Holder dodges states’ marijuana laws issue


Photo Credit: The Come Up

All nine former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chiefs waited to hear the Obama administration’s official position on two state laws legalizing marijuana, but no word came as of Wednesday.

Colorado and Washington state recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, even though federal law still makes any use of the drug a crime

The former DEA chiefs and four former drug czars sent a letter Monday asking Sens. Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley of the Judiciary Committee to “encourage Attorney General Eric Holder to adhere to long-standing federal law and policy in this regard, and to vigorously enforce the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).”

The letter called an Obama administration response an urgent matter as the clock ticks on the state laws’ implementation:

We, the undersigned, strongly support the continued enforcement of federal law prohibiting the cultivation, distribution, sale, possession, and use of marijuana-a dangerous and addictive drug which already has severe harmful effects on American society.

Our nation urgently needs action from Attorney General Holder to ensure that federal marijuana laws are enforced, federal preemption is asserted, and our obligations under international drug treaties are honored.

Holder testified before the committee Wednesday, but he didn’t reveal what the Justice Department’s official response would be.

CBS Denver published this statement from Holder to the committee:

 I have had the opportunity to meet with the leadership from Colorado and from Washington, the governors. We had a good, I think, communication. We in the administration at this point are considering what the federal government’s response to those new statutes will be. I expect we will have the ability to announce what our policy is going to be relatively soon.

“I would think, this is simply an editorial comment,” Leahy responded, according to CBS, “but if you are going to have to be, because of budget cuts, prioritizing matters, I would suggest there are more serious things than minor possession of marijuana. But that’s a personal view.”

Read the letter to Sens. Leahy and Grassley here.

Read more from CBS Denver here.

Janeen Capizola

"And though she be but little, she is fierce." And fun! This conservative-minded political junkie, mom of three, dancer and one-time NFL cheerleader holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science. [email protected] Twitter: @JaneenBPR


7 thoughts on “Holder dodges states’ marijuana laws issue

  1. Jose79845 says:

    Holder does not want to go into details while he is putting together the rules of engagement for the use of drone strikes against marijuana dispensaries.

  2. MiddleMan says:

    So, the former heads of the DEA, along with four former drug czars want to deny Colorado and Washington voters the right to make these decisions for their respective states? Just like Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, this is and should always be a state issue!

  3. Jillian Galloway says:

    It was the will of the American people that legalized marijuana in CO and WA and it was the will of the American people that gave President Obama a second term. He can't now nullify one without severely undermining the legitimacy of the other!

    In the seventy years since the launch of the marijuana prohibition we've learned a few important things: 1.) The prohibition absolutely does NOT stop people using marijuana. 2.) The prohibition causes FAR more harm than what it prevents. 3.) The prohibition fuels organized crime and makes children LESS safe.

    It is fundamentally WRONG for the government to continue any policy that causes more harm than good! We have to put the safety of our children FIRST and demand that marijuana be legalized like beer and wine.

  4. Stephen says:

    For me, the issue is so simple. "I own me." The government's position seems to be "We own us." I've scoured the Constitution repeatedly looking for where it invests the federal government with the power to criminalize drug use, and I just can't seem to find it.

    And that's a question I've never heard any answer to. If it took a Constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol, why not to prohibit other substances?

    Face it: the Drug War is morally and intellectually bankrupt and has ruined far more lives than any of the drugs it prohibits. It's lovely to see the Obama regime get itself into this situation, though – here's a case where their agenda of totalitarian control will actually alienate their base!

  5. john says:

    We need to change old outdated laws that hurt society,and stop destroying otherwise productive citizens lives because of a plant that has never killed anyone,Mushrooms are much more dangerous and so is coffee

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