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Confusion Reigns on Medical Marijuana Prosecutions

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Recent comments by Attorney General Eric Holder have apparently sent mixed signals to prosecutors in California about the Obama administration’s approach to medical-marijuana cases.

The Los Angeles Times reported March 7 that shortly after Holder seemed to indicate that the government would halt raids on medical-marijuana dispensaries, U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien sent a memo to Los Angeles area prosecutors instructing them to stop filing charges against medical-marijuana providers. However, O’Brien reversed the decision just days later, telling prosecutors to resume working on the cases.

Further, an official from the U.S. Justice Department said that Holder had not directed local AGs to change their policies regarding medical marijuana.

Federal prosecutors and the DEA continued to raid medical-marijuana dispensaries in California after Obama took office, even though he indicated support for medical marijuana during his campaign.

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