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EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Jon Ossoff: "I’m in favor of descheduling cannabis"
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-2:59

EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Jon Ossoff: "I’m in favor of descheduling cannabis"

Ep. 48 — Sen. Jon Ossoff (5-2-2024)
The Old Senate Chamber in the US Capitol. Photo: Matt Laslo

Who?

Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA)

LISTEN: Laslo & Ossoff

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Ask a Pol asks:

Any thoughts on the DEA moving to reschedule marijuana on their own?

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Key Ossoff: 

“Broadly speaking as a policy matter, I’m in favor of descheduling cannabis,” Sen. Ossoff exclusively tells Ask a Pol

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Thoughts on SAFER?

“I think that it is a sound idea,” Ossoff tells us. “Generally speaking, the proposition that in states where cannabis businesses are legal, there should be some safe harbor for state banks to bank them, is sensible, particularly because large amounts of cash are actually a threat to public safety.”

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Matt Laslo’s a veteran congressional correspondent, new media prof. & founder of Ask a Pol — a new, people-powered press corps.

Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA), slightly edited for clarity.

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TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Jon Ossoff

SCENE: Sen. Ossoff’s walking through the basement of the US Capitol.

Matt Laslo: “How are you sir. I’m on your right. Curious if you have any thoughts on the DEA moving to reschedule marijuana on their own?”

John Ossoff: “I’m in a — well, let me tell you this, I need to discuss with my counsel how that exercise of legal authority should work. But broadly speaking as a policy matter, I’m in favor of descheduling cannabis.”

ML: “Cause I’m curious how you all get the clemency debate, or your guys’ desire for clemency to be a part of it, if the administration goes it alone? Do you think maybe in SAFER Banking Act you can have leverage to get it?”

JO: “I would have to look more deeply into it.”

ML: “Yeah. Have you looked at SAFER Banking?”

JO: “Yeah.”

ML: “Do you know where you are on that?”

JO: “Look, I think that it is a sound idea. I'll have to refresh my review of the text itself, but generally speaking, the proposition that in states where cannabis businesses are legal, there should be some safe harbor for state banks to bank them, is sensible, particularly because large amounts of cash are actually a threat to public safety.”

ML: “Yeah? I was curious, have you ever talked to [Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene] about prison reform?”

JO: “No.”

ML: “Cause it's been — I've covered it for years with Rolling Stone, Playboy, VICE — and it's interesting in this Congress, like I’ve read that — I forget who did the piece on you, but I was like, ‘oh, that's interesting, cause the most I've heard about prison reform in the 118th [Congress] has been from MTG,’ just in the context of the J6 [January 6] folks. But it's never come up with you and her?”

JO: “No.”

ML: “Have you ever talked with her?”

Laslo laughs.

ML: “Have a good one, sir.”

Aide: “What was your name?”

ML: “Matt Laslo. How are you, sir?”

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