The governor of New Jersey would be authorized to enter into agreements for interstate marijuana commerce with other states that have legalized cannabis under a new bill filed by Senate President Nicholas Scutari (D).
However, the agreements could only be forged if federal law changes, or if the Justice Department issues guidance permitting such activity.
U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to decriminalize cannabis by removing the drug from the Federal controlled substances list.
U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren last week sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging that the Department of Justice remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances list.
The Democratic senators, from New Jersey and Massachusetts, respectively, wrote that descheduling marijuana is long overdue and “would allow states to regulate cannabis as they see fit, begin to remedy the harm caused by decades of racial disparities in enforcement of cannabis laws, and facilitate valuable medical research.”
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.
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.
The Department of Justice has issued a new advisory requiring gun dealers in one state to conduct federal background checks on all unlicensed gun buyers because existing policies, the government argues, have enabled “habitual marijuana users” and other disqualified individuals to obtain firearms illegally.
Though cannabis is legal for adults under Michigan state law, it remains a restricted Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Consequently, consumers of marijuana have been forbidden from purchasing or possessing firearms.
Marijuana On School Grounds? Proceed With Caution
The primary concern for public school administrators is that marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, which means the federal government continues to take the position there is no acceptable medical use of the drug. Accordingly, the use of medical marijuana within 1,000 yards of school property could cause schools who receive federal funding to run afoul of the Drug Free Workplace Act and cause a loss of that federal funding.
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.