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Prosecutor's Statement Puts Cloud Over Massachusetts Marijuana Businesses

   The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts Monday offered no assurances that he will take a hands-off approach to legalized pot.

     U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement he would not offer blanket immunity to “participants in the state-level marijuana trade.”

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week rescinded a Justice Department policy limiting prosecution of marijuana offenses.

     Republican Governor Charlie Baker and Democratic State Attorney General Maura Healey condemned the move by Sessions saying it undermined state regulatory efforts.

     Voters in Massachusetts legalized marijuana for adult use in 2016 and retail sales are to start this summer.

    Dick Evans, a Northampton attorney and longtime advocate for legalizing marijuana said he does not believe a federal crackdown is likely.  He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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