Text of the Department of Justice’s “Cole Memo” – June 29, 2011
|| 7/31/2011 || 1:59 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
Following up on the Ogden Memo, I decided to post the “Cole Memo” below:
MEMORANDUM FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
FROM: James M. Cole
Deputy Attorney General
SUBJECT: Guidance Regarding the Ogden Memo in Jurisdictions
Seeking to Authorize Marijuana for Medical Use
Over the last several months some of you have requested the Department’s assistance in responding to inquiries from State and local governments seeking guidance about the Department’s position on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in jurisdictions that have under consideration, or have implemented, legislation that would sanction and regulate the commercial cultivation and distribution ofmarijuana purportedly for medical use. Some of these jurisdictions have considered approving the cultivation of large quantities of marijuana, or broadening the regulation and taxation of the substance. You may have seen letters responding to these inquiries by several United States Attorneys. Those letters are entirely consistent with the October 2009 memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana (the “Ogden Memo“).
The Department ofJustice is committed to the enforcement ofthe Controlled Substances Act in all States. Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels. The Ogden Memorandum provides guidance to you in deploying your resources to enforce the CSA as part of the exercise of the broad discretion you are given to address federal criminal matters within your districts.
Text of the Department of Justice’s “Ogden Memo” – October 19, 2009
|| 7/30/2011 || 1:56 pm || + Render A Comment || ||
In the yesterday’s newspaper article the DOJ’s 2009 Ogden Memo was mentioned, here is the full text of the document:
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Deputy Attorney General
The Deputy Attorney General
Washington, D.C. 20530
MEMORANDUM FOR SELECTED UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
FROM: David W. Ogden
Deputy Attorney General
SUBJECT: Investigations and Prosecutions in States
Authorizing the Medical Use of Marijuana
This memorandum provides clarification and guidance to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana. These laws vary in their substantive provisions and in the extent of state regulatory oversight, both among the enacting States and among local jurisdictions within those States. Rather than developing different guidelines for every possible variant of state and local law, this memorandum provides uniform guidance to focus federal investigations and prosecutions in these States on core federal enforcement priorities.
The Department of Justice is committed to the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in all States. Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug, and the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime and provides a significant source of revenue to large-scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels. One timely example underscores the importance of our efforts to prosecute significant marijuana traffickers: marijuana distribution in the United States remains the single largest source of revenue for the Mexican cartels.