The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Attorney General William Barr has made it abundantly clear that he opposes the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. And CNN reports that John Elias, a Department of Justice whistleblower, is expected to testify, on June 24, that Barr "improperly went after cannabis suppliers because of his personal feelings about the industry."

Elias, a career DOJ employee, is — according to CNN's Caroline Kelly— expected to discuss "Barr's perceived motivations behind" the DOJ's "multiple investigations into mergers in the cannabis industry."

Elias has alleged, "Rejecting the analysis of career staff, Attorney General Barr ordered the (DOJ's) antitrust division to issue second request subpoenas. The rationale for doing so centered not on an antitrust analysis, but because he did not like the nature of their underlying business."

According to Kelly, "Elias also suggests that multiple people in the (antitrust) division were aware of Barr's anti-cannabis inclinations — and that in many cases, the mergers were documented by department staff as appearing 'unlikely to raise significant competitive concerns.'"

Barr has made no secret of his anti-marijuana views. In April 2019, the U.S. attorney general testified before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee and asserted, "Personally, I would still favor one uniform federal rule against marijuana. But if there is not sufficient consensus to obtain that, then I think the way to go is to permit a more federal approach so states can, you know, make their own decisions within the framework of the federal law — so (that) we're not just ignoring the enforcement of federal law."

Elias has stressed, "Personal dislike of the industry is not a proper basis upon which to ground an antitrust investigation."

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Ken Bennett

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Ken Bennett, the Arizona State Senate's liaison to its review of 2020's presidential election ballots, threatened to resign from that post live on conservative talk radio on Monday, saying that Cyber Ninjas, the Senate's pro-Trump contractors, have concealed their results from him for months and could even be manipulating audit data.

Keep reading... Show less

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

x

Close