Top

blog

Stories

 

Marijuana: Can Senator Patrick Leahy force Eric Holder to talk Colorado pot?

patrick.leahy.205x205.jpg
Patrick Leahy.
Last week, the White House finally talked pot, albeit mainly to reiterate statements made by President Barack Obama last year. As such, members of the Colorado cannabis community were left to wonder how long the current administration could stretch Attorney General Eric Holder's statement last March about a federal decision on Amendment 64 coming "soon." Now, however, playing coy just got that much harder -- because Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy will likely put Holder on the spot at a hearing in a few short weeks.

The news comes from Roll Call, which reports that Leahy, who elicited the "soon" comment from Holder at a late-winter get-together of the Senate Judiciary Committee, plans to invite the AG and his deputy, James Cole, to testify at a new session on September 10.

The reported goal of the hearing: Leahy's belief that state marijuana laws like the ones in Colorado should be respected.

Of course, Leahy can't compel Holder and Cole to announce an Obama administration decision about Amendment 64 or a similar measure in Washington state. But dodging the subject again will be that much more difficult for them, especially considering that by the 10th, six months will have passed since the attorney general implied an already delayed determination was just around the corner.

eric.holder.american.bar.association.august.2013.jpg
Eric Holder speaking before the American Bar Association earlier this month.
Stephen Downing, a retired deputy chief with the Los Angeles Police Department who's currently a board member with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcers who oppose the war on drugs, thinks the time has come for the feds to formally back off from the threat of tough measures against states like Colorado.

"Just as happened during the prohibition of alcohol, states are well ahead of the federal government in developing sensible marijuana policies," Downing says in a statement. "Right now, local law enforcement are doing everything they can to enforce these democratically enacted laws, but inconsistencies between stated policy and actions on behalf of the Justice Department have made that impossible."

Adds the Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell, "It's encouraging that top national lawmakers like Chairman Leahy are getting as frustrated as local officials are with the White House's refusal to announce whether they're going to follow through on President Obama's campaign pledges to respect local marijuana laws. While the delay in a federal response to Amendment 64 has allowed state regulators to move forward with implementing the program that voters overwhelmingly approved without interference, the Obama administration's continuing silence has undoubtedly created uncertainty and confusion.

"It'd have been nice if the administration had implemented the president's campaign pledges on day one, or if Holder had at least been truthful when he said the administration's response to two states legalizing marijuana was coming 'relatively soon,'" Angell continues. "But it looks like the White House is finally going to have to come up with a policy thanks to Chairman Leahy's invitation for the attorney general to testify specifically about this issue."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: White House finally discusses pot -- but not Colorado weed laws."


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
Cannabidiolator
Cannabidiolator

Members of Congress and high ranking officials are allowed to engage in insider trading on information they have.  They know that the deal has been cut to allow States to proceed on Marijuanat. The delay is being caused by officials picking the winners and buying stock or investing in companies that will benefit by the change to the tune of $billions. They also are using the delay to extort massive contributions from future players and craft the laws in a way to only benefit the companies that they invest in.. It is always about the money, never about us. T

thomasmc
thomasmc

Holder is a fascist, through and through. And I no longer consider Obama to be a friend of the Left.

dwizzle2009
dwizzle2009

it's not weather police or federal agents choose to interfere, for mew it's about my choice in medicine that I know works being subject to federal agents and or local police interfering.this is not about state or federal, I want the federal government to step in and defend my right when a state violates the bill of rights, that's the crime prevention aspect of it, when the federal government violates the bill of rights, the state should do the same, both in defense of the bill of rights should use military level intervention to ensure our freedom from oppression, the mere fact that this illegal fictional law is on the books is why I still read about people getting jailed and fined for no more than 30 plants for one year's supply to be harvested and packaged until next outdoor growing season, this is complete terrorism on good people who arew in some kind of pain, as of this moment I have no choice to put those who support these illegal laws under the same threat level as 9-11-2001 stereotype terrorists.

Maggie Nichols
Maggie Nichols

He told him months ago that he couldn't blame Eric Holder one bit for focusing on things that matter.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

This is not the only states' rights issue from which the Justice Department needs to back the hell off.

Holder suing Texas because they want to insure voters are residents. (The illegals are up in arms.)
Holder suing Louisiana because they want to implement school choice. (The teachers union is beside itself.)
Obama, Holder, DOJ threatens to sue NC.
Justice Dept. sues South Carolina.
Justice Dept. sues Arizona. 
If you want all of your rights taken away, keep voting for big, powerful government Democrats.
Isn't it time for a small government Libertarian?

Monkey
Monkey

It appears the DEA has no intention of backing off weed, why do we keep begging for an answer to a question we already know? From the beginning, the feds have always said the same thing, they don't care about users and small time growers, but they will still go after large scale distributers/manufacturers. Do you really think they'll say, good job, thanks for selling weed at stores, please continue? They used to be portrayed as animals going after the sick, but now with "recreational" weed stores starting soon, they wont have that negativity hanging over them. All they have to do is wait for the MMC's to flip, then they're not going after those who provide for the sick, they're just busting illegal drug dealers, much better headlines for the DEA. The war on weed is too profitable to go away, and our regulations will provide enough evidence against their suspects to make it even more profitable. I guess the Westword missed it, but the DEA never stops coming up with new ways to fuck with commercialized weed, here is the newest tactic while they wait for the big score.

http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/U-S-heat-on-armored-car-firms-to-drop-pot-clubs-4758848.php

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@Monkey@Monkey It's about time people start doing business in bitcoin. They should give a discount to those who pay in bitcoin, about what it costs to transfer cash to bitcoin. Maybe work out a mutual incentive program of some sort. 

Think of it similarly to credit card transactions, as far as the cost (there is no fee, except a tiny voluntary one which you should pay, to move bitcoin between wallets--only to change to/from other currencies.) It is totally legal, when you operate above board, which is what these people want to do.

It's good for people (I.E., their customers) to start using alternative currencies anyway, because using FRNs is basically like trading in government bonds--they're leveraging your use to steal from you, only there's no dividend, and the bottom will eventually drop out.

Additionally, bitcoin is internationally accessible. The government may decide to persecute bitcoin users, but they can't stop it and they cannot seize your bitcoin account (physically, as they can your bank account, because it's not run under the federal reserve or any company or nation) anyway. This provides insurance from rogue government types trying to stop people who aren't doing anything wrong.

If you're already in their spotlight and using FRNs, I see no down side to using bitcoin, and the up side is huge. You still obey the laws and pay taxes, if you're operating a retail store, but most of the risk disappears. Of course, I have nothing against gold or silver, but they have the same warehousing problem as cash. Additionally, there are competing crypto-currencies like bitcoin, but they're more uncertain.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...