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Sessions rescinded the policy by president Barack Obama's Justice Department that has generally barred federal law enforcement officials from interfering with marijuana sales in states where the drug is legal.
'In deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under these laws with the Department's finite resources, prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions,' by considering the seriousness of the crime and its impact on the community, Sessions wrote in a one-page memo to the nation's federal prosecutors.
Justice officials said they would follow the law, but would not preclude the possibility of medical-marijuana related prosecutions.
It comes just after shops opened in California, launching what is expected to become the world's largest market for legal recreational marijuana and as polls show a solid majority of Americans believe the drug should be legal.
While Sessions has been carrying out a Justice Department agenda that follows Trump's top priorities on such issues as immigration and opioids, the changes to marijuana policy reflect his own concerns.