Q&A: Jason Dunn, Colorado’s new top federal prosecutor, on marijuana, battling the opioid epidemic and how to stop violent crime

Colorado’s U.S. attorney holds one of the most powerful law enforcement jobs in the state, overseeing the direction of the regional offices of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

And that’s just to name a few. 

Jason Dunn, the latest person to hold the job, was appointed by President Donald Trump and has big plans to take on a myriad of issues, from the opioid epidemic to violent crime and the state’s massive marijuana black market.

“In large respect, our priorities are driven by what’s happening in the public domain,” Dunn said in an interview Friday with The Colorado Sun, his most extensive since taking office in October.

Some of his ideas are already drawing concern — like his urging of Colorado law enforcement to treat opioid overdose deaths as homicides — while his stance on cannabis has the legal industry mostly at ease that they won’t be impacted. 

“I’ve always found Jason to be a really thoughtful and pragmatic lawyer, and also a policy person,” said Bob Hoban, founder and president of the Hoban Law Group, one of the most well-known cannabis law firms in the country. Hoban worked with Dunn early on his career.