Monday, October 19, 2009

Feds chill out on medical pot

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 11:30 AM

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The Obama administration finally issued new guidance on medical marijuana to federal prosecutors today, and patients are lighting up in celebration. As expected, the White House recommends that law enforcement only focus on high-level traffickers and dealers who use state laws to cover commercial operations.

From U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, via the Washington Post:

"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. This balanced policy formalizes a sensible approach that the Department has been following since January: effectively focus our resources on serious drug traffickers while taking into account state and local laws."

Montana is one of 14 states to allow the use of medical marijuana. The Indy detailed the state's policy — and the progress of the medical marijuana fight — in February. More recently, we reported that so many new patients were applying for ID cards that DPHHS couldn't meet demand, causing delays of up to six weeks.

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