He’s doing it again

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt is a never-ending source of wonder.

In interviews with the Reno Gazette Journal and Las Vegas Review Journal, he was asked about the long-troublesome difficulty of the marijuana industry being unable to use the federal banking system.

The Gazette Journal asked Laxalt if he was going to take action with federal officials to try to deal with the problem.

Laxalt: “Yeah, I mean, we’ve talked about that already. …With what’s happened at the federal level, I feel it’s more prudent to wait for the opportunity to try to speak to the … Nevada U.S. attorney, and I’ve requested that appointment and hope to be able to speak to her, and I think that will better inform what the best approach is.”

That was posted on Jan. 30. Laxalt was sworn in on Jan. 5, 2015. The issue of marijuana and banking was already well advanced then, as a result of medical marijuana dispensary difficulties. Laxalt is telling us that he’s still not up to speed on the issue three years later, that he wants to consult with U.S. Attorney for Nevada Dayle Elieson, who is—if you can believe it—even newer to Nevada residency than Laxalt himself. She was appointed to her post and transferred to Nevada from Texas two months ago. (Leave it to the Trump administration to pioneer the concept of non-resident U.S. attorneys who have to be educated on their new states.)

Review-Journal: “A few weeks ago, 19 attorney generals [sic] signed a letter urging Congress to pass basically a bill that would allow [marijuana merchants] to access the banking system. You were the only attorney general from a state that had legalized recreational marijuana not to be on that letter. Why not?”

Laxalt: “I’m waiting to meet with this U.S. attorney. I think once this Cole Memo came down, there was just this massive knee jerk reaction to what this all means. … I want to meet with the U.S. Attorney. I want to understand where all this is headed before we jump out and join a bunch of things and stand on a hill and pound our chest on this thing. We gotta see how this thing’s going to roll out.”

That was Feb. 7. A week had passed and Laxalt was still not up to speed. Here’s a thought: Laxalt, when he took office, could have designated one of his deputies to inform herself about the issue and then brief her boss. The U.S. attorney for Nevada is not the only person in the republic who is informed on the matter. He has now met with Elieson—and won’t tell the public how it went.

When a casino owner, Sheldon Adelson, wanted Laxalt’s assistance, the attorney general hopped to fast, approaching a gambling regulator to aid Adelson.

Adam Laxalt does not like the notion of legal marijuana, and has never been pleased by the vote of Nevadans to approve it. But they did, and it would be nice if the marijuana industry could get the same kind of service from Laxalt as the casino industry. Instead, his personal political preferences on a Nevada ballot measure are once again interfering with his doing his job.

It’s not good for Nevadans when the Nevada attorney general’s office becomes known as a good place to send an issue they supported to die.