“I think that it’s fair to expect what I said at my confirmation hearing with respect to marijuana and policy, that it will be very close to what was done in the Cole Memorandum,” says US Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The Cole Memorandum was an Obama-era policy that directed prosecutors to steer away from state cannabis laws. That was stripped away by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions while Trump was in office.
So while Garland says that the Department of Justice is “still working on a marijuana policy,” it seems one is pretty much already in place and just not formally announced quite yet. This hands off approach is expected, and unfortunately doesn’t move the needle much in the debate.
The marijuana community is very used to the chipping-away method of progress, so there’s some hope to glean from this news. Biden continually touts his recent pardons in speeches, and as long as marijuana remains a talking point, more small victories will be won throughout the coming years.