The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in December 2015 about state cannabis legalization. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) both asked for the report to be published. Both the senators were curious as to what states with legal cannabis were doing to enforce their legislations, how the Department of Justice was keeping its eyes on the industry, as well as what conditions are impacting federal enforcement in these states.

The Department of Justice put out a guide to federal law enforcement for states that have legalized medical and or recreational cannabis. The senators wanted to learn more abut how those laws were being enforced by both United States lawyers and the federal government. Another part of the report included a review as to how states such as Colorado and Washington are abiding by federal laws for intense regulations in certain regions as not allowing teenage access, division to black markets, focus on other states, driving under the influence and other possible issues.

The GAO report gives good insight to the regulation frameworks in Colorado as well as Washington. Both states seem to be doing the best that they could in order to follow federal laws. The report also provides a good framework for cannabis’s regulation at the state level, showing how sundry policy provisions are made to answer to concerns over many issues. The GAO report also states that the “DOJ document a plan specifying its process for monitoring the effects of state marijuana legalization, and share the plan with DOJ components.” The GAO shows that the DOJ should elaborate how it will determine state’s accordance with policy guidelines from 2013. Also, it will tell supervisors, prosecutors, policy analysts, and other officials how this evaluation is required to happen.

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