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U.S. government sends mixed messages to states over medical pot

As states around the country consider legalizing medical marijuana, the federal government has been reminding state officials that marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law. U.S. prosecutors are warning state employees that they are not immune from prosecution by the U.S. government if they are involved in the production and distribution of marijuana, even for medical purposes.

The federal government has sent mixed messages about medical marijuana. U.S. attorneys general say that the Justice Department is not interested in using its limited resources to prosecute seriously ill people who are using marijuana for medical purposes as prescribed by a doctor and under state law, but they remind officials that medical marijuana is only meant for truly ill people in possession of small amounts of marijuana.

In states that are considering passing legislation to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, U.S. prosecutors have warned that state employees are not immune from prosecution if they take part in regulating this production and distribution of marijuana.

According to a recent article by The Denver Channel, the U.S. attorney of Colorado sent a letter to the governor of the state, warning him that state employees could be prosecuted by federal authorities for being involved in the distribution of marijuana, even if regulating the production of medical marijuana dispensaries. Other states have received similar warnings. Montana lawmakers have tried to repeal a medical marijuana law after raids by federal authorities. In Washington, the governor said she would not support legislation that could put state employees at risk for arrest by federal prosecutors.


Federal Officials Warn Colo., Other States About Medical Pot Sanctions (The Denver Channel)

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