Justice Department Comments On Marijuana Legalization

The statement was made at the Heritage Foundation

The Trump administration is looking at Obama-era guidance that generally allows states to legalize marijuana without fear of federal interference.

“We are reviewing it. We’re looking at the states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, trying to evaluate what the impact is,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in an appearance at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Under the so-called “Cole Memo,” named after the former Obama Justice Department official who authored it in 2013, the federal government set out certain criteria that, if followed, would allow states to implement their own laws mostly without intervention.

What it means for retail: The federal government is the last hurdle to legalization nationwide, and the Trump administration’s outlook on pot is a lot different from the Obama administration. The Cole Memo from 2013 gives state governments the cover they need to allow medicinal and recreational marijuana to be sold legally, and any changes to that will have large consequences on the retail market. Right now the Justice Department is only reviewing the memo, but keep on the lookout for any more announcements or changes.

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