Marijuana Legalization: State Initiatives, Implications, and Issues


Jason Derrickson (Editor)

Series: Drug Transit and Distribution, Interception and Control
BISAC: LAW000000

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug across the world, including in the United States. The federal government prohibits the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, and possession of marijuana. Over the last few decades, some states have deviated from an across-the-board prohibition of marijuana. Evolving state-level positions on marijuana include decriminalization initiatives, legal exceptions for medical use, and legalization of certain quantities for recreational use. These latest moves have spurred a number of questions regarding their potential implications for related federal law enforcement activities and for the nation’s drug policies as a whole.

Among these questions is whether or to what extent state initiatives should decriminalize, or even legalize, the use of marijuana conflict with federal law. This book provides a background on federal marijuana policy as well as an overview of state trends with respect to marijuana decriminalization and legalization—for both medical and recreational uses. It then analyzes relevant issues for U.S. federal law enforcement as well as for the criminal organizations involved in producing, distributing, and profiting from the black market sale of marijuana. The book also outlines a number of related policy questions that Congress may confront. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. State Marijuana Legalization Initiatives: Implications for Federal Law Enforcement
Lisa N. Sacco and Kristin Finklea

Chapter 2. State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues
Todd Garvey and Brian T. Yeh

Chapter 3. Memorandum for all United States Attorneys: Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement
James M. Cole

Chapter 4. BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

Chapter 5. Guidance Regarding Marijuana Related Financial Crimes
James M. Cole

Chapter 6. Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee. Hearing on ”Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws”

Chapter 7. Testimony of James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, United States Department of Justice. Hearing on ”Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws”

Chapter 8. Testimony of Sheriff John Urquhart, King County Sheriff’s Office. Hearing on ”Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws”

Chapter 9. Statement of Jack Finlaw, Chief Legal Counsel, Office of Governor John W. Hickenlooper. Hearing on ”Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws”

Chapter 10. Testimony of Kevin Sabet, Ph.D., Director, University of Florida Drug Policy Institute. Hearing on ―Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws


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