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Louisiana's governor asks Trump not to prosecute pot growers

The governor of Louisiana sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Jan. 9 asking him to reconsider his plans to ask federal agents to step up their efforts in prosecuting sellers and users of medical marijuana. His plea came less than a week after Jeff Sessions, the current U.S. Attorney General, had announced that he'd decided to overturn President Obama's more liberal drug enforcement policies put in place years ago.

Attorney General Sessions' plans to implement more aggressive drug enforcement programs couldn't come at a worse time according to proponents of Louisiana's medical marijuana movement.

Plans are in the works to make it easier for patients with prescriptions to gain access to the drug by the time summer rolls around. A list of finalists, who will be allowed to set up and grow the plant on state-regulated farms in the central portion of the state, will be announced soon.

The head prosecutor over all the U.S. attorneys in that same portion of the state claims that he doesn't see the Attorney General's plans as having much of an impact on the state's plans. Instead, he says that federal agents and prosecutors will continue to focus their attention on larger scale operations that are run by violent career criminals. He notes that he's not overly concerned with regulated programs such as the medicinal pot one.

Currently, all but four of the 50 states in the country have implemented medical marijuana laws. During the Obama administration, congress passed a resolution aimed at providing legal protection against prosecution for those working in the medical marijuana industry. This resolution, which expired on Jan. 19, covered users, processors, sellers, and growers of the drug.

Those who support the medical marijuana movement argue that, if the feds were to step in and more aggressively prosecute those involved in the industry, then many would be left with unnecessary criminal records. They also expressed concern over what happen if federal agents crack down too hard on those involved in the medical marijuana trade.

Opponents of Sessions' plans note that it's likely that many children and adults alike would experience a decline in their health as they attempted to search for a different treatment options.

If you've been arrested and charged with harvesting, selling, or distributing marijuana, then a Chalmette criminal defense attorney can advise you of potential penalties you face in your case.

Source: Houma Today, "Louisiana governor to Trump: Don’t prosecute medical pot," Melinda Deslatte, Jan. 09, 2018

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