State Marijuana Legalization: DOJ Should Document Its Approach to Monitoring the Effects of Legalization, Statement of Jennifer Grover, Director Homeland Security and Justice, Testomony Before the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control   [open pdf - 406KB]

"The Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for enforcing the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) and in recent years has updated its marijuana enforcement policy in response to the rising number of states that have legalized marijuana under state law. In August 2013, DOJ updated its marijuana enforcement guidance with instructions for DOJ's prosecutorial and law enforcement components to focus marijuana enforcement efforts on priorities that it stated were particularly important to the federal government, such as preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels, preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana, and preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors. My statement today is based on our December 2015 report on DOJ's marijuana enforcement efforts and plans for monitoring the effects of state legalization of marijuana. My statement, like the report, addresses: (1) the features of Colorado's and Washington's systems to regulate the production, processing, and sale of recreational marijuana; (2) the extent DOJ is monitoring the effects of state marijuana legalization relative to its 2013 marijuana enforcement policy guidance; and (3) the factors DOJ field officials reported affecting their marijuana enforcement actions in selected states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes."

Report Number:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Media Type:
Help with citations