Justice Department can’t find anti-medicinal marijuana talking points to Congress it had just found

Agency earlier attempted to withhold missing two pages under b(5) exemption

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Michael Morisy

Last year, Marijuana.com‘s Tom Angell requested the following from the Justice Department’s Criminal Division:

Talking points concerning a medical marijuana amendment that the Department of Justice distributed to members of Congress in advance of votes which took place on the following days: May 30, 2014 (House of Representatives), June 3, 2015 (House of Representatives) and June 11, 2015 (Senate Appropriations Committee).

Then in June, he received the following response - two pages had been located, and they would be withheld in full, under the dreaded b(5) exemption.

Tom immediately appealed, arguing that b(5) only covers interdepartmental communication between government agencies, and Congress, under FOIA, does not fit that description.

He finally heard back this week, and while the good news is that the appeal was successful, there’s a pretty hefty asterisk tacked on there:

What happened to those two pages of responsive records?

We’ll keep you notified as the situation develops, but for Tom, the next move seems pretty clear.

Read the full “no responsive documents” letter is embedded below, or on the request page.


Image via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0