Is marijuana still legal?
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo Thursday canceling out guidance put in place during the Obama administration, which gave states the power to legalize marijuana without the federal government stepping in and shutting it down.
Sessions' move is being seen as a huge setback to the growing marijuana industry for some and return to the rule of law for others. It comes just three days after California legalized recreational marijuana sales.
In Nevada, recreational sales started on July 1, 2017.
In the first four months, recreational sales generated $19 million in tax revenue, much of which benefited schools. Nevada projected $120 million in tax revenue in the first two years.
News 3 spoke with Democratic Nevada state Sen. Tick Segerblom and he says sales are exceeding that projection. Segerblom also said there is a lot of uncertainty right now for those who own businesses and work in the marijuana industry. It will also affect those who consume it for medical and recreational purposes in Nevada and across the country where it is legal at the state level.
"If you are selling, as soon as you hold that, that's a federal crime. If you own the store, that's a federal crime," said Segerblom. "I think as a state we need to push back and say this is unacceptable. Our voters have spoken, this is a state issue. People like this and so, we're not just going to take this lying down."
Several elected Nevada officials have issued statements against this decision, while others have issued statements agreeing to protect the decision of the voters, although they oppose legalization. Segerblom is expected to hold a press conference with U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., on Thursday.