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

  • by Allen St. Pierre, 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. Galileo Galilei says:

      President Obama is shrewd if nothing else. His ‘flip flop’ on medical marijuana is a cold calculated move to prevent the conservatives from raising a ‘soft on marijuana’ issue in the 2012 election.

    2. Harry Jugs says:

      Blah Blah Blah. Two words, again, Big Pharma…..

    3. Matt says:

      Hey, don’t look now but big brother is using military drones on us.
      Don’t take my word on it, look it up yourself.
      Our law enforcement has now become part of the military,
      Haven’t they.
      Martial law anyone!

    4. Government Flyswatter says:

      Instead of arguing left/right paradigm points, we ought be paying attention to who these candidates and officials are affiliated with. (This is a twisted problem involving, FCC, Commercial Broadcasters, Electronics being used in Elections, The failure of the Logan Act to reign in these globalists who have now nullified the US Constitution, and would give away our sovereignty to offshore banksters and the UN’s new IPCJ.)

      Both party are connected to AIPAC, PNAC, CFR, Trilatteral Commission, the UN, IPCC/Cap Trade, Banksters and corporations like Monsanto, Halliburton.

      This is the problem, their foreign friends and agenda. Note that D or R after their name it’s 100% completely meaningless.

      Here’s the real crime, in a neighborhood where usually we hear about gangs, at the dispensary, once in the door, I see all races get along, and if the whole thing goes back underground, I don’t think the end result will be what patients need.

      Second, after allowing people to use medical cannabis, and then cutting off their source. It’s like someone wanting to go to Kaiser, or Sutter or Mercy (or payless, rite aid, cvs) for their prescription and having hardened swat teams raiding the place clearing the shelves and indicting the staff, and patients and seizing the property.

      Third dirty politics changing the zoning laws outlawing all dispensaries. (Sacramento Board Of Supervisors 4-1 Phil Serna was the 1 honorable vote against it) This is just scum at the local level. They are all whining about budget deficits yet they don’t audit CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report), they are also working with globalists on local issues which are pushing quietly Agenda 21.

      Fourth, the new NDAA is a big concern. It’s one step away from Nazi Germany. We have OATH BREAKERS in office who have broken the public trust. The DHS is in opposition with the US Constitution, and no matter how sugar coated they make it, this was ALL PLANNED before 911. People who are not concerned about this at a time when the monetary system is about to blow up are deluding themselves.

    5. glen says:

      see, here’s the thing when trying to compare colorado mmj law to california it’s two different beasts.

      Colorado was smart enough to get a amendment change for mmj and it’s legal in colorado to open a dispenary, grow with yoru card and other things and theres just nothing the feds can do about it without starting a big states rights thing.

      California on the other hand did not ammend anything to there constitution. Prop 215 and sb420 are just ballot propositions to change crimial law to allow mmj..BUT in california IT IS NOT ALLOWED TO OPEN A DISPENSARY UNDER CALIFORNIA PROP 215 AND SB420 LAW. there was a memo sent out while jerry brown was AG in cali saying basicly ” look we bugnled it, and now theres a grey area in the law that doesnt specifficly say you CAN OR YOU CANT , it just says caregivers are allowed to treat patients, well ok if you have to pen a shop , it has to be non profit , etc – etc” there is no law in cali that actively allows you to pen shop like in colorado, they are not protected by anything than going to court and saying .. we are following the AG guidelines , not our fault you wont change laws. These two laws are night and day from each other and you will never see a dea raid or irs raid on a dispensary in colorado unless you break state law. NOT in cali .. its just as simple as the local DA waking up one day and asking the dea for help with local peeps to raid shops.. ” look at san diego”

    6. Joel : the other Joel says:

      Congressman Polis is serious and he wants answers, and so does the tax paying citizens of the fifty states.

      It brings out the hidden prohibitionist in these blogs.
      Very entertaining. :)
      ————————————-

      Voters get ready and vote in the presidential primaries.
      It’s getting better every day. :)

    7. Bernie Ellis says:

      In addition to saying that the USDOJ would not interfere with lawfully established state medical marijuana programs, Attorney General Holder also said: “The check is in the mail and I won’t cum in your mouth.”

      Of course, Holder is the leader of the federal government’s drug worriers and he’s only here to help us.

    8. […] Congressman Polis’ Grills Attorney General Holder About Fed’s Medical Marijuana Policies 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 […] […]

    9. Jman says:

      @Glen and anyone else – While here in the Garden State of New Jersey it has been nearly 2 years since the state passed the Med M bill the program has still not begun but for a reason. If you have been following this particular issue you heard Gov Christie announce earlier this year that things can proceed and hopefully patients will be able to obtain their med sometime next year. This program is moving very slowly and is quite restrictive (maximum 10% THC) but everything that is allowed is in the state books. And Christie (certainly no anti-prohibition crusader) said that he’s not worried about federal intervention once the dispensaries open.

      You know I think Holder and co are engaging in this war not because they want to but because they are being coerced. They are being forced to by the Pharm and petrol industries and using their paid henchmen (with our tax dollars) the DEA to keep cannabis down wherever they can. If you haven’t watched it get a copy of the Ken Burns documentary about Prohibition in the 1920’s that came out this fall. While there are a lot of differences between pot and booze prohibition there are also many similarities and maybe some clues about how we can end this current senseless cruel madness. Anyone out there have any thoughts?

    10. richard says:

      There is no choice for us. Why? Money. Big Pharma, big weapons (what did Fast and F. pay for all of those assault rifles), big prisons-now going private. They have to keep the cells filled.etc. How about big Aggie-they would make out? Is the secret to find big business that will make money and get them to buy the same politicians?

    11. rick says:

      A single can of beer is 12 ounces which just happens
      to be the same weight in pot one person smokes in a year. ONe plant can produce over ten pounds, which means that even the medical use laws are designed to let law enforcement bust people because they can only possess a few ounces and many plants.

      the real use of cannabis is to power our world pollution free, heal the sick, feed the poor, page one of the bible god gives man the first comandment, use all plants with seeds, they are all good.

    12. MotherEarthChoiceNow says:

      Have you ever thought, that Obama might be stalling until he get the CHIP ready for insertion along with the marijuana legalization to be passed? Can we this man be trusted? You know this was to be done starting in 2009, and they moved it up to start in 2014…We need to Kill the CHIP Mandate! Numbering people is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

      TO arbortraily kill at random from space, as long as weather you have the chip in you or not you are suspect…everybody is suspect…even they are suspect! watch the people be picked off one to many!!!
      They have the money and can buy ANYBODY for a PRICE. If only that money were counterfit to us and our new money counterfit to them (SHARING!!!) RINGS A BELL HERE!

      We would like to cut off the excessive use of electricity …when was the last time you saw the stars in the night sky? How far do you have to travel to see the stars? Me, I have not seen the stars in 58 years, and I am 62 yrs. old young’n 26..LOL..I would LOVE to see them again! Sigh!

    13. Joel : the other Joel says:

      After the Ogden and Cole memos, I’ve still remembered the promises Attorney General Holder had made to the former drug czars and the former head administrators of the DEA. Why is Holder making promises to them?

    14. Aldous says:

      #62

      What the hell are you talking about? Obama slipping some sort of mandatory chip law in with marijuana legalization? As if legalization is widely acceptable among politicians? Seriously, you need to think about what you’re saying.

      And you’re rambling on about some chip mandate in 2014. The only one I see is a requirement for phone manufacturers to put FM radio chips in their products starting in 2014.

      And I see the stars every night, but I don’t live in an urban area. No one’s forcing you to either. Unless, of course, there is some crazy way to blame Obama for that too.

    15. Smoke n toke says:

      ”There’s one thing that is for sure, there will never be a shortage of things to pray about.”

    16. Ozdone says:

      Obama needs Colorado for re-election he don’t need California…

    17. Dreaming Dragon says:

      Hi All:

      Democracy is messy. One of the toughest things about it is listening, really hearing each others’ opinions and ideas, which requires us to suspend blame and judgement. Cannabis users are a diverse group. Some of what people say on Canna blogs I find appalling, but so what? Some of what I say probably offends others. Debasing folks, telling them their thoughts and feelings are invalid, or worse, dangerous is dangerous. As a psychotherapist for 31 years, I’ve noticed that feelings that can’t be acknowledged get acted out. As cannabis activists, we need to be able to express our thoughts and feelings, recieve and give respectful feedback to one another and formulate rational plans to bring our causes into the light of day. If we can’t safely speak among one another, we won’t get there.

      I commend everyone who blogs here. In this political climate, it’s brave. I know many tokers who won’t even visit these sites because of their fears of the prohibitionists. I’d love to see our dialogues become more mutually respectful.

      in peace,

    18. Jman says:

      @ Dreaming Dragon – Well put. The one thing about ending prohibition is that it is a much more intelligent way to go. There’s much less harm involved. We need to speak to people’s intelligence and eventually the leaders will start to listen because the will require the support of the people.

      BTW I made and am enjoying some delightfull Green Dragon. Ever make or try it?

    19. Alonzo Hope says:

      The US Drug Laws and the people who support and enforce them represent Crimes Against Humanity. The death, suffering, incarceration and waste of resources all represent one of the great Crimes Against Humanity in history. The President, DOJ, House, Senate and Drug Czar should be brought up on charges in a World court and be tried for crimes against humanity.

      Contact your representative today and ask them if they support the deaths, pain and waste of taxpayer dollars caused by the US drug laws. If they do, vote them out.
      Write to leaders of other countries like Mexico who suffer as a result of US prohibition and urge the to bring charges against US leaders for Crimes Against Humanity for not legalizing a plant and ending the suffering caused by the US drug laws.

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