U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter says a new federal marijuana policy doesn't undermine his three-year crackdown on large pot providers.
The Justice Department said Thursday it will allow states to regulate marijuana as long as they keep it from kids, the black market and federal property.
The new policy comes three months after Cotter's office wrapped up its investigation with its 33rd marijuana provider conviction. That, plus a strict 2011 overhaul of the state's medical marijuana law, has caused the demise of a once-booming medical marijuana industry.
Cotter said Friday the new policy still calls for enforcement of the federal Controlled Substance Act and it would not have changed his investigation.
However, he says legalized recreational use in Colorado and Washington will create opportunities for trafficking from those states into Montana.