Feds won’t sue to stop marijuana use in 2 states

FILE - In this April 20, 2013 file photo, members of a crowd numbering tens of thousands smoke marijuana and listen to live music, at the Denver 420 pro-marijuana rally at Civic Center Park in Denver. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
FILE - In this April 20, 2013 file photo, members of a crowd numbering tens of thousands smoke marijuana and listen to live music, at the Denver 420 pro-marijuana rally at Civic Center Park in Denver. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government said Thursday that it won’t sue to stop the states of Colorado and Washington from allowing recreational marijuana use.

In a sweeping policy announcement, the Justice Department outlined eight top priority areas for its enforcement of marijuana laws.

They range from preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors to preventing sales revenue from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels and preventing the diversion of marijuana outside of states where it is legal under state law.

Other top-priority enforcement areas include preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover for trafficking other illegal drugs and preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. The top areas also include preventing drugged driving, preventing growing marijuana on public land and preventing marijuana possession on federal property.

The announcement follows the first-in-the-nation legalization of recreational marijuana use by the states of Colorado and Washington.

Last December, President Barack Obama said it does not make sense for the federal government to go after recreational drug users in a state that has legalized recreational use of small amounts of marijuana.

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