Sessions’ Rollback on Marijuana Guidelines Leaves States with Unanswered Questions

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Recent policy changes by U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions is creating doubt for states where medical marijuana is legal.

More change ahead, or just more of the same?

“The impact for the state of North Dakota’s medical marijuana program has yet to be determined,” Jason Wahl, interim director, ND Department of Health, Division of Medical Marijuana says.

Sessions recently withdrew Obama era guidelines that limited prosecutions of businesses that sell marijuana in states where it’s legal.

“The department’s goal is going to continue to be implementing a safe and well regulated medical marijuana program,” Wahl says.

North Dakota is one in nearly 30 states to legalize medical marijuana which is leaving what’s next for states up for question.

“The department of health will continue to implement the medical marijuana program as required by the law passed by the 2017 legislative session,” Wahl says.

The attorney general’s recent memo restated that marijuana is dangerous and marijuana activity is still considered a serious crime.

But marijuana activists say the memo itself is misleading.

“Jeff Sessions is only trying to push [legalization] backwards,” Keedan Holzworth, marijuana activist says.

And when it comes to medical marijuana, the state and the public have spoken.

“State legislators made up their mind and decided that we were going to pass medical [marijuana],” Holzworth says.

But the Division of Medical Marijuana will be keeping tabs on any changes made at the federal level.

“We’ll continue to monitor information from the federal government and we’ll provide updates to the public,” Wahl says.

As North Dakota gets that much closer to providing medical marijuana to patients.

KX News reached out to North Dakota’s U.S. Attorney Christopher Myers for comment.

He says Sessions’ memo gives each attorney the discretion to approach prosecution of marijuana in each of their districts and it’s just too early to tell how this will affect the medical marijuana issue in North Dakota.

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