bust by Elaine Hambly

Sign of the times now but, as the song says, “The times, they are a changin’.”

By Elaine Hamby

Yesterday, Attorny General Eric Holder announced to new guidelines for Federal prosecutors  in relation to “ Investigations and Prosecutions in States Authorizing the Medical Use of Marijuana “.

In it, the prosecutors are told they “ should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana. For example, prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources.”

When Obama took office hopes were high that federal marijuana policy would change. Holder’s remarks last March were taken as a sign that policies would change.  But over the months, hopes have dimmed (see the last issue of Humboldt Grow’s essay about Obama.)

Yesterday’s announcement shook off doubts and renewed hopes for a more sensible approach to cannabis. In fact, according to NPR, the head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)  believes that this heralds a new approach by the government.

“There have already been invitations made to drug policy groups to meet with the drug policy director, something that hasn’t happened in 20 years,” NORML’s executive director, Allen St. Pierre, said.