Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett is on the newly formed National District Attorney’s Association’s (NDAA) policy group, which along with 14 other DAs, will advise the Trump administration on pot policy.
Good luck gentlemen and women, if indeed there are any females in the group.
Following the swift firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates hours after she said the Justice Department would not defend Trump’s executive order to ban refugees and travelers from certain countries, it is becoming abundantly clear that the Trump administration will not tolerate dissent.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said Yates, a longtime career prosecutor at the Department of Justice, had “betrayed the Department of Justice” by refusing to defend Trump’s order and that she was “weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”
So, if this NDAA team appears weak on legal marijuana legalization, or weak on states rights, or weak on the Cole Memo, their commission could just as easily be done away by the likes of Steven Bannon, right wing extremist, Trump’s chief political strategist and now a member of the National Security Council or by Jeff Sessions, Trump’s presumptive attorney general who hates weed.
Reminder: the 2013 Cole Memo does not direct the United States attorneys to immediately send out its troops to round up the usual suspects in legal weed states, but then it also doesn’t direct them not to, if they feel like it.
AG Garnett, the only active prosecutor from Colorado in the group, said there will be DAs from California and Oregon, as well as from other legal pot states, in the group.
“It’s a reflection of the NDAA’s interest in having a fairly balanced committee, which will be largely advising on what our policy position should be in communications with the Trump Justice Department,” Garnett said, according to the Daily Camera.
Having said that, Garnett added that the NDAA is a conservative group, which is why he felt it was important to add his voice.
“I always end up on the more liberal position than anyone else, particularly on marijuana,” Garnett said. “I think one of the things that happens is that many of the people in states where there is no legalization have a complete misunderstanding of states like Colorado,” he said.
“For somebody from Missouri or South Carolina to tell Colorado how to handle an issue of its own choice, like legalization of marijuana, is not only bad policy, but it fails to respect the importance of local control and state rights,” he continued.
Garnett added that at the first meeting, some of the DAs wanted to send a letter to governors in states with recreational or medical marijuana telling them to shut down those businesses within 90 days.
Garnett, thankfully, thought such a move was “particularly unrealistic and ill-advised,” and said so.
Another member of the group, Tom Raynes, executive director of the Colorado District Attorney’s Council, said all prosecutors share basic common goals, which include keeping weed out of the hands of children, cracking down on impaired driving and curbing the black market.
Then, there is Jeff Sessions, who faces a senate vote as we speak.
“Assuming he gets confirmed, he would definitely be the recipient of whatever we come up with,” Garnett said. “Legalization has been largely successful everywhere it has been tried, so it would be a highly unpopular move and difficult to accomplish successfully. But I don’t know what to expect from the Trump administration on this issue.”
Join the club, sir.