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BAM! From the Justice Department, via the New York Times:

People who use marijuana for medical purposes and those who distribute it should not face federal prosecution, provided they act according to state law, the Justice Department said on Monday in a directive with far-reaching political and legal implications.

In a memorandum to federal prosecutors in the 14 states that make some allowance for the use of marijuana for medical purposes, the department said it was committed to the “efficient and rational use” of its resources, and that going after individuals who were in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with state laws did not meet that standard.

That is such big and long-awaited news, I'm going to quote it again, this time with bolding:


In a memorandum to federal prosecutors in the 14 states that make some allowance for the use of marijuana for medical purposes, the department said it was committed to the “efficient and rational use” of its resources, and that going after individuals who were in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with state laws did not meet that standard.

Marijuana advocacy group Oregon NORML says Oregon spends $66.1 million annually on marijuana crimes and arrests about 5,000 people. "I am very pleased at the direction the Obama campaign is headed. It is past due time for us to be treated with dignity and respect," says NORML director Madeline Martinez. Despite Attorney General Eric Holder vowing to end medical marijuana raids last February, raids continued in California. "With this news, Obama's gone that step further and it assures me that I'm safe," says Maritnez. She hopes the state will take the fed's new stance as a sign to continue pursuing the idea of a state pot garden, which was floated in the legislature during last session.