For a brief moment in 2009, medical marijuana advocates exhaled. A new President had taken office promising to call off the federal prosecutors in states that had legalized weed for the sick. “What I’m not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue,” Barack Obama had said during his presidential campaign. In his first year in office, the Justice Department told prosecutors not to focus on “individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” Medical marijuana patients and the growing industry that supported them thought they were in the clear.
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