USA (Reuters) – A federal judge in New York has blocked a state from making its marijuana flower and weed products legal for sale to people over the age of 18.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has said it is reviewing the decision, the first of its kind in the nation, but in a ruling issued late on Wednesday, the judge said there was no evidence that the products were being abused.
New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said the department will appeal the decision.
The ruling came as US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was open to a new federal drug law, with marijuana decriminalisation on the table.
Trump has said he wants to end the war on drugs, and has called marijuana a “gateway drug” to more serious drug abuse.
In a letter to the judge, Schneiderman said the products do not pose a threat to public safety and that they do not have a high risk of abuse.
“The only product marketed for recreational use by New York State is a product that contains marijuana, which is a Schedule I controlled substance,” the attorney general wrote.
“As the only state in the country that allows adults to possess marijuana, the use of the products for recreational purposes is in no way, shape, or form a danger to public health or safety.”‘BAD MIND’US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said it was a bad decision and he would be reviewing the ruling.
“It’s bad for New York and bad for America.
I will be reviewing that decision very carefully,” Sessions told reporters on Thursday.
“This was a terrible decision.”
In February, a federal judge blocked New York from enforcing a ban on the sale of marijuana products to minors.
The ruling was part of a series of legal victories by New Yorkers against the federal government.
In May, a lower court ruled that the state did not have the authority to ban the sale or distribution of recreational marijuana, but that the DEA had to enforce the ban.
In October, the federal judge said the state could not ban the distribution of medical marijuana.
On Thursday, the US Department of Justice said the federal ban on medical marijuana was unconstitutional, saying New York was violating federal law.
Last month, Trump signed an executive order that would allow the federal drug agency to enforce its anti-marijuana policy, which he said is needed to curb the “epidemic” of drug abuse and “marijuana use among young people”.
“I think it’s very important to put the issue in the forefront and I think it is very important that we stop the use, use, abuse, and misuse of marijuana,” Trump said.