Oregon's U.S. Attorney Billy Williams Prioritizes Marijuana Trafficking, Public Safety

Oregon's U.S. Attorney Billy Williams Prioritizes Marijuana Trafficking, Public Safety

Williams says he won't offer "blanket immunity from prosecution to those who violate federal law."

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SALEM – Oregon’s chief federal prosecutor says his top priorities in enforcing cannabis laws will be threats to public safety and interstate trafficking fueled by overproduction of marijuana since the state legalized medical and recreational use.

U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams on Friday provided slightly more detailed information about the aspects of marijuana enforcement his office will prioritize now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has given federal prosecutors wide latitude on the issue.

Cannabis is legal for adult use or medicinal purposes in 29 states, including Oregon, but it remains illegal under federal law.

In a memo released Friday, Williams said his office has five priority areas of enforcement:

  • Marijuana “overproduction,” interstate trafficking and diversion of Oregon-grown marijuana across state lines.”Notably, since broader legalization took effect in 2015, large quantities of marijuana from Oregon have been seized in 30 states, most of which continue to prohibit marijuana,” he said.
  • Threats to public health, including minors’ access to marijuana.
  • Cannabis violations that involve firearms, violence or other threats to public safety.
  • Organized crime.
  • Protecting public lands and natural resources from environmental damage caused by pesticides or water use.

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Top Image: © Andy Dean | Adobe Stock