Barr: I wouldn't go after businesses relying on Obama-era marijuana policy

Barr: I wouldn't go after businesses relying on Obama-era marijuana policy
© Getty

Attorney general nominee William Barr told lawmakers Tuesday that he would not go after marijuana companies in states where the substance is legal.

Former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump MORE last year rescinded the Obama-era policy that discouraged federal prosecutors from bringing forward marijuana-related charges in states that had legalized the substance.

However, Barr said Tuesday in response to a question from Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCNN to host town hall with Cory Booker in South Carolina O'Rourke sees 'a lot of wisdom' in abolishing Electoral College Gillibrand: Aide who claimed sexual harassment was 'believed' MORE (D-N.J.), that he didn’t believe Sessions made the right decision in rescinding the so-called Cole Memo because it likely disrupted existing industries.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’m not going to go after companies that rely on the Cole Memorandum,” Barr said.

Barr added that he believes there should be a federal law prohibiting marijuana — a law that he said he supports — or states should be allowed to impose their own regulations.

Sessions faced backlash from states and lawmakers after his decision to pull back the policy.

He later said that the Justice Department would not pursue "small" marijuana charges.

At least 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana as of 2018, and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said this week that she will also call for legalized recreational marijuana in her state.

Federal law still prohibits the sale and possession of marijuana.