This May Be the End of "Legal" Cannabis

As various states have “legalized” cannabis sales, and refused to enforce federal law, many businesses have grown to sell the stuff. But the good times may be over for these drug dealers.


In this Dec. 29, 2017, photo, Khalil Moutawakkil, co-founder and CEO of KindPeoples, poses for a portrait with some marijuana plants in his dispensary in Santa Cruz, Calif. Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a stronger-than-normal whiff of marijuana as America’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the state’s first legal retail pot sales. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The entire “legalized pot” industry has depended on the states refusing to enforce federal law (their right under federalism), but also on a lack of federal agents going after them directly. But according to the Associated Press, that’s going to change:

The move will leave it to U.S. attorneys where pot is legal to decide whether to aggressively enforce federal marijuana law. The move likely will add to confusion about whether it’s OK to grow, buy or use marijuana in states where it’s legal, since long-standing federal law prohibits it.

The decision comes days after California began selling recreational marijuana.

Federalism cuts both ways, and elections have consequences.



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