Local officials are beginning to decide if they want medical marijuana businesses in their communities before the state starts giving out licenses next year. Wochit
Medical marijuana being grown in Warren.(Photo: William Archie, Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo
The U.S. Department of Justice is throwing a wrench into the fledgling marijuana business across the country, just as Michigan is on the cusp of regulating and taxing the medical marijuana industry.
The Justice Department is set to roll back a policy implemented during the administration of former President Barack Obama to not challenge state laws that allow people to use pot for medical and recreational uses. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an outspoken critic of legalized marijuana, wants to step up enforcement on what the federal government categorizes as an illegal drug.
The decision comes just days after California implemented its law to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the eighth state to legalize cannabis for adults.
“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” Sessions in a statement. “Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”
The move has medical marijuana advocates and potential business owners in Michigan scrambling for clarification on what this will mean