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Press Release

Federal Marijuana Enforcement Policy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane – On January 4, 2018, Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III, issued a memorandum concerning federal marijuana enforcement policy. The following is today’s statement from Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington:

The Attorney General reiterated his confidence in the long-established principles of federal prosecution that guide the discretion of each United States Attorney around the country (U.S. Attorney’s Manual, chapter 9-27.000), and directed that those principles shepherd enforcement of federal law regarding marijuana. With those principles in mind, the Attorney General emphasized his belief that United States Attorneys are in the best position to weigh all relevant considerations – to include the nature and seriousness of an offense, the potential deterrence effect of prosecution, a putative defendant’s culpability in connection with an offense, a putative defendant’s criminal history and other circumstances, and the limited federal resources -- when deciding which cases to prosecute in their respective communities. When weighing those considerations public safety is always at the fore.

Those principles have always been at the core of what the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington does – across all threats to public safety, including those that may relate to marijuana. This United States Attorney’s Office will continue to ensure, consistent with the most recent guidance from the Department of Justice, that its enforcement efforts with our federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners focus on those who pose the greatest safety risk to the communities in Eastern Washington, by disrupting criminal organizations, tackling the growing drug crisis, thwarting violent crime, and corralling white-collar fraudsters in this District.

This Statement is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any matter civil or criminal.

Updated January 9, 2018