Obviously, the medical marijuana laws exist in individual states only and there are no federal laws allowing the use and production of cannabis for medicinal purposes. In fact, federal laws prohibiting possession, sale and production of Cannabis are in direct conflict with many of the various state laws that allow the medicinal use of prescription pot.
Until recently, the actual federal response to state medical marijuana rules was an unknown, but after a memo came out of the U.S. Justice Department on October 9th, 2009 from Attorney General Eric Holder, the federal government's position has become a little less opaque.
The memo outlines how federal resources throughout the fifty states should continue to focus on fighting organized narcotics trafficking, however, it also states that resources shouldn't be wasted on individuals that are in clear compliance with local county and state rules regarding medical marijuana. This position received additional justification after massive budget shortfalls in law enforcement occurred across the nation.
The Justice Department memo also discusses how criminal organization may be masked as legal operations for the production of medicinal cannabis and these organizations should be sought out with a few guidelines in mind. If a potential suspect or group of suspects is in possession of illegal firearms or uses them illegally in combination with growing cannabis, the government may also initiate an investigation.
If a group of suspects is producing cannabis while perpetrating violence, selling to minors, producing or selling other illegal substances or working for organized crime they will be pursued, investigated and prosecuted by the government.
In addition, when production of cannabis by an individual or group of people exceeds state limits on weight harvested or mature plants present at a particular grow site, then they can expect government investigation and prosecution as well. Evidence of money laundering or possession of more cash flow than possible under proper compliance with state rules could be grounds for investigation too.
The memo from Attorney General Eric Holder clearly outlines the government's intentions. If you are a legitimate medical marijuana patient that complies with all state and county laws regarding the possession and production of cannabis you have nothing to fear from authorities.
If you try to hide behind them that were passed to help people with serious illnesses not have limits in their medication choices and perpetrate crimes while doing so, you will be investigated and prosecuted under statutes.