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Alaska U.S.

Attorney Bryan Schroder ​(Confirmed by Senate in November)

“Alaska’s U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder said current enforcement priorities will
not change.

“’The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska will continue to use the
long-established principles of federal prosecution to determine what cases to
charge. One of the key principals [sic] is to follow federal law enforcement
priorities, both at the national and local levels. The highest priorities of the U.S.
Attorney’s Office in Alaska are consistent with those of the Justice Department
nationally: combating violent crime, including as it stems from the scourge of
drug trafficking. Consistent with those priorities, the U.S. Attorney’s Office
released an Anti-Violent Crime Strategy in October of the past year. We will
continue to focus on cases that meet those priorities.’”

— “US Attorney: No change to enforcement priorities after Sessions’


decision,” ​Alaska Journal of Commerce​, Naomi Klouda, Jan. 4, 2018.

California: Eastern District U.S. Attorney McGregor "Greg" Scott ​(Nominated by


Trump in November and awaiting Senate confirmation)

“In California's Eastern District, newly sworn-in U.S. Attorney McGregor ‘Greg’
Scott grew up in Humboldt County, deep in California's famed ‘Emerald Triangle’
marijuana-growing region. He later became a career state and federal prosecutor
who has spoken favorably of a previous federal marijuana crackdown.

“Scott's spokeswoman, Lauren Horwood, said he declined to comment on the


most recent federal move.

“’The cultivation, distribution and possession of marijuana has long been and
remains a violation of federal law for all purposes,’ she later said in a statement.
‘We will evaluate violations of those laws in accordance with our district's
federal law enforcement priorities and resources.’”

— “Prosecutors in pot-friendly states will decide on crackdown,” ​Associated


Press​, Jan. 5, 2018.

California Central District U.S. Attorney Nicola Hanna ​(temporary/interim,


named by Sessions, effective Jan. 5, 2018, can serve a total of 120 days in that
capacity before Trump must name a permanent U.S. attorney who must seek Senate
confirmation; Central District includes L.A., Orange County, and five other counties)
Hanna declined to comment on the new policy. Immediately before being named,
he was a partner at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, where he focused on criminal
defense including complex criminal cases, SEC issues, healthcare fraud, money
laundering, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, and False Claims Act.
He was an assistant U.S. attorney in the 1990s, where his prosecutions included
drug traffickers.

See: “New US Attorney in LA hasn't said anything about the marijuana rule
change,” ​KPCC​, Jan. 4, 2018.

California Northern District U.S. Attorney Alex Tse ​(temporary/interim, named


by Sessions on Jan. 7, 2018, can serve a total of 120 days in that capacity before
Trump must name a permanent U.S. attorney; district includes the Bay Area,
Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte)

No known public comments.

California Southern District U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman​ (temporary/


interim, named by Sessions in November, can serve a total of 120 days in that
capacity before Trump must name a permanent U.S. attorney who must seek Senate
confirmation)

“Southern District of California U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said Sessions’


memo outlining the changes ‘returns trust and local control to federal
prosecutors’ to enforce the Controlled Substance Act.”

“’The Department of Justice is committed to reducing violent crime and enforcing


the laws as enacted by Congress. The cultivation, distribution, and possession of
marijuana has long been and remains a violation of federal law,’ Braverman said
via a written statement. ‘We will continue to utilize long-established
prosecutorial priorities to carry out our mission to combat violent crime, disrupt
and dismantle transnational criminal organizations, and stem the rising tide of
the drug crisis.’”

— Wendy Fry, “San Diego US Attorney Backs Sessions' Pot Enforcement


Policy,” ​NBC San Diego​, Jan. 4, 2018.

Colorado U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer​ (Became acting U.S. attorney in 2016, and
Sessions appointed him interim U.S. attorney in November, can serve a total of 120
days in that capacity before Trump must name a permanent U.S. attorney who must
seek Senate confirmation)

“Troyer released this statement after 9NEWS asked him quite a few questions
regarding this federal change:
“‘Today the Attorney General rescinded the Cole Memo on marijuana
prosecutions, and directed that federal marijuana prosecution decisions be
governed by the same principles that have long governed all of our prosecution
decisions. The United States Attorney’s Office in Colorado has already been
guided by these principles in marijuana prosecutions -- focusing in particular on
identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our
communities around the state. We will, consistent with the Attorney General’s
latest guidance, continue to take this approach in all of our work with our law
enforcement partners throughout Colorado.’

“When pressed to offer more, Troyer's office forward along this statement:

“’Here is the question we ask every time we consider allocating our finite
resources to prosecute any of the vast number of federal crimes we can
prosecute, from violent crime to immigration crime to opioid crime: will this
prosecution make Colorado safer? Under the Attorney General’s new memo, we
have more freedom and flexibility to make decisions that make Colorado safer by
prosecuting individuals and organizations for marijuana crimes the significantly
threaten our community safety. Also, rather than give U.S. Attorneys any specific
direction, the memo returns trust and local control to federal prosecutors, and
clarifies that they know how to deploy their resources to make their Districts
safer.’”

— “A newly important name in Colorado pot: U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer,”


KUSA​, Jan. 4, 2018.

Maine U.S. Attorney Halsey Frank​ (Nominated by Trump in July and confirmed by
the Senate in October)

“Background: Frank said he is still evaluating how the Justice Department's


move might affect Maine. He said his office is inclined to follow established
principles in prosecuting federal crimes, including those that involve drugs.

“Frank has spoken out against legalized marijuana in the past. He wrote in The
Forecaster newspaper in 2013 that when ‘there is a conflict between state and
federal law, federal law prevails.’ He also wrote that ‘society can only tolerate a
certain number of intoxicated people on its streets and highways, at school, at
work and at play.’"

— “A Look at Prosecutors Who Will Decide on Marijuana Crackdown,” ​USA


Today​, Jan. 5, 2018.

“In response to Sessions rescinding the Obama-era marijuana policies, Frank


says he is consulting with his management team to discuss ‘how it may impact
our charging decisions in Maine.’
“Frank added that ‘as a general rule, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of
Maine will follow long-established principles to prosecute federal crime,
including to combat the current drug crisis.’”
— Kristina Rex, “Could Sessions' marijuana memo put roadblocks up for
legalization in Maine?” WLBZ, Jan. 8, 2018.

Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling ​(Nominated by Trump in September,


confirmed in December)

“Read Lelling's full statement below:

“’In accordance with the Attorney General's statement today, this office will
pursue federal marijuana crimes as part of its overall approach to reducing
violent crime, stemming the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantling criminal
gangs, and in particular the threat posed by bulk trafficking of marijuana, which
has had a devastating impact on local communities. This does not impact our
ongoing, aggressive efforts in other areas, like the opioid crisis.

‘As with all of our decisions, we will continue to use our prosecutorial discretion
and work with our law enforcement partners to determine resource availability,
weigh the seriousness of the crime and determine the impact on the community.
In the spirit of the Attorney General's memo, I intend to meet with our federal
partners to discuss enforcement efforts and priorities. In the coming weeks I
also plan to meet with our local and state counterparts to reinforce our
commitment to assisting local communities in this effort.’

‘As the Justice Department has highlighted, medical studies confirm that
marijuana is in fact a dangerous drug, and it is illegal under federal law. As a
result, our office will aggressively investigate and prosecute bulk cultivation and
trafficking cases, and those who use the federal banking system illegally.’”

— “Read Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling's statement on


marijuana enforcement,” ​MassLive​, Jan. 5, 2018.

In response to requests for clarification, Lelling said:

I understand that there are people and groups looking for additional guidance
from this office about its approach to enforcing federal laws criminalizing
marijuana cultivation and trafficking. I cannot, however, provide assurances
that certain categories of participants in the state-level marijuana trade will be
immune from federal prosecution.
This is a straightforward rule of law issue. Congress has unambiguously made it
a federal crime to cultivate, distribute and/or possess marijuana. As a law
enforcement officer in the Executive Branch, it is my sworn responsibility to
enforce that law, guided by the Principles of Federal Prosecution. To do that,
however, I must proceed on a case-by-case basis, assessing each matter
according to those principles and deciding whether to use limited federal
resources to pursue it.

Deciding, in advance, to immunize a certain category of actors from federal


prosecution would be to effectively amend the laws Congress has already
passed, and that I will not do. The kind of categorical relief sought by those
engaged in state-level marijuana legalization efforts can only come from the
legislative process.

— “Statement By U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling Regarding Federal


Marijuana Enforcement,” Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office,
District of Massachusetts, Jan. 8, 2018.

Nevada U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson ​(temporary, named by Sessions, effective Jan.
5, 2018, can serve a total of 120 days in that capacity before Trump must name a
permanent U.S. attorney who must seek Senate confirmation)

Has not commented yet.

— David Schuman, “Nevada marijuana industry reacts to possible federal


crackdown,” ​ABC 13​, Jan. 4, 2018.

Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams ​(Became the acting U.S. attorney in April
2015; Trump nominated him in November, has not been confirmed by the Senate)

“U.S. Attorney Billy Williams on Friday said he's troubled by the overproduction
of marijuana in Oregon and the black market exportation of the crop to other
states, though he declined to detail how his office will carry out a new federal
directive stripping legal protections for marijuana businesses.

“In his first public comments since Thursday's announcement by the U.S.
Department of Justice, Williams told The Oregonian/OregonLive that he's
awaiting additional guidance from federal officials. He offered a cautious
response, saying he doesn't ‘believe in overreacting.’

“‘I want to be methodical and thoughtful about what we do here in the District of
Oregon,’ he said.”
— Noelle Crombie, “Oregon's top federal prosecutor reserving judgment on
Sessions' pot memo,” The Oregonian/OregonLive, Jan. 5, 2018.

Williams also wrote a January 12 ​opinion piece​ on the issue for The
Oregonian/OregonLive:

“In sum, I have significant concerns about the state's current regulatory
framework and the resources allocated to policing marijuana in Oregon.

“Congress's judgment on marijuana activity is reflected in the Controlled


Substances Act. Before charting a path forward for the enforcement of marijuana
in Oregon, we must see how the state mitigates the public safety and health
issues raised here. The time for informed action is now.

“In the coming days, I will send invitations to federal, state, local and tribal law
enforcement, public health organizations, Oregon marijuana interests and
concerned citizen groups to attend a summit to address and remedy these and
other concerns.

“This summit and the state's response will inform our federal enforcement
strategy. How we move forward will depend in large measure on how the state
responds to the gaps we have identified. Until then it would be an inappropriate
abdication of my duties to issue any blanket proclamations on our marijuana
enforcement strategy in light of federal law.

“National policy has changed, but our commitment to exercising good judgment
in charging decisions has not. We will continue to look at cases individually and
assess whether charges are appropriate considering the best needs of our
community.”

— Billy J. Williams, “U.S. Attorney: A call for transparency and action on


marijuana (Guest opinion),” The Oregonian/OregonLive, Jan. 12, 2018.

Washington Eastern District Interim U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington


(temporary, named by Sessions, can serve a total of 120 days in that capacity before
Trump must name a permanent U.S. attorney who must seek Senate confirmation)

Opposed legalization, according to Westword. (“Brian Stretch and Joseph


Harrington, the U.S. Attorneys for the respective districts, stated their opposition
to legal pot even as the states where they work created the systems for selling
retail marijuana.”)
— Thomas Mitchell, “What the Sessions Memo Means for Hemp, Medical
Marijuana and You,” ​Westword​, Jan. 6, 2018.
“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.”

— “Federal Marijuana Enforcement Policy,” Department of Justice, U.S.


Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Washington, Jan. 5, 2018.

Washington Western District Acting U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes ​(Became


acting U.S. attorney in October 2014, when the former U.S. attorney resigned; was
appointed by federal judges, making her appointment permanent until/unless
Trump nominates a replacement)

“In a news release, Hayes said her office will continue to focus on prosecuting
cases involving ‘organized crime, violent and gun threats, and financial crimes
related to marijuana.’
“‘Today the Attorney General reiterated his confidence in the basic principles
that guide the discretion of all U.S. Attorneys around the country, and directed
that those principles shepherd enforcement of federal law regarding marijuana.
He also emphasized his belief that U.S. Attorneys are in the best position to
address public safety in their districts, and address the crime control problems
that are pressing in their communities. Those principles have always been at the
core of what the United States Attorney’s Office for Western Washington has
done,’ she said in a news release.”

— Evan Bush and Mike Carter, “State officials vow to defend Washington’s
marijuana laws in face of threat from Trump administration,” ​Seattle Times​,
Jan. 4, 2018.