Garland Says DOJ Still Working On Federal Cannabis Regulation

Does this actually mean anything or is it just one of those, “We’ll Keep You Informed” statements.

At this stage in the game there’s no real way of knowing.

Marijuana Moment report

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Wednesday that the Department of Justice is “still working on a marijuana policy” and that federal health officials are currently taking the lead on a broader ongoing review of cannabis’s federal scheduling status that was directed by President Joe Biden.

“I think that it’s fair to expect what I said at my confirmation hearing with respect to marijuana and policy, that it will be very close to what was done in the Cole Memorandum,” he said, referring to an Obama-era policy that directed federal prosecutors to generally not interfere with state cannabis laws but which was later rescinded by Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump administration.

“We’re not quite done with that yet,” Garland said of the cannabis policy review, adding that finalizing a now-completed memo on crack cocaine prosecutions was a more pressing priority for the department.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), whose question at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing prompted the new comments from the attorney general, replied that he’s “very eager to get to hear more about” the administration’s plan for marijuana while “more and more states, red and blue, are moving” to change their cannabis laws.

“It’d be good to hear that as quickly as possible,” the senator said.

Separately, Garland said that the process surrounding pardons that Biden granted to people who have committed cannabis possession offenses is “still working its way through the system to get the final certificates” to people so they can demonstrate they were given the presidential relief.

The attorney general misspoke by calling the clemency action “commutation,” which is a process that cuts short prison sentences and is separate from a pardon, which represents a formal forgiveness for crimes but does not free anyone from incarceration.

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Biden’s Attorney General Says DOJ Is ‘Still Working On’ Federal Marijuana Policy Approach

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