New Memo from Congressional Research Service
January 16, 2018 | David Mangone
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a memorandum analyzing the Justice Department’s Decision to rescind Obama-era guidance on federal cannabis policy including the Cole Memo, the Ogden Memos, the Wilkinson memo on cannabis on tribal lands and the FinCen guidance which created policies for financial institutions interacting with cannabis businesses. CRS is a non-partisan office in the Library of Congress that provides legislative advice and analysis to both parties in a neutral way.
The memo released by CRS highlights that the move by the Justice Department gives greater flexibility to individual federal prosecutors and decentralizes federal policy on cannabis enforcement decisions. The memo also indicates that without centralized federal guidance on cannabis, there is greater uncertainty as it could allow simultaneously for “continued restraint or more aggressive enforcement.”
Federal protections for medical cannabis patients through the CJS Medical Marijuana patients expire on Friday, January 19th without action by Congress.