In 2013 the Department of Justice released what has become known as “the Cole Memo.” This memo essentially sanctified the sale of recreational marijuana within Colorado and Washington. The Executive Branch took the stance that as long as the marijuana industry followed state regulations, national resources would not be utilized to enforce Federal law contained in the Controlled Substances Act. The Cole Memo goes on to outline eight exceptions to this non-enforcement directive. Despite DOJs insistence that certain conduct will not be tolerated, Smart Colorado has evidence that violations are happening frequently in Colorado, particularly marijuana getting into the hands of children.

DOJ’s Eight New Federal Enforcement Priorities
The DOJ will still prosecute individuals or entities to prevent:

#2 - Revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels

Denver, Colorado: Feds bust pot shop with ties to Colombian drug cartel 

Denver, Colorado: Border Battle; Mexican drug cartels operating in Colorado 

#3 - The diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states

Houston, Texas: Colorado pot makes inroads in Texas  

Atchison, Kansas: Five behind bars after police nap plane bringing pot into Atchison airport  

#4 - State-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;

Colorado medical marijuana bust leads to dismantling of Mexican cartel methamphetamine operation 

#7 - Growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands

Colorado Springs, Colorado: Colorado firefighters found large pot grow during Waldo Canyon fire 

Frisco, Colorado: U.S. Forest Service dismantles $8.4 million illegal marijuana growing operation near Redstone 

#8 - Marijuana possession or use on federal property.