Biden AG Pick Merrick Garland Indicates Deference to DEA on Marijuana Science and Classification

Marijuana legalization advocates are anxiously awaiting the implications of recent election results in regards to potential federal marijuana policy changes. Several news outlets reported Wednesday that President-elect Joe Biden selected Marrick Garland as his nominee for U.S. attorney general. 

Garland currently serves as a circuit judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. He was former president Barack Obama’s choice for a Supreme Court seat in 2016, but the nomination was halted by Senate Republicans. 

Garland hasn’t made his views on marijuana especially clear, but some legalization advocates believe he’ll take a conservative stance, despite common consensus that his decisions will be a stark contrast to those made by former attorneys general, Jeff Sessions and William Barr. 

Deferring to the DEA

There are indications in Garland’s judicial record that demonstrate his belief in deference to the DEA with marijuana scheduling. This could create a significant hurdle to rescheduling the drug given the agency’s strong opposition to such efforts for decades. 

In a 2012 federal lawsuit case, Garland was one of three judges to uphold a denial by the DEA of a…

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Since its inception, TWB has been based in activism and the mobilization and movements for marijuana policy reform happening around the country. It was created for one purpose: to facilitate a constructive conversation about marijuana in America. This includes both medical and recreational marijuana policy, as well as the marijuana industry and culture.