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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

U.S. to ease medical marijuana prosecutions

Amir Adib / Arizona Daily Wildcat


A glass pipe used for smoking marijuana.
Amir Adib / Arizona Daily Wildcat A glass pipe used for smoking marijuana.

WASHINGTONThe Justice Department said Monday that it would mellow out on prosecuting medical marijuana users in the 14 states in which therapeutic pot smoking was allowed.

Breaking sharply from the Bush administration, Attorney GeneralEric Holderformally directed federal prosecutors in California, Washington and a dozen other medical-marijuana states to refocus their investigations on more serious targets.

“”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,”” Holder said.

At the same time, he stressed that “”we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal.””

The newly clarified policy amplifies earlier Obama statements. Then-candidateBarack Obamahad declared while campaigning that he wouldn’t interfere with states in which voters had agreed to permit prescription marijuana use.

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(c) 2009, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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