Health — 30 August 2013

By Pat Anson, Editor

In a move that could signal a major shift in federal policy towards medical marijuana, the U.S. Justice Department said it would not challenge state laws that allow for the medical or recreational use of marijuana, as long as they do not conflict with new federal enforcement guidelines.

In a letter sent to U.S. attorneys nationwide, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the agency would not strictly enforce federal marijuana laws in the 20 states and the District of Columbia that allow medical marijuana use, provided there is “strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems” at the local level.

The new guidelines do not change marijuana’s classification as an illegal drug.

Attorney General Eric Holder also called the governors of Colorado and Washington, where recreational use of marijuana was approved by voters, and said the Department of Justice would take a “trust but verify approach” allowing the states to implement ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana.

Read more at National Pain Report.

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About Author

Pat Anson, Editor

Pat is Editor in Chief of American News Report. He is a veteran journalist and a former correspondent and producer for HealthWeek (PBS), Nightly Business Report (PBS) and other nationally syndicated shows. Pat has won numerous journalism awards, including a Golden Mike award for investigative reporting.

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