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Inside The DOJ’s Super Secretive Cannabis Subcommittee

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Cannabis lovers and people involved in the cannabis industry are waiting in trepidation for the Department of Justice (DOJ) decision on how to handle legal cannabis. The final decision will not be announced until July 27, so we have a bit of time left until we will know for sure the fate of cannabis in the US. Very little is known about the DOJ’s special cannabis subcommittee, formed back in April, which is reviewing the laws and overall impacts that legalization has had on the states. The DOJ has been extremely tight lipped about the cannabis subcommittee, including the people that are on it. US News and World Report sheds some light on the subject, including some of the members of this mysterious committee.

The cannabis subcommittee is headed by Michael Murray, who is counsel to the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Murray has not made his views on the subject clear, but he was a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is one of the more liberal leaning members of the Court, so that may be a good sign. The committee co-chair Steve Cook on the other hand, is not a friend to legalization advocates. Cook, an assistant US Attorney from Tennessee, believes that penalties for drug related offenses need to be harsher, and thinks that the best way to deal with addiction is a prison sentence rather than a doctor.

The other members of the cannabis subcommittee are not known at this time. Cook and Murray are refusing to answer questions about the other members or the “deliberative processes” of the committee. Sessions has also turned down meetings with pro-cannabis members of Congress, such as Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who is a member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, a congressional group dedicated to cannabis legalization.

These are troubling facts, but it’s important not to lose hope. Cannabis legalization is overwhelmingly popular among Americans. Three quarters of Congress doesn’t think the Federal government should interfere with individual states’ cannabis laws. Jeff Sessions also indicated that he may resign because of the Investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia, so we may get a new AG anyway. We’ll just have to wait and see. Don’t give up yet!

Source: US News and World Report

Image Source: NPR


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