Three dozen members of the House of Representatives introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling for an inquiry into the possible impeachment of Attorney General William Barr because he “abused the power of his office” to improperly investigate marijuana businesses and allegedly engaged in other unlawful conduct.
Attorney General William Barr
The whistleblowers initially took their complaints to the executive Office of Special Counsel, which referred the case to OPR. When OPR approached the division with the allegation of impropriety, officials contended that because of their lack of experience assessing the industry, which “was rapidly expanding and consolidating,” the antitrust investigations were appropriate despite claims they were influenced by Attorney General William Barr’s animosity toward the marijuana industry.
Several members of a key congressional committee on Wednesday expressed concerns over a Justice Department whistleblower’s allegations that the attorney general directed multiple improper antitrust investigations into marijuana business mergers because of his personal opposition to the industry.
Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) each directly questioned the witness, John Elias, about the allegations at a hearing that also covered other unrelated reports of inappropriate actions by Attorney General William Barr.
Two key House lawmakers sent a letter to the attorney general on Friday, condemning the recent expansion of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) authority amid mass protests and criticizing the agency’s objectives as out of step with the movement to legalize marijuana and reschedule other drugs.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has announced it is moving forward to facilitate the expansion of U.S.-based marijuana research. After a delay that lasted years, the DEA is now moving forward to allow U.S. cultivators to grow a larger amount of research-grade cannabis domestically, but it may take a while.
The Justice Department said Monday it would move forward to expand the number of marijuana growers for federally authorized cannabis research.
The long-awaited move comes after researchers filed court papers asking a judge to compel the Drug Enforcement Administration to process the applications to grow research pot. The DEA began accepting applications to grow marijuana for federally approved research about three years ago, but the agency hasn't acted on the applications.
Attorney General William Barr recently received two letters from senators that stress the importance of expanding the number of federally authorized growers of marijuana for research purposes.
Adding such facilities would not represent a violation of international treaties, one of the letters argued, while the other focuses more broadly on delays in processing applications for additional cultivators.