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US Attorney In Mass. Says He'll Still Enforce Federal Marijuana Laws

Massachusetts recently legalized recreational marijuana, but the top DOJ official in the state says it's still federally illegal.
Posted at 8:52 PM, Jul 10, 2018

Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana, but the state's U.S. attorney wants people to know it's still federally illegal.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling put out a statement Tuesday saying it's his "constitutional obligation" to enforce the federal law. He wrote, "I will not effectively immunize the residents of the Commonwealth from federal marijuana enforcement."

But he said his office's primary goal is fighting the opioid epidemic. With that in mind, he specified what type of marijuana enforcement he expects his office to focus on: overproduction, targeted sales to minors and organized crime.

That focus seems to align with comments from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In March, Sessions said the Department of Justice didn't have the resources to go after small-time marijuana cases. 

Lelling said his office will consider marijuana prosecution on a case-by-case basis.