Federal decision on marijuana has locals seeking answers

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday he was re-writing the federal government’s stance on marijuana prosecution and rolling back an Obama-era policy.

So what does this mean?

It means the government will now have the authority to determine how they’ll enforce federal marijuana laws in each state.. something states didn’t have back during the Obama administration.

“I think it’s going to be a showdown sooner or later between the states and the government, we’ll all just sit back and wait ya know, for the battle to begin,” says Michael Barron, Marketing Manager at “Got Meds” Dispensary in Lansing.

Barron says when learning the federal government wants to step up enforcement on medical marijuana, it left him with questions like what’s next.

“I’m interested to see what our state and the other states are going to do, somebody’s going to have to make a move,” says Barron.

In a memo sent to out to states on Thursday, Sessions’ lifted an Obama-era policy that allowed states to operate marijuana facilities without federal intervention.

This move by Sessions’ comes just as the city of Lansing has begun to create tighter restrictions on it’s marijuana industry and as the state of Michigan is working to improve as well.

State regulators tell 6-News this latest announcement won’t stop this from happening, saying:

The Michigan Legislature has authorized the licensing of medical marihuana facilities and has required a rigorous statewide monitoring system to help keep Michigan’s citizens safe. LARA is tasked with implementing the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act and will continue to move forward in accepting and processing applications for state operating licenses.  Any questions regarding enforcement of federal law should be directed to federal authorities.”

A stance Barron believes helps him for the moment, hoping state and local leaders stand by operators if the Feds come knocking on his door.

“Does my state have my best interest in protecting me through this process if we get a license or once they get the money are we left out to dry if something goes wrong from the federal government,” says Barron.

Many other state officials have said Sessions’ memo won’t interfere with their marijuana operations and for now it will be business as usual.

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