Led by an outspoken legalization opponent, Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department is reviewing federal marijuana policy, with significant changes possible soon. Almost nothing about the review process is publicly known and key players in the policy debate have not been contacted.
The outcome of the review could devastate a multibillion-dollar industry and countermand the will of voters in eight states if the Obama administration’s permissive stance on non-medical sales is reversed.
What is known: The review is being conducted by a subcommittee of a larger crime-reduction task force that will issue recommendations by July 27. The subcommittee was announced in April alongside other subcommittees reviewing charging and sentencing.
The task force is co-chaired by Steve Cook, an assistant U.S. attorney in Tennessee who like Sessions advocates harsh criminal penalties and a traditional view of drug prohibition. The other co-chair is Robyn Thiemann, a longtime department official who… Continue reading
Katie Kuntz, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News
8:39 p.m. EDT August 12, 2014
Seven months after Colorado legalized recreational pot, the state has an unexpected problem. It needs to grow more.
Because even though sales have surged, only about 60% of the marijuana sold is the legal variety. The rest is either illegal or grown unregulated in the so-called gray market, where unlicensed citizens can grow for their own use.
Colorado residents and visitors will consume an estimated 287,000 pounds of marijuana in 2014, but only about 170,000 pounds will come from legal medical or recreational outlets, according to a report commissioned by the state Marijuana Enforcement Division.
The rest, about 118,000 pounds, or 41%, is expected to be produced by people who can legally grow up to six pot plants for personal consumption, registered caregivers who provide marijuana to medical patients, and black… Continue reading