Former US Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole joins us to discuss the history around the three Cole Memos. Mr. Cole takes us through the under appreciated Cole Memo 1, the celebrated Cole Memo 2 and Cole Memo 3 which was released of course in concert with FinCEN guidance from the US Treasury.


Speaker 1: James m cole,

Speaker 2: US Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole joins us to discuss the history around the three coal memos. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on twitter, facebook, instagram, and our new youtube channel with a handle can economy that's to eds and the word economy. Not sure how you're accessing this, but please know that you can get us through the new cannabis economy app in Itunes, the itunes podcast APP and Google play. Mr Cole takes us through the under appreciated Cole Memo One, the celebrated Cole memo and the Cole memo three, which was released of course in concert with Vince and guidance from the US Treasury. It was an honor to speak with Jim and I very much appreciate his time. Jim Cole on the Cole memo.

Speaker 1: All right. I am sitting in front of a former deputy attorney general of the United States of America, James m cold. Jim, thank you so much for having us in and thanks for inviting. So, um, there are so many questions, but I think first simply going through the history and we've got some folks coming in and out of the office, that's fine. Simply going through the, uh, the history, um, and not necessarily your mindset, but eh, you know, how you approached each step along the way. The first step happens before you're there. So your predecessor, David Ogden, put out the Ogden memo, um, where were you in 2009 within the framework of your career when he put that out? A, I was a lawyer in private practice. I having largely a, a white collar criminal defense practice as well as a, uh, compliance and corporate counseling practice. I was the monitor for a large financial services corporation at the time and doing a lot of work on that and defending individuals and companies and saw it with, uh, some interest.

Speaker 1: You did notice, I noticed that there was something that came out about it, but, uh, I didn't look at it too carefully. Okay. Well, the precursor to that would have been, um, you know, the attorney general himself say focusing on, uh, we're really going to concern ourselves with folks that are masquerading as a, you know, a medical dispensary. So as opposed to the medical dispensaries themselves, he said that in March of 2009, I think ogden follows with the memo. Right. And I think that there was a probably with certainly when I came into the department in 2011, there was a sense that the Ogden memo had been overread. Okay. Well, and what did it say as far as you're concerned? Well, in essence, yeah, as far as my reading of it indeed is that it said, look, there are people who truly have medical needs for marijuana and there are caregivers of those people who helped provide them with marijuana.

Speaker 1: These are not people who have medical conditions that are genuine. These are people with Glaucoma, with cancer who are in chemotherapy who have genuine documented need for this. Right. And the memo basically said as to those people, it is not a productive use of the time of the and the resources of the Department of Justice to prosecute them. So we won't. It literally says cancer. And uh, it, uh, I, I, if, if I May, I read it a few times. It says it's likely not a good use of resources. Efficient use of resources. Correct. It's very hedged and very qualified, but it's also really focusing on people who are genuinely sick indeed and their carrier and their caregivers basically saying if, if a good close friend of mine or a relative of mine is really in distress, they're going through chemotherapy. The only thing that can help them however is marijuana, than if I somehow go out and procure it for them.

Speaker 1: And that's all I ever do. I shouldn't be prosecuted. Right. Simple, right? Simple. Straightforward. Correct. People were reading a little bit more into that, weren't they? They were, they were reading into it. As long as you are in compliance with state law period, you're going to be okay with the United States Department of Justice. And the memo didn't say that. So you come in in 2011 hydro. And how quickly did you ride Cole? Memo one, which most people forget by the correct. Uh, it was fairly early on. It was, um, I started hearing from us attorneys and from the executive office of us attorneys that there was this concern in the community and the law enforcement community that the Ogden memo was being over. People were taking it as a defense. People were using it as a policy discussion and trying to talk the department on a prosecuting their clients and they said it needs to be rewritten to emphasize what it does and does not cover so that we clear the air and have a more straightforward policy so people can understand it.

Speaker 1: And that's fair. And so now I understand the last paragraph of a Cole memo, one, which is where you say this can't be used as a defense. Correct? All of the memos, right? Exactly. Even Cole memo to says, this doesn't create any rights. It's got to be used as a defense. And that standard in virtually every policy memo in the Department of Justice. So, so basically you put out this bummer of a memo, Jim, right, in 2011, I prefer to call it a realistic, just kind of resetting the boundaries of, hey, we're not talking about commercial grows, we're certainly not talking about a warehouses and you know, we're, we're talking about still patients and abiding by kind of a, would you call them eight principles or uh, you know, they, they weren't listed as concisely as they are Cole memo too, but it's kind of looking towards what is the role of the federal government in this space and the role of the federal government in this space is to determine what actually harms the community and then use our federal law enforcement resources to correct those harms and to go after those arms. Right?

Speaker 3: So, uh, not a listed specifically. We'll get to Cole memo to in just a bit, but, uh, because that's, that's everyone's favorite. Uh, but you know, are we harming children? Are we engaging in cross a state border trade? Are We, you know, is there a violence and danger involved, those kinds of concepts.

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