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Alme said in news release, “Yesterday, the Attorney General rescinded the Cole Memo on marijuana prosecutions and directed that federal marijuana prosecution decisions be governed by the same principles that govern all federal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.”
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.