News: In the News

Frosh: Sessions decision on marijuana legalization 'inhumane'

Cannabis Attorney Quoted in the Baltimore Business Journal

By Morgan Eichensehr  –  Reporter, Baltimore Business Journal

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh called a move by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday to rescind Obama-era policies that allowed for state-based marijuana legalization without federal interference, "inhumane."

Frosh said this decision has the potential to cause fear and disruption in nascent marijuana industries across the country, including those like Maryland's, specifically designed to meet the needs of the very ill.

A majority of states have marijuana industries today, acting within a regulatory environment established by the Obama Administration. That administration took a largely hands-off approach to legality and enforcement issues around marijuana.

An attorney with Offit Kurman's Cannabis Law Practice, said there is no "immediate legal effect" to Sessions's decision, because technically the Obama-era policies never provided any true legal protection and federal prosecutors have always been free to pursue charges for marijuana law violations if they so chose.

Maryland has been working to launch its state-regulated medical cannabis industry for over four years. The first licensed dispensaries opened their doors in December. And over 17,000 patients have been registered to purchase cannabis products in the state.

She pointed out medical marijuana states, like Maryland, could be protected under a legal provision called the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which was passed in 2014 and prohibits the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent states from implementing medical marijuana laws.

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