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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
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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 SessionsGarland rescinds Trump-era memo curtailing consent decrees Biden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings MORE last year rescinded the Obama-era policy that discouraged federal prosecutors from bringing forward marijuana-related charges in states that had legalized the substance.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 BookerBass 'hopeful' on passing police reform: 'Republicans that I am working with are operating in good faith' Progressive lawmakers press DHS chief on immigration detention Democrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico 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.

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“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.