Biden AG Pick Restates Pledge To Respect State Marijuana Laws, In Writing

MJ moment

President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as U.S. attorney general has reiterated in written testimony to multiple senators that he does not feel the Department of Justice should be using its resources to prosecute people who are acting in compliance with state marijuana laws. In a series of responses to questions from lawmakers who followed up on last week’s committee confirmation hearings, Judge Merrick Garland made clear that, from his perspective, the government should be focusing on large-scale criminal enterprises that circumvent state legalization laws instead of going after people who are abiding by local cannabis policies. He made similar comments during questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. The panel formally approved his confirmation on Monday, clearing the path to a full vote in the chamber. “I do not think it the best use of the Department’s limited resources to pursue prosecutions of those who are complying with the laws in states that have legalized and are effectively regulating marijuana,” he said in response to a question from Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) about how he would navigate the federal-state marijuana policy conflict. “I do think we need to be sure, for example, that there are no end runs around the state laws by criminal enterprises, and that access is prohibited to minors.” That view is consistent with policies put into place under Obama—known as the Cole memorandum—and then rescinded by President Donald Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Pressed on whether he generally supports efforts to decriminalize or legalize cannabis, the attorney general nominee didn’t give a specific answer but gave an answer focused solely on the harms of current punitive policies. “Criminalizing the use of marijuana has contributed to mass incarceration and racial disparities in our criminal justice system,” he wrote, “and has made it difficult for…

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Source : Biden AG Pick Restates Pledge To Respect State Marijuana Laws, In Writing

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