Attorney General nominee William Barr has confirmed in writing the comments he made during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing that he would not crack down on state-legal cannabis.
Barr reiterated that public testimony in a subsequent series of written responses to senators' questions.
“As discussed at my hearing, I do not intend to go after parties who have complied with state law in reliance on the Cole Memorandum,” Barr said in reference to the Obama-era memo meant to prevent federal prosecutors from going after state-legal cannabis operations. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the memo in January 2018.
At his confirmation hearing held in January 2019, Barr told Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker that Sessions had made a mistake in rescinding the Cole Memo. Sessions' reversal allowed federal prosecutors to enforce federal cannabis laws even in states that legalized medical or adult-use marijuana.