My Fellow Americans:
Every day this Administration seeks as best it can to evaluate our nation’s existing policies and priorities to determine whether they continue to make sense or whether they are counterproductive to America’s evolving goals and ideals. As individuals, we make these sorts of re-evaluations all the time in our own lives. We learn from experience what works and what does not. We change our minds. We strive to be better. And as a nation we must do the same to ensure that the path we have chosen is still the one we want to be on.
So, after careful consideration and a through review by the Justice Department, and with the consent and cooperation of other relevant federal agencies, I announce today that this Administration will have a new approach to the issue of medical marijuana in those states which have legalized it. Our new policies are consistent with the promises I made as a candidate, they finally make good on pronouncements I made early in my term, they are faithful in their traditional deference to states’ rights, and they sensibly redirect federal resources at a time when we need every budget dollar we can find.
I have directed the attorney general to issue a directive to all U.S. attorneys and other federal officials that they may no longer raid or threaten to prosecute medical-marijuana growers and distributors in those states that have legalized the use of the drug. As of today, the federal government will be content to allow state authorities to monitor those growers and distributors to ensure that they are complying with state law. To those states we say: We are still here to help you if you need us. To the American people we say: No longer will your federal tax dollars be spent interfering with these particular state policy choices.
Read more. [Images: Reuters]