Good news on the medical marijuana front. On Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a policy shift in the way this administration will handle facilities producing marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a change in medical marijuana policy Wednesday, saying federal agents will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law.
That would be a departure from the Bush administration, which targeted medical marijuana dispensaries in California even if they complied with that state’s law.
“The policy is to go after those people who violate both federal and state law,” Holder said in a question-and-answer session with reporters at the Justice Department.
California law permits the sale of marijuana for medical purposes, though it still is against federal law.
Holder did not spell out exactly who no longer would face the prospect of raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration. But he was quick to add that law enforcement officers will target anyone who tries to “use medical marijuana laws as a shield” for illegal activity.
“Given the limited resources that we have, our focus will be on people, organizations that are growing, cultivating substantial amounts of marijuana and doing so in a way that’s inconsistent with federal and state law,” the attorney general said.
This may be a step toward the decriminalization of marijuana used for, ah, recreational purposes. It may not. But either way, it’s a step in the right direction.