New Memo Indicates Feds Will Not Honor State Medical Marijuana Laws

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By BETH DeFALCO, Associated Press

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The U.S. Justice Department says that marijuana dispensaries and licensed growers in states with medical marijuana laws could face prosecution for violating federal drug and money-laundering laws.

In a policy memo to federal prosecutors obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole said a 2009 memo by then-Deputy Attorney General David Ogden did not give states cover from prosecution.

In 2009, the Justice Department told prosecutors they should not focus investigative resources on patients and caregivers complying with state medical marijuana laws.

The new memo says that view has not changed.

"There has, however, been an increase in the scope of commercial cultivation, sale, distribution and use of marijuana for purported medical purposes," says the new memo by Cole.

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