U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
May 9, 2012
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today issued the following statement:
“I am aware of reports that the Rhode Island Senate today passed amended legislation concerning the distribution by compassion centers of marijuana purportedly for medical purposes. To be clear, the policies and position of the Department of Justice on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act in jurisdictions that have under consideration, or have implemented, legislation that would sanction and regulate the commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana purportedly for medical use, have not changed.
“As has been stated previously, and as I reiterated to the Governor and legislative leaders during a recent meeting, the Department has given guidance to U.S. Attorneys that prosecuting genuinely ill persons who use marijuana for medical purposes in compliance with state laws would not be an effective use of limited federal resources. At the same time, the Department’s guidance has also made clear that combating large-scale commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana remains a priority. Anyone engaging in such activities is subject to a variety of potential federal criminal and civil remedies, including forfeiture of the real estate where such centers or associated activities are located.”