Congressman Polis’ Grills Attorney General Holder About Fed’s Medical Marijuana Policies

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director December 8, 2011

    Update: Huffington Post article and C-Span video.

    I’ve spoken to two reporters today inquiring about Colorado Congressman Jared Polis’ medical cannabis-related questions to Attorney General Holder at a congressional committee hearing that was otherwise a ‘bloodbath’ for Holder—getting grilled about the guns and Mexico fiasco—when Polis, who is not a member of the Judiciary Committee, was allowed to ask Holder two questions about medical cannabis enforcement.

    Generally written…

    Polis first wanted assurances that Colorado’s medical cannabis dispensaries/cultivation centers compliant with state laws—unlike California’s medical cannabis businesses that are not regulated by the state—are not a Department of Justice (DOJ) target. Holder affirmed the basic tenets of the previous Ogden and Cole memos, and wouldn’t provide assurances, but, re-iterated the DOJ stance that enforcing medical cannabis laws, notably in a state like Colorado with its rules and regulations, and with limited federal resources at hand, is a low law DOJ enforcement priority.

    The second Polis question was about banking and medical cannabis businesses in Colorado, where he pushed Holder to acknowledge that the DOJ is not placing a priority on interfering with state compliant medical cannabis businesses and banking concerns.

    I assume there will be news and industry coverage later today and tomorrow about this unexpected, but informative exchange between Representative Polis and Attorney General Holder.

    69 responses to “Congressman Polis’ Grills Attorney General Holder About Fed’s Medical Marijuana Policies”

    1. amy cavanaugh says:

      Holder makes me sick-he made millions defending Purdue-makers of Oxycontin. Oxycontin killed my husband because after he was hospitalized he could no longer medicate with MMJ. Notice he says he will not provide assurance. I know someone in Colorado who could greatly benefit from MMJ but she is scared to death. Holder is always somehow associated with groups with vested interest in prohibition between the guns and the RX companies. Holder is dangerous & devious-remember this is the same guy who could be prosecuting Wall Street-but he doesnt cause Obama 2012 needs those peoples $$$ to fund election. Follow the money.

    2. Michael Hennigan says:

      I would like to believe the liar known as Mr. Holder.

    3. aviaryrm says:

      Obama supported MMJ in his first campaign, look where that got us! Ron Paul seems to be a man very strong in his opinions and I believe him and Gary Johnson would be the ticket. We brag about our constitution and I believe Ron Paul would do everything in his power to put the constitution back in Government!

    4. Little Gypsy says:

      I watched some of the grilling Eric Holder took over the Fast and Furious Debacle. That episode will not end well for the AG. I think of Eric in terms of a bully boy that is getting beat down by stronger bullies. Cracking down on California’s Medical marijuana dispensaries is just easy pickings for the government. It of course is wrong. What really worries me is the fact that the IRS is denying legitimate expenses of rent, wages, supplies, fees, ect. that cannabis dispensaries are allowed to take when filling out their taxes. That alone will completely destroy ALL dispensaries. Welcome back to the world of the criminal element controlling the manufacturing,distribution, and sale of marijuana.

    5. Little Gypsy says:

      I also wanted to post that it is extremely important to get involved with politics and express your concerns about legalizing marijuana to the politicians. Millions of cannabis consumers need to step up and let our LEADERS know we are not going to put up with Prohibition ANY longer. Power to the People!

    6. Cat Cassie says:

      Thank you Congressman Polis!! I am proud to say I live in the beautiful state of Colorado.

    7. PaulieFLORIDUH says:

      Eric Holder and Mr. Obama have both partaken of the Koolaid. The piles of cash heaped upon them by lobbyists for the biggest corporations-supporting oppression.
      UNTIL we REMOVE corporate contributions to politics, in general, WE THE PEOPLE” will NEVER count.
      WE can’t win fighting their money
      “NO MAN CAN PUT ASUNDER WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN”..Cannabis will outlive all of us-
      Legislating behavior has never worked-nor will it ever.
      So blindly continuing to support the failed policies of the past only serves to make our government LOOK as FOOLISH as it IS.

    8. PaulieFLORIDUH says:

      Colorado did something wise; they incorporated their state’s Medical Cannabis laws INTO the State constitution by allowing verbiage for “taxation, Distribution and other items of relevance. California did nothing of the sort and that is why the Feds are giving them grief. (Or so they say)-Don’t get me wrong, Colorado is next-BECAUSE their laws are inextricably linked to the constitution of the State-they thought it would render them “safe” but that, itself is a subjective word. Just like the laws themselves-open to interpretation,it seems.

    9. Smoke n toke says:

      All this is crap for the feds,and what about Obama? a few pardons are well and good with everthing else. But saying that mj should be considered sounds like a rerun for re-election. Notice this all is coming out now? no tricks this time not for me. If he legalizes first then we might consider,maybe. After all he knew what they were doing to start with and if he did’nt he should have before and maybe all this could have been avoided. Replace all non-violent cannabis users with Obama and all his minions. (TREASON ) hung by hemp rope or imprisonment.

      [Editor’s note: Advocating killing people who support Cannabis Prohibition is far worse than Prohibition. Give the violent rhetoric a break because it is such a stupidly self-inflicted wound to visit upon an otherwise politically successful and peaceful reform movement.

      Leave the violence to the ignorant and uninformed.]

    10. malcolm kyle says:

      Wondering whether or not it may be wise to maintain your affiliation to any one of the estimated sixteen currently-active Mexican Drug Cartels? Then maybe you should consider the following information very carefully:

      As a gesture of good will vis-à-vis cross-border relations, key members of the American Federal Government have recently pledged a solemn oath, declaring a continuation of their willingness to encourage people like yourself to increase performance and productivity. In particular, the United States Department of Justice will guarantee you achieve a respectful level of technology in both military grade weapons and equipment while actively facilitating the laundering of that swirling cascade of cash that a business like yours invariably and continually generates.

      Still not convinced that during prohibition the phenomenal benefits of remaining an international drug criminal far outweigh the remotely possible, negative consequences? Here’s another recent DOJ announcement, and this time written personally by their principal corporate attorney who’s main priority is keeping himself out of jail:

      “For nearly three years, I have been privileged to work closely with many of the most ruthless organizations to the south of our border. I am extremely proud of our record of abuse, fraud, waste and misconduct, and I pledge a continuation of all such policies that will further weaken our national security and compromise all honest efforts of law enforcement.”
      – Attorney General Holder.

      Some people, it appears, have absolutely no problem being simultaneously absurd and very evil.

      Must we wait for a complete economic collapse to regain our “unalienable­” rights?
      Or is it high time we all stood up and told our government that we’re pooped at being beaten and jailed in order that unconscionable Transnational Corporations can continue to addict & poison us for obscene profits?

      “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
      – Friedrich Nietzsche

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