Federal Prosecutor Admits to Marijuana Use, Faces No Charges

Othman J. Mekhloufi | @othmanmekhloufi

According to an investigative summary report released on May 30th by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) admitted to “possessing, transporting, and consuming” marijuana edibles for medical use to alleviate back pain, in August or September of 2016.

The AUSA’s identity remains anonymous in the public report.

Assistant United States Attorneys are the federal prosecutors who do the basic work of enforcing federal laws under the Justice Department for their superiors, United States Attorneys.

The report states that the AUSA came forth with the self-report after a marital dispute occurred where their spouse threatened to report them to the DOJ themselves. According to the report, this came after the AUSA’s spouse assumed that the AUSA did not disclose the medical marijuana use on the Standard Form (SF) 86 form, a questionnaire required for national security cleared positions.

However, the AUSA admitted to having falsely denied their medical marijuana usage for the past seven years on the SF-86 form.

As stated by the Office of the Inspector General, by admitting to “possessing, transporting, and consuming marijuana edibles”, the AUSA violated state and federal law. In addition, the AUSA violated another federal law–18 U.S.C. § 1001–by knowingly falsely denying the consumption, transportation, and possession of a controlled substance on their SF-86 form.

State and federal prosecutors “declined” to press charges as stated in the OIG’s report despite multiple violations of the law.

The OIG added that the AUSA lacked honesty during an interview with the OIG after the self-report when they stated that the inaccurate responses were unintentional.

Although no prosecutorial conduct will occur, the OIG’s report stated that the report was submitted to the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys and the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility for “action they deem appropriate”.

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