Sunday, March 11, 2018
New US Attorney for Southern District of West Virginia talking up efforts to "enforce laws against marijuana aggressively - AGGRESSIVELY"
I have just seen via my twitter feed this notable recent tweet posted by US Attorney Mike Stuart, the newly confirmed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia:
Have visited many treatment facilities. Every single treatment professional - EVERY SINGLE ONE- has told me “Marijuana is a gateway drug.” My office is preparing to enforce laws against marijuana aggressively - AGGRESSIVELY.— US Attorney Mike Stuart (@USAttyStuart) March 9, 2018
Without getting into the particulars of the gateway drug debate, I am eager here to highlight how easy it would be for this new US Attorney to ramp up federal marijuana enforcement relative to what has existed in recent years. Based on some (too) quick research of US Sentencing Commission data, it seems that there have only been a handful of federal marijuana prosecutions each year in this district. USA Stewart could "aggressively" increase the federal caseload just by bringing a few more cases each year.
It will be interesting to see if the Southern District of West Virginia does end up having many more marijuana prosecutions in the months ahead, though these statements likely are to be most significant with respect to West Virginia's development of its recently passed medical marijuana legislation. This local article, headlined "Time runs out on bill making changes to WV's medical cannabis program," suggests that the rescission of the Cole Memo and related concerns about federal prohibition may already be slowing down the state's regulatory efforts.