Marijuana and Cannabis News

Atty. Gen. Holder To California: You Can't Legalize Marijuana
By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in Legislation, News
Friday, October 15, 2010 at 11:38 am
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Photo: Angry White Dude
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder: "We will vigorously enforce the [Controlled Substances Act] against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law"
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the people of California can't legalize and regulate marijuana. Let's see what the people of California have to say about that on November 2.

Holder sent a letter earlier this week to former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in which he promised that the Justice Department would continue to enforce federal marijuana laws in California -- even if the state's voters approve Proposition 19, which would make marijuana legal for all adults 21 or older and allow localities to tax and regulate the sale of cannabis.

Holder seems to have forgotten that states are the laboratories of democracy in a federal republic -- and he seems to have forgotten that he's our Attorney General, not our daddy.

"We will vigorously enforce the [Controlled Substances Act] against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law," Holder wrote in the letter, as reported by The Associated Press.

The letter sets up the prospect of a cannabis showdown between the Obama Administration and the people of California if voters approve the ballot initiative.

To back up the letter, Holder appeared at 10 a.m. Friday morning with anti-pot stalwarts such as Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and notorious Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, along with the former heads of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the DEA.

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Photo: Marijuana Policy Project
Steve Fox, MPP: "Law enforcement has lost all credibility on the subject of marijuana prohibition and it is time the American people start thinking for themselves on this issue"
​​"The truth is that the use of marijuana -- a substance far less harmful than alcohol or tobacoo -- is widespread in this country and nothing the government can do will ever stop that," said Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project.

"The only question is how we structure the market for marijuana so that it is best for society," Fox said. "Will we have marijuana sold in licensed, tax-paying and regulated stores or will we continue to have it sold in a completely unregulated market that makes it more available to teens?" Fox asked.

"Will we impose standards so that purchasers know the quality and purity of the marijuana they are buying or will we keep it in a far less safe unregulated market?" Fox continued. "Will we have the profits from the sale of marijuana go to legitimate taxpaying American business owners or will they go to underground dealers and cartels who will pay no taxes and defend their interests through violence?"

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Graphic: Yes On Prop 19
Let's show the Feds who's boss on November 2. YES ON 19!
​"Attorney General Holder is not looking out for the health and the safety of the American people," Fox said. "He is nothing more than the lead advocate for a never-ending taxpayer-funded jobs program for law enforcement officials in this country. If you look at the opposition to marijuana policy reform in this country, it is driven almost entirely by people whose jobs are dependent on arresting and prosecuting individuals for marijuana-related offenses."

Other than law enforcement, according to Fox, only politicians are defending the status quo of failed marijuana prohibition.

"The only other prominent group is elected officials who ignorantly turn a blind eye to alcohol-fueled violence in our communities in order to pretend they are 'tough on crime' by going after marijuana users who simply want to enjoy a substance less harmful than alcohol in peace," Fox said.

If Attorney General Holder really wanted to keep our society safe from dangerous drugs like cocaine, he and the former heads of the DEA would stop trying to link marijuana with harder drugs, according to Fox.

"Keeping marijuana in the illegal market does not reduce the use of harder drugs; it increases it by forcing teens and adults to purchase marijuana in the same 'stores' that sell those other drugs," Fox said.

"This cannot be stated strongly enough: Supporters of marijuana prohibition in law enforcement, who know that alcohol use causes far more problems than marijuana use, are not motivated by concerns of public safety," Fox said. "They are motivated by a dangerous combination of arrogance, prejudice and self-interest."

"Law enforcement has lost all credibility on the subject of marijuana prohibition and it is time the American people start thinking for themselves on this issue," Fox said.

"States are the laboratories of our democracy," Fox said. "California voters have an opportunity this November to choose an alternative to the failed policies of marijuana prohibition. Sadly, Attorney General Holder is trying to deny them that chance before the election even takes place."

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