Montana U.S. Attorney Kurt G. Alme, courtesy U.S. Dept. of Justice

BILLINGS- Montana U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme issued a statement Friday on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole Memo.

The Cole Memo, issued under the Obama administration, gave guidance to U.S. attorneys saying prosecutors shouldn’t focus on states that legalized it, as long as they had strong, effective regulations to keep it out of the hands of minors and stop it from being diverted for other illegal activity.

The new policy gives U.S. attorneys in each state more authority to decide whether to prosecute marijuana-related cases.

Alme said in news release, “Yesterday, the Attorney General rescinded the Cole Memo on marijuana prosecutions and directed that federal marijuana prosecution decisions be governed by the same principles that govern all federal prosecution decisions. The United States Attorney’s Office in Montana is guided by these principles in marijuana prosecutions — focusing in particular on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our citizens and communities. Consistent with the Attorney General’s latest guidance, we will continue to take this approach in all of our work with our law enforcement partners throughout Montana.”

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Alme was nominated for Montana U.S. Attorney last June by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-MT, and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate last October.

The District of Montana is the largest geographical federal court district in the continental United States. Medical marijuana was approved by voters in 2004. Last year, the Legislature approved Senate Bill 333, which increased state oversight and regulation of medical marijuana.

Marijuana use and possession is still against federal law.


  1. I think a lot of this is because the federal government hasn’t figured out a way to get on the multi billion dollar business. They (federal government)went to war on something that should have been dealt with in the same manner as alcohol. Similar laws and taxes. That’s all it will take. Then maybe we can improve our education system.

  2. It makes no sense for the Trump administration to reverse this longstanding, successful policy. Over the past years, over 150,000 jobs have been created in the legal cannabis market. Regulated statewide marijuana markets have provided an economic increase for numerous cities and states. At the same time, these laws have not been associated with serious adverse public health consequences. For example, teen marijuana use and access have fallen significantly in recent years, as have opioid-related hospitalizations and mortality in legal states.

  3. US Constitution, Article [X.] “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”. The Federal Justice Department has no jurisdiction or delegated power over marijuana sold within the State of Montana. Why the hell isn’t AG Sessions investigating and prosecuting blatant violations of the law in Washington DC? Sessions should resign or be fired by Trump. Drain the Swamp. “Justice, my ass”.

  4. Thank you for just reporting the news and not adding any bias. It’s getting really hard to find just news without some kind of political or personal bias infused into it.