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Federal Government Will No Longer Raid Medical Marijuana Establishments

The new U.S. Attorney General in President Obama’s administration stated that the federal government has changed its policy and will not raid medical marijuana establishments in states where selling marijuana for medicinal purposes is legal. Medical marijuana is legal in thirteen states. Florida is not one of them, and none of those states are in the South.

One might ask how law enforcement officials can legally raid a medical marijuana facility if the state has made it legal to sell marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. The reason is that the particular state’s law may say it is legal but federal law may say it is not. As a result, under the Bush administration, federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents and other federal law enforcement officials were directed to raid medical marijuana locations pursuant to federal drug laws despite the contrary state marijuana laws.

However, under Obama, that is expected to change. This should not directly affect residents of Jacksonville or other cities in Florida (unless and until Florida legalizes marijuana for medicinal purposes), but it does clearly indicate a shift in the priorities of the current federal government away from targeting and prosecuting marijuana users, at least in the states where medical marijuana is legal.