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Have a Question About U.S. Marijuana Laws?

Supported byReader CenterHave a Question About U.S. Marijuana Laws?PhotoCannabis products at the Harborside Health Center, a dispensary in Oakland, Calif.Credit Jim Wilson/The New York TimesDays after the first retail cannabis shops opened in California, the sixth state to legalize recreational use, President Trump’s administration moved to free federal prosecutors to more aggressively enforce federal marijuana laws.The Justice Department on Thursday rescinded an Obama-era policy of discouraging federal prosecutors from bringing charges of marijuana-related crimes in states that had legalized sales of the drug.The move is likely to increase the confusion surrounding whether it is legal to sell, buy or possess marijuana in the United States.Ask a Question Marijuana policy in the United States can be confusing. Our reporters are available to answer some of your questions.What questions do you have about marijuana policy and the legalization movement in the U.S.? *You have 250 words left.What is your name? *First and last preferred.What is your email? *We will not publish your email address […]

Trump Administration Takes Step That Could Threaten Marijuana Legalization Movement

But the move seemed certain to increase the confusion surrounding whether it is legal to sell, buy or possess marijuana in the United States. Federal law has long prohibited those activities, and in 2013, after voters in Colorado and Washington State voted to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use, the Justice Department deliberated about how to handle the resulting disconnect between state and federal law.Ultimately, the Obama administration decided not to sue such states, and the Justice Department issued a policy memo instructing federal prosecutors to de-prioritize marijuana-related prosecutions in those states — except in certain cases, such as when there were sales to children, gang-related activity, or diversions of the product to states where it remained entirely illegal.That guidance was known as the “Cole memo” after the then-deputy attorney general who issued it, James Cole.The federal government’s hands-off approach allowed a new industry to flourish in states that had decided to legalize and regulate marijuana use and sales for recreational and medical use. In Colorado, one of the first states to broadly legalize the drug for adult use, marijuana sales now top $1 billion each year and thousands of people work in the industry, in jobs ranging from “bud trimmers” to marijuana tour guides for out-of-state visitors.Where Marijuana Is Legal6 states have legalized recreational and medical marijuana, and allow the sale of recreational marijuana.2 states and D.C. have legalized both uses but do not currently allow sales.*21 states allow medical use only.WAMENDMTORMNNYMIMAPAOHNVILCACOARAZNMFLAKHIDCMDDENJCTVTNHRI6 states have legalized recreational and medical marijuana, and allow the sale of recreational marijuana.2 states and D.C. […]

Republican Attacks on Mueller and F.B.I. Open New Rift in G.O.P.

But Republican moderates in both the House and Senate with little loyalty to Mr. Trump and a Republican cadre of former law enforcement officials fear that their colleagues have reacted to specific and credible concerns about the F.B.I. with indiscriminate attacks.“As an institution we have to make it clear that we are dealing here with a scalpel not a sledgehammer,” said Representative Peter T. King, a New York Republican who sits on the Intelligence and Homeland Security committees. […]

Culling Voter Rolls: Battling Over Who Even Gets to Go to the Polls

Conservative groups and Republican election officials in some states say the poorly maintained rolls invite fraud and meddling by hackers, sap public confidence in elections and make election workers’ jobs harder. Voting rights advocates and most Democratic election officials, in turn, say that the benefits are mostly imaginary, and that the purges are intended to reduce the number of minority, poor and young voters, who are disproportionately Democrats.“The goal here is not election integrity,” Stuart Naifeh, the senior counsel at the voting rights group Demos, said. “It’s intimidation and suppression of voters.”On Wednesday, Demos and two other advocacy groups, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School, offered legal help to any of the 248 county election officials who tried to oppose the notice.The author of the notice to county officials, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, responded quickly. “It seems like we’ve arrived to the point where asking election officials to do what the law requires makes P.I.L.F […]

Why Putin’s Foes Deplore U.S. Fixation on Election Meddling

Mr. Volkov and others say they have no doubt that Russia did interfere, at least on the margins, in last year’s presidential election campaign. But they complain that the United States consistently inflates Mr. Putin’s impact and portrays his government as far more unified and effective than it really is, cementing his legacy and making him harder to challenge at home.Ultimately, they say, Americans are using Russia as a scapegoat to explain the deep political discord in the United States. That has left many westward-looking Russians, who have long looked to America for their ideals, in bitter disappointment that the United States seems to be mimicking some of their own country’s least appealing traits.The hunt for a hidden Russian hand behind President Trump’s election victory has caused particular disquiet among liberal-minded Russian journalists.“The image of Putin’s Russia constructed by Western and, above all, American media outlets over the past 18 months shocks even the most anti-Putin reader in Russia,” Oleg V. […]

Hopes Dim for Congressional Russia Inquiries as Parties Clash

Nine months into the Trump administration, any notion that Capitol Hill would provide a comprehensive, authoritative and bipartisan accounting of the extraordinary efforts of a hostile power to disrupt American democracy appears to be dwindling.PhotoRepresentative Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was forced to step aside from leading the panel’s Russia investigation.Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times“Congressional investigations unfortunately are usually overtly political investigations, where it is to one side’s advantage to drag things out,” said Mr. Gowdy, who made his name in Congress as a fearsome investigator of Democrats. He added, “The notion that one side is playing the part of defense attorney and that the other side is just these white hat defenders of the truth is laughable.”Instead, he said, he is looking to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, to conduct an apolitical investigation.None of the challenges have thus far stopped the committees. And given the closed-door nature of their work, prominent new avenues of inquiry could always emerge, such as Russia’s use of social media to sow chaos and discord, capable of influencing the public discourse.But all three are up against a ticking clock, with Republicans in both chambers eager to wrap up the investigations before too long.Particularly in the House, partisan fighting is likely to undermine whatever conclusions the committee reaches […]

Hoping to Have Trump Cleared, Legal Team Eases Resistance to Inquiry

Any public declaration by Mr. Mueller about the president’s innocence would also be a clear sign that the special counsel’s investigation has not broadened significantly beyond last year’s presidential campaign to include a close scrutiny of any of Mr. Trump’s past business dealings with Russians.Whether the strategy will work is another matter. The plan rests on the premise that Mr. Trump has done nothing wrong — something the president has repeatedly told his lawyers and said publicly — and some lawyers connected to the investigation say that Mr […]