In the past, the federal government did not recognize medical marijuana laws in the 13 states that now have such laws. The result was that the federal government would prosecute aggressively those folks engaged in medical marijuana distribution despite the fact that their state allowed it. Attorney General, Eric Holder, quietly has announced that the federal government would no longer engage in these practices.
Instead, the federal government will now respect the laws of the states and will not preempt local law with federal drug policy. New Mexico and 13 other states have breathed a sigh of relief as their citizens can now rely on the law in their state.
New Mexico now has the first state-licensed medical marijuana farm and distributor. The law has been up and running for 2 years allowing medical marijuana in New Mexico. However, the state has moved cautiously awaiting the announcement of the new production and distribution program.
Despite its youth, the program has been hugely successful. The farm cannot keep up with demand. The farm is generating substantial revenue for the state helping to relieve the enormous budgetary strains that the state now faces. Yet the beat goes on with police and prosecutors continuing to prosecute simple possession of marijuana cases and possession of paraphernalia cases. Lives continue to be ruined through the criminal justice system as the State carves out a cottage industry in the production and sale of marijuana.
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