BOSTON (CBS) – Medical marijuana has already been legal for years in Massachusetts and voters pushed forward a ballot-imitative in 2016 legalizing recreational marijuana. The law set up rules and a state-run agency to regulate so-called pot shops, which are set to open this summer.
But also in 2016, American voters ushered in President Donald Trump. His choice for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is cracking down on marijuana. Federal law still prohibits any marijuana use and now Sessions wants federal prosecutors, including in Massachusetts, to go after marijuana crimes.
The new U.S. attorney for Massachusetts says he might prosecute users and sellers here. So where does that leave the law in the Bay State? Attorney Phil Tracy joined WBZ’s Paula Ebben and Liam Martin to discuss the new law, which he says leaves Massachusetts in a state of “total confusion.”
“The public deserves and demands better out of our government, that we have direction as to what’s legal, what’s not legal,” Tracy said. “For the federal government to say we’re going to go after people, that sends a chilling effect through especially the medical marijuana community.”
Tracy said he hopes there will be a clear resolution before the summer, but he would “love to defend somebody” who was in trouble with the feds.
“I think the feds would be foolish to go out and prosecute somebody like John Q. Citizen who invested in a business to sell legal marijuana, the legal way, not the black market way, and they go and arrest him,” Tracy said. “I would stand up in front of a jury and say ‘is there not reasonable doubt that this man had a right to go forward here?’”