Congressman Polis’ Grills Attorney General Holder About Fed’s Medical Marijuana Policies

By Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

I’ve spoken to two reporters today inquiring about Colorado Congressman Jared Polis’ medical cannabis-related questions to Attorney General Holder at a congressional committee hearing that was otherwise a ‘bloodbath’ for Holder—getting grilled about the guns and Mexico fiasco—when Polis, who is not a member of the Judiciary Committee, was allowed to ask Holder two questions about medical cannabis enforcement.

Generally written…

Polis first wanted assurances that Colorado’s medical cannabis dispensaries/cultivation centers compliant with state laws—unlike California’s medical cannabis businesses that are not regulated by the state—are not a Department of Justice (DOJ) target. Holder affirmed the basic tenets of the previous Ogden and Cole memos, and wouldn’t provide assurances, but, re-iterated the DOJ stance that enforcing medical cannabis laws, notably in a state like Colorado with its rules and regulations, and with limited federal resources at hand, is a low law DOJ enforcement priority.

The second Polis question was about banking and medical cannabis businesses in Colorado, where he pushed Holder to acknowledge that the DOJ is not placing a priority on interfering with state compliant medical cannabis businesses and banking concerns.

I assume there will be news and industry coverage later today and tomorrow about this unexpected, but informative exchange between Representative Polis and Attorney General Holder.

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