Legal experts do not expect a flood of new cases, and people familiar with the job of US attorney say prosecutors could decide against using already limited resources to seek criminal charges against cannabis companies that abide by state regulations or their customers.
Donoghue had previously taken part in the Justice Department's war against street gangs on Long Island.
"We use the money we get from marijuana sales to fund our school resource officer and to bring in a D.A.R.E officer to speak to the schools", North Bend City Administrator Terence O'Connor said.
Still, some were surprised by the move, which introduces extreme uncertainty into a flourishing market of growers, sellers, and buyers of marijuana.
The potential political fallout may be clearer: Republican Sen.
The Colorado senator said Sessions promised him that he would not repeal the Obama-era policy on lenient enforcement before being confirmed as the nation's top law enforcement official.
"It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law", Sessions said in a statement.
In Colorado, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said his office will continue to focus on "identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our communities around the state".
The decision, which rescinds previous marijuana prosecution policies, comes just days after the State of California began legal recreation sales of marijuana on January 1. He said he opposed legalization at the ballot box but his office defended the law against lawsuits once it passed.
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"This is a direct betrayal of President Trump's campaign promise, which he made in Colorado", Kopel told TAC on Thursday.
"When the policy is so broad and uncertain that it's left case by case to different decision makers, it creates confusion and uncertainty that can be unjust", Walsh said.
Jones said Session's decision is contrary to good law enforcement practice for the federal Department of Justice to waste time and resources going after legitimate cannabis businesses and consumers in California.
Some in the marijuana industry are taking a similar wait-and-see approach.
But at Green Dragon, Levine said the move won't cause any changes and they won't slow growth plans or scale back any operations.
The policy being rescinded is known as the Cole memorandum, and was enacted as a response to several states passing more lenient responses to non-violent marijuana crimes, and a few years later recreational use. Just Sessions' announcement has already sparked backlash from politicians on both sides of the aisle, he noted. "Without that support, it's hard to see how the industry keeps growing", Sabet said.
Former Republican Maryland state delegate Don Murphy, who now works in conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the AG's move, presumably sanctioned by Trump, is odd considering the populist wave in favor of decriminalizing marijuana across the country-not only in blue states, but places like Arkansas, the first Bible Belt state to legalize medical marijuana, and with 53 percent of the vote.
Sessions's long-dreamed-of crackdown has been expected by critics since he was confirmed previous year.