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Laxalt Achieves New Level of Hypocrisy with “Premature” Excuse for Not Signing Pot Letter

Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt has been beating back mounting criticism for being the only attorney general from a state with legal recreational marijuana not to sign onto a letter urging Congress to find a fix to the banking problem that legal marijuana businesses face.

When Laxalt finally answered media inquiries on why he was not on the letter, he said signing it would be premature, adding, “Everyone wants to make everything political.” That’s a pretty interesting defense, considering Laxalt has a history of taking premature actions against the wishes of Gov. Brian Sandoval and using his office for political gain:

  • Laxalt “prematurely embroil[ed] the State in costly litigation” according to Gov. Sandoval by adding Nevada to a lawsuit challenging federal protections for the endangered sage grouse, which the governor strongly condemned.

  • Laxalt prematurely added Nevada to a lawsuit challenging Pres. Obama’s executive order on immigration — with the goal of deporting millions of DREAMers — without the backing of Gov. Sandoval, who distanced himself from the move.

  • Laxalt prematurely filed a court briefing opposing the Clean Power Plan, which Gov. Sandoval did not request and described as Laxalt “simply offering his legal opinion,” as opposed to acting on behalf of Nevada.

Check out some of the coverage since The Nevada Independent first broke the story:

KNPR [Las Vegas]: Laxalt Not Part Of Attorney Generals’ Letter On Banking For Marijuana Industry

“A bipartisan group of attorneys general in states where recreational marijuana is legal sent a letter to Congress this week urging them to fix the pot industry’s lack of access to banking.

“Nevada’s attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt was the only attorney general in states where marijuana is legal to not sign the letter.


“One of Laxalt’s key donors, Sheldon Adelson, provided more than 90 percent of the funding in the $3.7 million campaign against recreational marijuana.”

KXNT News Radio 840 [Las Vegas]

“Our attorney general, Adam Laxalt, is the only attorney general from a state with legal pot not to sign the letter to Congress for the banking fix…I guess the question is — this isn’t about liberal or conservative — what’s he thinking?


“It’s always about the money isn’t it…one of Laxalt’s key donors, Las Vegas Sands casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, he’s got a stake in this — not in the pro-pot business but the anti-pot business.”

Las Vegas Sun: Nevada Democrats protest Laxalt’s absence in pot banking letter

“If the marijuana industry doesn’t soon have easier access to protected banking, legal pot companies will continue to face safety hazards while hauling around large amounts of cash, argued three prominent Nevada Democrats on Wednesday.

“The politicians condemned Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt for not signing a recent letter to Congress supporting a bill to protect banks that open their doors to such marijuana businesses.”

KSNV [Las Vegas]: Attorneys General from 19 states urge Congress to fix pot banking, Nevada not among them

“Earlier this month, a group of bipartisan state attorneys general sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging the passage of the Safe Banking Act, which would allow the massive marijuana industry access to banks. Laxalt’s name did not appear on the letter and he told News 3 it would be premature to do so.”

KRXI [Reno]: “Attorneys General from 19 states are urging Congress to come up with a federal fix, but Nevada’s AG is not among them”

“‘For our attorney general not to encourage the federal government to change their regulations regarding banking is unacceptable,’ said [co-owner of the Las Vegas Releaf dispensary Ed] Bernstein.”