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Larry Cote quoted in article “Feds in ‘Catch-22′ on D.C. Marijuana Legalization”

Roll Call

Following is an excerpt:

Democrats representing jurisdictions that have voted to legalize recreational weed will roll out their congressional strategy Thursday, but federal drug regulators may be plotting to handcuff the first such ballot initiative sent to Congress for review.

A former Drug Enforcement Administration associate chief counsel, who advised investigations and prosecutions arising under the Controlled Substances Act before moving into private practice in 2012, predicts the agency will be engaged in discussions with staffers to stop the District of Columbia from joining other marijuana-legalized localities.

“No matter what the makeup of Congress is, they face a daunting task — allowing, by act of Congress, [people] to engage in something that is forbidden by federal law,” said Larry P. Cote, who now co-leads Quarles & Brady’s DEA compliance and litigation practice group and serves as the managing partner of the firm’s D.C. office. Cote described it as a “Catch-22.”