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Some states allow marijuana for medical use and recreational use, although it is still illegal federally.

Is there any risk at going to work for one of these companies? If so is there a difference between jobs, such as handling the products versus say office admin?

In essence, if the feds busted one of these companies would all employees go to prison?

Update

I did some more googling and came across this: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/837011 It looks like feds can't shut down medical marijuana facilities. If this is the case, then I would assume it is safe to work for these companies?

  • The link you give is paywalled. – chapka Oct 8 '15 at 1:39
  • @chapka It says that under the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2015, there was a rider saying the feds couldn't spend any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws. Of course, that's not the same as saying "this is legal," and if that rider's not in the appropriations act this year then you could still be prosecuted for things done this year. – cpast Oct 8 '15 at 2:28
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Article VI of the Constitution says:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.

This is known as the "Supremacy Clause."

What this means, in a nutshell, is that if the federal government passes a Constitutionally proper criminal statute, the feds can arrest you no matter what state law says.

That means if your job requires you to possess pot, you can be busted under federal possession laws. If your job requires you to distribute pot, you can be busted under federal distribution laws. And even if you work as an accountant, you may be subject to federal prison time under federal RICO laws.

Now, as a practical matter, the feds in general (but not always) have been taking a more hands-off approach to busting dispensaries in legal states. But they're choosing not to bust them; they're not powerless to bust them. And that could change. At least two of the Republican candidates for president (Christie and Rubio) have said that they think the feds should enforce anti-drug laws even in states that have legalized drugs. If one of them were to get elected, and if he had enough support in Congress, that could change very quickly.

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