Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it will be rescinding the Cole Memo and that it will restore discretion to U.S. Attorneys on how they prioritize the investigation and prosecution of violations of federal drug laws involving marijuana. The IACP strongly supports this policy change.
In 2013, the Cole memo announced how the U.S. Department of Justice would alter its enforcement efforts regarding the federal law as it relates to marijuana legalization. At that time, the IACP announced its opposition to the Cole Memo because of its longstanding position against the legalization of marijuana and the public safety risks it imposes to communities. Today’s action by the Department of Justice is consistent with IACP policy and would allow for legal action to preempt the state marijuana legalization laws that conflict with federal law; and enable U.S. Attorneys to enforce federal law concerning marijuana as Congress intended when it enacted the Controlled Substances Act.