Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaking at a memorial service hosted by the U.S. Marshals in May, 2017.

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Deputy Attorney General Toes Anti-Cannabis Line During Senate Hearing

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein doubled down on the anti-cannabis stance of the Trump Administration during testimony in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday, testifying that cannabis is, “from a legal and scientific perspective…an unlawful drug” adding that cannabis policy would be “a high priority” as new U.S. attorneys are appointed, the Alaska Dispatch News reports.

“We do have a conflict between federal law and the law in some states.” Rosenstein said during a line of questioning from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). “It’s a difficult issue for parents like me, who have to provide guidance to our kids… I’ve talked to Chuck Rosenberg, the administrator of the DEA and we follow the law and the science.”

Rosenstein’s remarks come just one day after a May 1 letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to members of Congress urging them to restore Justice Department funding for cannabis enforcement was published by Massroots’ Tom Angell.

In April, Sessions had indicated the 2013 Cole Memo – which directed the department to maintain a hands-off approach on legal cannabis programs – was “not too far from good policy.”

The Cole Memo, which Sessions has also called “valid,” remains in effect, and in April governors from four states with legal adult-use regimes sent a letter to Sessions and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin explaining that overhauling the policy would “produce unintended and harmful consequences.”

“Changes that hurt the regulated market would divert existing marijuana product into the black market and increase dangerous activity in both our states and our neighboring states,” the governors wrote.

A supermajority – 90 percent – of Americans support medical cannabis laws, while 60 percent support broader legalization, according to an April 20 Quinnipiac poll.

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