9.18.2013

New Federal Policy On Medical Marijuana Should Favor Nevada

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Favored

The Justice Department just recently announced a new federal policy on marijuana that should favor or help protect Nevada’s medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Department of Justice memorandum directs U.S. Attorneys in all 50 states to not interfere with State marijuana regulations unless they specifically undermine eight explicit federal law enforcement priorities.  See Department of Justice Memo Link for Factors.

The memo goes on to state that prosecutors should not focus on the size of the dispensary alone, but review cases on a case-by-case basis that consider whether a dispensary is in compliance with strong and effective state regulatory system.  The memo suggest that if states have robust controls and procedures that address and deter the eight federal priorities, not only on paper but in practice, then prosecutors should not focus on such dispensaries.

Nevada Senate Bill 374, which contains extensive license requirements and regulation on medical marijuana dispensaries, should be enough to ensure dispensaries in Nevada do not run afoul with the eight federal law enforcement priorities.  However, this memo is no guarantee that the Federal government will leave licensed Nevada dispensaries alone.  As the memo clearly states, “…this memorandum is intended solely as a guide to the exercise of investigative and prosecutorial discretion.”

The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata.

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