William Barr, Trump’s nominee for attorney general who previously said he wouldn’t “go after” cannabis companies during his confirmation hearings, has agreed to put that pledge into writing, according to a story by Tom Angell of Forbes.
Barr has put his statement into writing following requests from several senators. “As discussed at my hearing, I do not intend to go after parties who have complied with state law in reliance on the Cole Memorandum,” Barr wrote in his statement.
Barr is not, however, intending to re-instate the Cole Memo, which was a Justice Department memo rescinded by Jeff Sessions that had prevented the federal prosecution of state-legal cannabis industries.
“I have not closely considered or determined whether further administrative guidance would be appropriate following the Cole Memorandum and the January 2018 memorandum from Attorney General Sessions, or what such guidance might look like. If confirmed, I will give the matter careful consideration.” — William Barr responding to Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), via Forbes
While he is not in favor of legalizing cannabis federally, Barr made statements about expanding the federal cannabis research program. “I support the expansion of marijuana manufacturers for scientific research consistent with law. If confirmed, I will review the matter and take appropriate steps,” responded Barr to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA).
While Barr may not be perfect for the cannabis industry, he’s a huge step up over Sessions. According to Don Murphy, Director of Federal Policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, “William Barr didn’t just wave the white flag, he signed a peace agreement.”
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