In spite of the significant progress that medical marijuana advocates have made in states such as Michigan, the United States Justice Department has clearly stated its intention to enforce federal prohibitions against state authorized marijuana production and distribution networks. Though the medical marijuana community had taken solace from a 2009 Department of Justice memorandum, which suggested a more lenient approach toward medical marijuana cultivation and state sanctioned dispensaries, the Justice Department has notified U.S. attorneys of its intention to enforce existing federal marijuana laws. The apparent federal initiative has given pause to marijuana rights advocates. It is now abundantly clear that medical marijuana laws in States like Michigan will not be honored by the justice department, making individuals involved in the production or distribution of medical marijuana subject to criminal prosecution.
Representatives of the growing cannabis industry have reacted negatively to the federal government’s reinvigorated enforcement approach. A U.S. Department of Justice directive clearly stated that the production or distribution of marijuana will not be interpreted as a legitimate business, in keeping with the federal Controlled Substances Act and other relevant federal laws. The enhanced enforcement policy places in jeopardy, medicinal marijuana laws in 16 states and the District of Columbia. U.S. attorneys continue to possess the authority to prosecute violations of the Controlled Substances Act.
Drug enforcement authorities claim that the medicinal marijuana industry includes illegal commercial drug trafficking operations. Nevertheless, the conflict between federal drug enforcement policy and the various states, where medicinal marijuana laws have been approved by state legislatures or direct voter approval, raises questions concerning the legal right of cancer patients and other seriously ill individuals to utilize marijuana for the relief of pain and other illness related symptoms. It does appear that even smaller marijuana producers and distributors will not be protected from this federal crack-down on the medicinal marijuana industry.
With over 30 years of legal and trial experience, David M. Clark and the Clark Law Office are prepared to provide effective professional legal representation. Our criminal defense attorneys in Lansing possess significant experience representing clients who wish to exercise their legal rights under the provisions of Michigan medicinal marijuana laws. Call today for a free consultation at (517) 347-6900, regarding any legal issue you may be facing.