A large part of the Department of Justice's recent string of letters to medical marijuana states has been the intimation that state employees could be held criminally liable for carrying out regulatory programs. The content is looked at as a scare tactic; raiding a state's worth of MMJ centers isn't feasible, but cowing a state's Legislature into a reverse action — or no action at all — may be easier.
The mindlessness of all this operates on multiple levels, beginning with the fact that no state employee or state-licensed business has ever actually been prosecuted for involvement with medical marijuana. The suggestion that they'd do such a thing is nothing more than a cynical scare tactic aimed at stalling the numerous state programs moving forward this year.
The notion that DOJ would indict state regulators shouldn't even be entertained, let alone held up as a prohibitive obstacle to implementing tightly controlled programs. Think about how ridiculous that is. Would they prosecute Health Dept. staffers in Rhode Island, which only allows three non-profit dispensaries, even though DOJ took no action against officials in states like Colorado and California with fewer restrictions and far more marijuana businesses? The damage to DOJ's credibility would be so extraordinary, one almost wishes they were foolish enough to try it.