MARIJUANA

File Photo / The Republican

The U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts has announced his office plans to pursue federal marijuana crimes and trafficking in the state. 

A jar of marijuana buds for sale inside the River Rock dispensary in Denver, Colorado.
Steve Brown / WBUR

We lead off 2018 with news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded a policy that allowed states to go ahead with legalizing marijuana. So what will this mean for Massachusetts? 

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scrapping Obama-era guidelines that essentially removed marijuana from the list of federal drug enforcement priorities as more states legalized it.

In guidance issued Thursday, Sessions rescinded those policies and instead will permit individual U.S. attorneys to decide how aggressively to go after marijuana in their jurisdictions.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, has long viewed pot as a public menace and a source of street crime.

Sen. Adam Hinds exits the Massachusetts Senate office wing around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, after the branch finished a marathon criminal justice debate.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

As we near the end of 2017, we check in with Matt Murphy of State House News Service for an update on the major issues of the year for the Massachusetts legislature. 

The Massachusetts Senate president's office, bedecked with evergreens and lights, was open to visitors on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

Our look at the week's news starts with some of the work done by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. The panel is charged with developing regulations for the state's marijuana industry, and began the process of setting policy, which could allow for cannabis cafes, and even home delivery. 

Sometime soon in Massachusetts, you’ll be able to walk into a cafe, ask for a marijuana product, and consume it right there without heading home first.

The state agency responsible for regulating legalized marijuana approved a policy on Monday that will allow for such establishments, so-called “cannabis cafes,” to open — where one can buy a cannabis product and then legally consume it on the premises, just like buying a drink at a bar.

As attitudes toward pain management change, some researchers say there's better evidence supporting cannabis use for chronic neuropathic pain management than opioids. Yet, for this Vermonter, an opioid prescription costs a dollar, while medical marijuana costs hundreds.

Marijuana plants.
Brett Levin flickr.com/photos/scubabrett22 / Creative Commons

Marijuana regulators in Massachusetts are trying to find a balance between getting pot stores open by next summer, and making sure all residents have a chance to get involved in the industry.

John H Gray / Creative Commons

This week on Beacon Hill, lawmakers hear from western Massachusetts residents who say the region needs to be connected to Boston and Worcester by high-speed rail. 

Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commisioners Britte McBride, left, and Kay Doyle listen to public comments at Holyoke Community College on Oct. 4, 2017.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission on Wednesday kicked off a listening tour, in Holyoke, where people advocated for everything from strict controls to lenient oversight.

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