When U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday rescinded Obama-era policies shielding marijuana-legalized states, John W. Vardaman III said he wasn’t exactly surprised. The former Department of Justice attorney and current Hypur general counsel had, like everyone else, heard and read Sessions’ criticisms of cannabis use and states that have chosen to allow it.
What did stun Vardaman was the vague and short nature of the memo. In three paragraphs and a footnote, Sessions axed five DOJ guidance documents on marijuana and simply urged prosecutors to “follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions.” Among the discarded documents is the original 2013 Cole memo. Written by then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the memo details steps states with legalized marijuana can take, such as keeping the drug away from kids, to avoid a federal crackdown.
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