only works for the 14 member states that allow medical marijuana use and sales. The Attorney General Eric Holder said in March 2009 that he personally wanted federal law enforcement to continue to pursue those who violate both federal and state law.
The memo, the officials said, states that prosecutors have discretion in choosing which cases to pursue, and that it is not a good use of federal manpower to prosecute those who are without a doubt in compliance with state law.
It seems that the federal government is beginning to understand that not only do certain states disagree with the federal law but that the time spent policing this issue is largely a big waste of tax payers’ money. Then there is the cost of convicting and jailing those ‘criminals’, destroying more lives in the process than the original ‘crime’ and costing the tax payers even more money.