On January Fourth, the Justice Department issued a new memo to prosecutors regarding marijuana enforcement in legal states. This new memo, signed personally by Attorney General for the moment Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, rescinds all the previous memos that were issued during the Obama administration and officially returns the Justice Department to the policies of the Clinton and Bush administrations.
The Ogden and Cole memos in the Obama administration were important symbolically, yet they had limited effectiveness when it comes to actually curbing law enforcement excesses. In spite of the official spin, the Obama administration carried out a number of raids against medical marijuana businesses and also exerted pressure on landlords, even threatening forfeiture.
Those memos were a symbol that under Obama the diehard drug warriors were not going to be in charge, yet they only kept the DOJ on a very loose leash. Still, they were at least a little restrained, but now the leash has come off.
To be clear, we do not know what the administration will do next. The marijuana industry is not going to go away no matter what the feds do, there’s no question of that. But if anyone is still saying oh they wouldn’t dare try anything against marijuana businesses because it would be stupid, then those people are just not paying attention to this administration.