Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a memo that sets the legalization of marijuana back a step.
He announced that the Trump administration has rescinded a bill that former President Obama passed into law, protecting the possession and distribution of weed in states where it is legal to do so, either for recreational or medical purposes.
The federal law hasn’t changed, meaning that possessing marijuana is still illegal under federal law. The Sessions memo paves the way for federal prosecutors to go after those who have the plant, with each prosecutor having the option of deciding how aggressively they’d like to prosecute.
The state of Colorado is one of the eight states where the drug is legal for recreational states, and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado was outraged by the move. He tweeted, saying that the Justice Department has trampled against the vote of the people.
Gardner added that he would take all the steps necessary to battle the move by Sessions, including holding up the nominees of the Justice Department. Other Senators may join him in the fight.
“In deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under these laws with the Department’s finite resources, prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions” in regards to how serious of a crime it is based on how it impacts a neighborhood or community, wrote Sessions.