William Barr has been confirmed as the country’s 85th Attorney General
William Barr is officially the 85th Attorney General (AG) for the U.S. This should be welcome news to the marijuana industry, as he has previously shown support, to a certain degree, of marijuana and is likely to favor a push to legalize it in the country. In the short term, marijuana companies can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that he will honor the Cole Memo, which was rescinded by former AG Jeff Sessions before he vacated the position last year.
The Cole Memo is a letter written by then-AG James M. Cole in 2013. It suggested that law enforcement departments across the country, as well as prosecutors, shouldn’t enforce federal marijuana laws in states that legalized marijuana, provided certain criteria were met. When Sessions retracted the memo last year, there was a sense of uneasiness that the federal government could go after businesses, even if they were operating legally within their respective states.
Barr asserted in January that he would follow the lead established by Cole, and wasn’t too interested in what Sessions had done with the marijuana industry. He also indicated that he would support more cannabis research and acknowledged that hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is completely different from CBD derived from marijuana.
Now that he is officially in office, Barr has a lot of work ahead – not just on the subject of marijuana, but on a number of policies. However, it’s nice to know that the marijuana industry has a supporter in the top cop of the U.S.