The University of New Hampshire Law Review


[Excerpt] “Before 2009, every American presidential administration had been uniform in its policy of consistently enforcing the nation’s drug laws. Pursuant to federal law, possession, use, or cultivation of any drug deemed illegal by Congress was, universally, a prosecutable offense. Notwithstanding this unwavering policy, throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the marijuana industry continued to grow, and several states legalized medicinal marijuana despite the standing federal prohibition. Moreover, President Barrack Obama, shortly after taking office, broke precedent with his predecessors when he put forth a policy of non-enforcement through a publicly released memorandum authored by the then Deputy Attorney General, David Ogden, (hereinafter Ogden Memo or Memo) “provid[ing] clarification and guidance to federal prosecutors in states that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana.” In this Memo, Ogden discouraged expenditure of “limited investigative and prosecutorial resources” on “individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” Following the release of this Memo, many more states have enacted legislation that would legalize medical marijuana, and accordingly, during the Obama administration, the medical marijuana industry has demonstrated incredible growth. Furthermore, it is projected to continue to grow exponentially over the next five years.”

Repository Citation

Paul Lewis, A Gateway to Future Problems: Concerns about the State by-State Legalization of Medical Marijuana, 13 U.N.H. L. REV. 49 (2015), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol13/iss1/4