WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Justice Department, William Barr, told a Senate committee Tuesday that he would not use federal resources to enforce federal laws on cannabis in states that have passed laws on recreational and medical use.
But Barr said Congress should act to address the federal law, and whether there should be a central federal law addressing the legality of the substance.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had rescinded Department of Justice guidance written during the Obama administration that allowed companies to grow and package cannabis in states that had made the substance legal, despite federal law.
Barr said that if confirmed as attorney general he would not use federal resources in states that had legalized cannabis under the previous directive. His answer came under questioning from at least three potential presidential aspirants, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
All three sit on the Judiciary panel and all three are exploring a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
Nevada voters approved sale of medical marijuana in 2000 and recreational marijuana in 2016.