United States Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t mention cannabis in his officially planned remarks Friday before the House Appropriations Subcommittee. He focused instead on everything from national security to prison rape. However, when the floor opened for questions, marijuana was one of the top topics.
The Attorney General’s Office has the power to re-categorize cannabis on the Controlled Substances List so it is not ranked at the same level as more overtly dangerous drugs such as heroine. However, Holder maintained he would not take this step unilaterally. Instead, he said “we would be glad to work with Congress.”
This positive statement is being treated by the press as something of a breakthrough. If marijuana’s classification is downgraded, it would open the doors for banking as well as federally-funded medical research. Perhaps most critically, marijuana-derived sales revenues would not be subject to onerous taxation due to 280E.