News reports from across the nation indicated early Thursday morning that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had decided to rescind the Cole Memorandum, an Obama-era policy that set new standards for how federal prosecutors handle marijuana cases.
Under the Cole Memorandum in 2013, new priorities were set that allowed states to individually distribute and consume marijuana for both medicinal and recreational means.
This June 27, 2017 file photo shows popcorn shaped marijuana nuggets in a plastic container at the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary owned by Jerred Kiloh in Los Angeles. When U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions green-lighted federal prosecutors to pursue violators of federal marijuana laws, not only states that legalized recreational pot are at risk of a crackdown, but so is most of the rest of America. All but four states allow some form of medical marijuana, even Sessions' home state of Alabama.
With the memo being repealed, it is easier for federal prosecutors to take states to task over their relaxed marijuana regulations.
In Nevada, where recreational use is legal, the business of marijuana is extremely profitable to many local areas.
Attorney General Sessions' decision could potentially be damaging to dozens of Nevada communities, such as Mesquite, that benefit from the revenue marijuana generates.
The marijuana dispensary in Mesquite, Deep Roots Harvest, declined to comment on the decision
Several members of Nevada congress have come forth in defiance of the resolution.
In this Dec. 15, 2017 file photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. Sessions on Friday launched a review of a little-known but widely used practice of immigration judges closing cases without decisions, potentially reshaping immigration courts and putting hundreds of thousands of people in greater legal limbo.
Nevada Congresswoman Jacky Rosen
"Nevadans made it clear at the ballot box in 2016 that they support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes, and their decision should stand,” said Rosen. “These reported actions are an insult to Nevada voters, an affront to states’ rights, and a threat to our local economy.”
Nevada Congressman Ruben J. Kihuen
"Secretary Sessions’ decision clashes with the will of hundreds of thousands of Nevadans and millions of Americans who have voted in favor of marijuana legalization," said Kihuen. "This decision will not only impact the marijuana industry and the thousands of jobs it is creating, but it will put at risk a stable source of vital tax revenue for our state.”
Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus
“This latest move from Attorney General Sessions and the Trump Administration is a direct attack on the State of Nevada, sovereign tribal governments, and the rights of people in states, tribes, and territories all across the United States,” said Congresswoman Dina Titus, a founding member of the House Cannabis Caucus.
“The decision to rescind the Cole and Wilkinson memos undermines Nevada’s $622 million dollar industry, threatens nearly $1 billion in new investments, and jeopardizes thousands of new jobs and more than $60 million dollars in tax revenue for the State."
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