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Attorney General Eric Holder Pressured by Ex-DEA Officials to Oppose State Marijuana Laws

After years of foreign wars, the Patriot Act, and an unpopular healthcare mandate, voters are weary of big government proposals.  Politicians on both sides of the aisle are quick to point out that they want to reduce the size and scale of government, even if their actions betray this sentiment.  The idea of letting states decide many issues has gained traction, with one major exception.  Marijuana.

Approximately 75% of Americans support a physician’s right to prescribe medical marijuana.  Even more interestingly, is that now over half of the country supports legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana even for recreational use.  Three states, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon will have residents in their states voting to enact such plans.  Of course we all know the people simply passing the law may not end the ongoing feud between federal and state authorities.  The problem the White House faces is that they have tried to make the case that they will not use any federal resources to circumvent state law.  This leaves them with trying to apply federal law only when a dispensary is in violation of state law, as confusing as that sounds.

This approach is being challenged by 9 former heads of the DEA.  Attorney General Eric Holder has not publicly indicated how the federal government would handle a situation where states operate legal marijuana sales.  His silence has drawn the ire of those who feel the federal government needs to take a more definitive stand and send out a message that federal law trumps state law.  Holder has spoken out on previous legalization initiatives.  He indicated that he would enforce federal law in California in 2010 if residents voted to legalize marijuana.  In the letter, obtained by news outlet Reuters, the group said that “To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives.”

Of course taking a stand against laws voted on and enacted by the people offers its own set of “dangerous initiatives”.  No administration wants to be known as the White House crushed state laws and the will of the people.  The old system has failed and while many of us understand that federal authorities have to carry out the law, there is a chance of overreaching here.  A war between residents and the federal government on this issue could be one of the highest profile examples of the government ignoring the will of the people.  Even those who do not support marijuana legalization may be outraged at such large scale intervention.  With most Americans feeling the war on drugs is a failure, spending more money and resources to keep the antiquated approach alive could be a disaster as small government fans, fiscal hawks, civil rights groups, and medical supporters could all find themselves coming together over the issue.

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5 Responses to “Attorney General Eric Holder Pressured by Ex-DEA Officials to Oppose State Marijuana Laws”

  1. avatar
    420 Warrior September 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    The DEA guys dont want their business to be interupted by marijuana patients, they love business as usual where people get murdered and tax dollars are wasted

  2. avatar
    regulate dont hate September 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    and now we see why change just is so difficult to acheive, whatever system in place, there will always be those higher up trying to profit, look at coal and oil which are not renewable, lobbyists from those industries only care about profits today, the same with the feds, their pay grade doesnt offer the lucrative deals that the cartels do

  3. avatar
    Chief IronLung September 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    They wont let the system flourish unless they can profit from it! They need to take a more definitive stance, its really not fair. Especially when people can be thrown in jail for something that was supposed to be allowed! it stunts growth. Reclassify if you have to at the least, then all the studies that already should make an obvious point to legalize can be reinforced and reinforced again.

    • avatar
      HempHammock23 September 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      agreed, reclassification is the minimum. Legalization doesn’t seem so far fetched with those types of statistics supporting marijuana use. Maybe it could happen sooner than later. Probably in an OBAMA second term! At least I don’t think he will set us back!

  4. avatar
    CookieMonster420 September 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    The fact that there is so much support on both sides, medically and recreationally and yet it still remains schedule 1 and we put people in jail for it really makes you wonder how we could be living in a democracy

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