The Justice Department and the Obama administration appear to have backtracked on early promises to respect state medical marijuana laws, opening the door for more federal raids on medical marijuana growers and dispensaries.

In a memo sent June 29 to U.S. attorneys, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said cultivators and sellers of medical marijuana were in clear violation of the Controlled Substances Act and open for prosecution. That’s a marked departure from the Obama administration’s early rhetoric, which was that those in compliance with state medical marijuana laws wouldn’t be a priority for federal law enforcement.

On the campaign trail in 2008, Obama said, “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.”

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