Legal Weed: Not So Fast Say Michigan’s US Attorneys
While voters pass Michigan's Proposal 1 on Tuesday, legalizing recreational marijuana, the two United State's Attorney for Western and Eastern Michigan are saying, not so fast.
Andrew Birge and Matthew Schneider, the United State's Attorneys for Western and Michigan, respectively, issued a statement Thursday saying,
Because we have taken oaths to protect and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States, we will not unilaterally immunize anyone from prosecution for violating federal laws simply because of the passage of Proposal One.
We will continue to approach the investigation and prosecution of marijuana crimes as we do with any other crime. We will consider the federal law enforcement priorities set by the United States Department of Justice, the seriousness of the crime, the deterrent effect of prosecution, and the cumulative impact of the crime on a community. As we weigh the interests in enforcing a law, we must also consider our ability to prosecute with our limited resources.
Combating illegal drugs is just one of our many priorities. We are also focused on preventing and prosecuting terrorism, violent crime, gangs, corruption, and fraud. Even within the area of drugs, we are increasingly focused on combating the opioid epidemic, which is killing our citizens at an alarming rate.
The went on to say
Our offices have never focused on the prosecution of marijuana users or low-level offenders, unless aggravating factors are present. That will not change. Nevertheless, crimes involving marijuana can pose serious risks and harm to a community. The seriousness of the offense and impact on a community includes a broad range of related activity and concerns for federal law enforcement.
Two other factors remain the same. It is still illegal to travel with marijuana to Canada and to other states where it is illegal and another twist happened on Wednesday, when President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was an outspoken is his feelings against legalized marijuana.