One of the main takeaways that Beau Kilmer, co-director of the Rand Drug Policy Research Center, gleaned from the memo is "it sends a signal to other states and other countries that the U.S. Department of Justice will tolerate commercial marijuana production under certain circumstances."
That could have a real effect on other countries wrestling with legalization, Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance told the LA Times.
Nadelmann commented on the situation while he was in Jamaica. He said the country is moving forward with marijuana legalization, but some officials fear a phone call from the U.S. ambassador.
Before Thursday, Nadelmann told them there is a lot less to fear.
And then with Thursday's announcement, "it reinforces what I was saying in a huge way," Nadelmann said. "I was expecting a yellow light, but this light looks a lot more greenish than I had expected."