Marijuana advocates in Michigan are responding to news that Obama-era guidelines advocating federal non-interference with marijuana-friendly states are being thrown out.
Many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, but it remains illegal at the federal level., And that creates a contradiction between state and federal law.
The Obama-era guidelines helped bridge that gap - giving states with varying degrees of marijuana legalization a hands-off approach from the federal government. With the end of these guidelines, individual US District Attorneys will be able to decide how - or if - to prosecute pot.
Brad Forrester is with the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. He said this may have a short-term chilling effect.
“In the short term, this may slow some investment down. It may scare some people who wanted to get into the cannabis business from a state licensed commercial perspective.”
But Forrester says it’s hard to imagine the federal government will be able to roll back state legalization efforts in the long term.
“29 states have medical marijuana now. 6 states have legalized marijuana. It’s untenable that we have this conflict between all these state laws and one federal law.”
Michigan’s District Attorneys did not immediately respond to our request for comment.