CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The new U.S. attorney in West Virginia’s Southern District is pledging to pursue marijuana cases in the Mountain State in compliance with federal law.
“We have a limited number of resources, a number of high-profile matters to deal with, but we do not view marijuana as any less important for prosecution than any opiate that’s on the street including heroin,” said Mike Stuart.
He took the Oath of Office during a private ceremony Tuesday in Charleston.
Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was rescinding the 2013 “Cole memo.”
Named for James Cole, a deputy U.S. attorney general under President Barack Obama, it allowed for prosecutorial discretion in states where marijuana was legal.
In general, it was viewed as a “hands-off,” passive approach to the enforcement of federal law under which marijuana remains illegal.
“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law,” Sessions said.
Stuart agreed. “We in the Southern District of