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How Will New Federal Drug Policy Guidelines Play Out In San Diego?


Alex Kreit, Associate Professor of Law, at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. Former chair of the San Diego Medical Marijuana task force.


August was an interesting month, not just in San Diego politics, but also in terms of federal drug policy.

The U.S. Department of Justice unveiled two directives. In the first the DOJ stated it would not sue the two states that have recently legalized recreational marijuana use.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Professor Alex Kreit has written extensively on U.S. drug policy. He said only time will tell if the results of this new policy will be any different from the results of a similar memo released in 2009.

In response to changes to the federal marijuana enforcement policy, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement, "State and local regulatory schemes must be tough in practice, and include strong, state-based enforcement efforts."

"When enforcement is inadequate, this office will act to bring individual prosecutions," she said.

The other policy change, with more far-reaching implications, is Attorney General Eric Holder's new policy aimed at reducing the number of minimum-mandatory sentences for drug offenders.

Duffy said this second policy change allows her office to look at whether what they're doing is effective and economically sustainable.

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