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Marijuana: Eric Holder says fed response to Colorado law coming soon

eric holder with justice department seal 205x205.jpg
Eric Holder.
Yesterday, eight former DEA administrators sent a letter to ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (see it below), encouraging them to quiz U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about why the Justice Department hasn't cracked down on Colorado and Washington state over their recently passed marijuana laws.

But if the octet hoped to force Holder into announcing federal action before the committee during testimony this morning, they're likely disappointed. Because he didn't.

According to the Seattle Times, chairman Patrick Leahy gave Holder an opportunity to announce the department's intentions at the hearing, but he deferred. He told the senators that Justice types were "still considering" how to react, but said a response would be coming soon.

patrick leahy.jpg
Patrick Leahy.
For those keeping score at home, the "coming soon" line has been used a number of times now, including late last month.

The Washington Times adds that the Justice Department will have to reduce expenses by more than $1 billion due to the sequester cuts that appear to be going through following the passage of a deadline last week. According to the paper, Leahy noted that one area to slash might involve the targeting of small-time pot users. In his words, "I would suggest there are more serious things than minor possession of marijuana."

In the meantime, a number of prominent marijuana activists and organizations have responded to the ex-DEA administrators' letter.

Thumbnail image for Mason Tvert, Denver Press Club 1.JPG
Photo by Sam Levin
Mason Tvert at a recent Denver Press Club event.
Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, and one of the primary proponents for Amendment 64, which allows adults 21 and over in Colorado, to possess small amounts of marijuana, issued the following statement:
It is not surprising that these ex-heads of the marijuana prohibition industry are taking action to maintain the policies that kept them and their colleagues in business for so long. Their desire to keep marijuana sales in an underground market favors the drug cartels, whereas the laws approved in Colorado and Washington favor legitimate, tax-paying businesses. Marijuana prohibition has failed, and voters are ready to move on and adopt a more sensible approach. It's time for these former marijuana prohibitionists to move on, too.
Adds Marijuana Policy Project national policy director Steve Fox:
President Obama said in December that we need to have a discussion about how to reconcile state and federal marijuana laws. He did so because he understands that the American people, starting with the voters in Colorado and Washington, are ready to put the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in the past. As states take the lead on reform, the federal government should work with the states, not against them. The Cold War-like mentality demonstrated by the former DEA heads is as outdated as the Cold War itself.
Also weighing in is Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Continue for Franklin's take, plus a look at the former DEA administrators' letter.



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43 comments
tony514
tony514

i say smoke a joint and wait to see how long it takes the feds to kick your door in.NEVER GONNA HAPPEN

beauzeau
beauzeau

"Relatively soon".  Yeah yeah yeah.  blah blah blah.  yada yada yada.

He says 'relatively soon' as much as Obama says  "We need to have a discussion about this"....

Relative to what Mr Holder?  The next ice age?

stuka1
stuka1

Meanwhile, the Denver Post reports that a Western Slope company has been given the go-ahead to grow industrial hemp:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_22737759/colorado-company-approved-grow-hemp

Trouble is, nothing in the story indicates ANYTHING about them being allowed by the feds to GROW.

Currently hemp is IMPORTED for manufacture and processing.

Did the feds flip-flop, or did the Post prove once again that they are completely ignorant of all things cannabis/hemp?

Stay tuned to find out....

tutonehcc
tutonehcc

Do you stupid stoners really need the head of the DEA to tell you that weed is illegal?  Don't you think the guy has something better to do?

Chris Estus
Chris Estus

@Ray wake up from your dream they don't work for you or me. Thank you A64 voters for putting a bullseye on everyone from Colorado where ever they go. Enjoy your next road trip and hope you take enough bail money or you may never see Colorado again.

Andrew Guzman
Andrew Guzman

they r former dea. find a different hobby, your wife, raking the yard. really?! not happy cuz they r not getting what everyone else is?

Michelle Shell
Michelle Shell

I pray that they stay out and let the states decide. We should be running the Govt, not them running us!

Ed Haas
Ed Haas

I hope to learn that they'll leave us alone unless we screw up how 64 is implemented in 2014.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"The Washington Times adds that the Justice Department will have to reduce expenses by more than $1 billion due to the sequester cuts that appear to be going through following the passage of a deadline last week."

Lies. The sequester has no cuts. It limits automatic increases by some 2%. It's pathetic, really.

mrvco
mrvco

Obviously we need more of what is not already working!

sparky
sparky

What exactly do these former DEA administrators expect the Federal Government to do about legalization in Colorado and Washington? Realistically the most that could be accomplished is Colorado and Washington are prevented from allowing retail sales of marijuana. The federal government doesn't have the resources to enforce possession, use, and cultivation laws against individuals and they can't force state governments to enforce those laws either. Considering that pretty much everyone knows at least a few people who grow marijuana, the absence of retail stores won't deprive consumers of this commodity, it will only deprive the government of taxes. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 = Epic Reading Comprehension FAIL!

They have NOT been approved to GROW Hemp, you blithering moron.


... the whole Hemp hype is a non-issue.

Canada has been growing Industrial Hemp for well over a decade now, and the farmers there are barely making any $$, many reverting back to more profitable grain crops like Corn, Wheat, etc.

The ENTIRE U$ market demand for Hemp products, seed oil, fiber, etc -- which Canada and other hemp producing nations supply -- can be produced on a few hundred acres total !

It's a laughably small market, and not very profitable.



JimTom
JimTom

Yep he has to make the next delivery of guns to the Mexican mafia.

beauzeau
beauzeau

@Chris Estus I wish I lived in WA right now.   I'd be driving across the WA ID border three times a day in a shitty car just to try to get them to stop me and search my car, so that I could sue them for harrassment when they were done.

beauzeau
beauzeau

@Ed Haas There's no way you could screw that up.  ALL the negatives are the same false negatives that have been thrown around by the 'reefer madness' folks for decades.  "Oh, people will get out there and drive stoned and kill other drivers".   Yeah right.  Driving stoned is not much different from driving on 2 or 3 cups of coffee.  Certainly nothing like driving drunk.   Also, "it's a 'gateway drug, ohhhhhhh'.   Yeah, they asked 1000 junkies if they ever tried pot, the majority of them said yes, so to the little brains, that means pot AUTOMATICALLY makes you try heroin.  I wonder, did they ask those same junkies if they've ever smoked cigarettes?  I'll bet the majority would say yes, but cigs don't get the 'gateway' label for some reason.  Hmmmmm, let's see here:

Tobacco has a high potential for abuse
Tobacco has no known medical value
Tobacco has no established safety for use

Doesn't that mean tobacco belongs on Schedule I right next to the killer marijuana!?

It's as simple as this folks.  If you're FOR prohibition, your FOR throwing our money away, and you're FOR allowing our govt to tell people what they can or can't do in the privacy of their own homes.  In other words, if you're still a prohibitionist, you're not very smart, and not very American, OR you work in law enforcement and just don't want to lose those pot chasing funds.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@mrvco That's one way of putting it, mrvco. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@mrvco ... works fine for the Prison Industrial Complex and Law Enforcement.


michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@sparky Interesting viewpoint, Sparky. Thanks for the post.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt

@DonkeyHotay A few hundred acres? Where do you get your bullshit facts about hemp?

There were 50,000 acres of hemp in production in Canada last year.  The acreage will increase to 75,000 this year because of strong demand for hemp products from the U.S.

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay

"@stuka1 = Epic Reading Comprehension FAIL!

They have NOT been approved to GROW Hemp..."


You FUCKING IDIOT, That was PRECISELY my point. I said:

" Trouble is, nothing in the story indicates ANYTHING about them being allowed by the feds to GROW."

 DonkeyHotay = Fucking idiot who can't read his way out of a fucking paper bag

beauzeau
beauzeau

@DonkeyHotay Actually, one or two crops of hemp will ready crop ravished soils so that they can once again grow corn.  Hemp was often used for this reason alone.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc

@Cognitive_Dissident @tutonehcc Cool Cognitive_Dissident, I'm rocking out to it right now smoking this fine hash!  I actually got to see Floyd in Chicago at Soldier Field 1993, Division Bell Tour when I was in high school.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@beauzeau ... so what's stopping you? 

Too lazy to move, or too ignorant to find Washington on a map?


stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay = Fucking IDIOT!

That was my POINT, imbecile, that the government has NOT approved them to grow hemp! And that the DP got it TOTALLY WRONG! And you STILL didn't get that after I corrected  your sorry pig-ignorant ass!

You = TOTAL reading comprehension FAIL, complete MORON

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1 = FAIL FAIL FAIL AGAIN, MORON!

They haven't been approved by ANYBODY to GROW hemp. Not even the State of Colorado, moron.

The story is about their hemp PRODUCTS  ... NOT GROWING Hemp.

stupa1 = fucking retard stoner

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@beauzeau ... says the imbecile who spewed this nonsense "Tobacco has no known medical value"

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@beauzeau ... no competent industrial farmer "ravishes" their soil. 

That's why they all practice crop rotation.

Hemp is NOT the "miracle" plant the stoner hypesters claim it to be.

Genghis
Genghis

@DonkeyHotay Did you even read the article you posted? The conclusion's first sentences state "Tobacco has long been removed from pharmacopoeias and from medical practice. Stewart's conclusion from her review to 1860 was that ‘The best that can be said of it was that in many cases tobacco alleviated pain"

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@beauzeau "Tobacco has no known medical value"

Epic Stoner Fail!

beauzeau
beauzeau

@DonkeyHotay @beauzeau Yup, I'm sitting here in front of my great big hookah dude smokin up and gettin ripped then i'm gonna go giggle behind the wheel while I kill people, and laugh about it.

What are you?  80?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@beauzeau = the idiot who spouted this nonsense: "Tobacco has no known medical value"

LOL!

beauzeau
beauzeau

@DonkeyHotay @beauzeau Both actually, because I tried pot once.  It turned me into a perpetually stupid moron who can't get off his couch.   I look just like Tommy Chong too, probably just the way you imagined me looking!

What an idiot....


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