BREAKING: Eric Holder Announces Department of Justice to Allow Marijuana Legalization to Go Into Effect

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director August 29, 2013

    sheet-of-money-hempDuring a conference call with state governors today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the US Department of Justice would allow the marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington to go into effect.

    Holder announced that the Department of Justice will take a “trust but verify approach” to the new marijuana laws, but did reserve the right to file a preemption lawsuit at a later date if necessary.

    In a three page memo issued by Deputy Attorney General Cole, the DOJ clarified they will still retain the right to prosecute individuals who engage in the following circumstances:

    -the distribution of marijuana to minors;
    -revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
    -the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
    -state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
    -violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana
    -drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
    -growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands;
    -preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

    “This is a historic step forward,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “Assuming the Department of Justice stays true to their word, these states and others will no doubt move forward with the state-licensed regulation of cannabis for adults. The public has evolved beyond the simplistic, failed policies of cannabis prohibition and are seeking pragmatic, regulatory alternatives. It is encouraging to see that the federal government no longer intends to stand in their way.”

    Much more on this story as it develops.

    You can view the official DOJ memo here.

    Washington Governor Jay Inslee released the following statement applauding this move by the Department of Justice:

    “We want to thank the Attorney General for working with the states on this and for finding a way that allows our initiative to move forward while maintaining a commitment to fighting illegal drugs. This reflects a balanced approach by the federal government that respects the states¹ interests in implementing these laws and recognizes the federal government’s role in fighting illegal drugs and criminal activity.

    Attorney General Holder also expressed a willingness to work with the states on a financial structure that would not run afoul of federal law. The news today is an affirmation of good work by the state Liquor Control Board as it has devised a responsible system of implementing our voter-approved law. We can assure the Attorney General that Washington state will remain vigilant in enforcing laws against the illicit marijuana market. Since voters approved Initiative 502 last year, the state has been working to implement it. Today’s announcement from Attorney General Holder is a confirmation that the process can continue to move forward as planned. We appreciate that the federal government will allow the voice of Washingtonians to be heard on this issue.”

    166 Responses to “BREAKING: Eric Holder Announces Department of Justice to Allow Marijuana Legalization to Go Into Effect”

    1. Flora Childress says:

      I think it is disgusting that now that pot is becoming legal in some of our states, the very same people who have been throwing people in prison for smoking pot are now so concerned about how much money can they get for us to have the freedom to smoke it. This country is a joke, we have bullies with badges, politicians who are for the most part worse than the mafia, people working 24/7 making up stupid laws to get more of our money, and the list goes on and on. My son is now facing possible prison for pot, at least it will be many years of probation, and he has a better soul than most people I know. This world is a shit-hole, with a bunch of shit-heads running it. I would never consider being a part of our governing system, what a laugh. They don’t care about people, they care about control and money. Pot never hurt a person I know, but I’ve seen a lot of destruction due to drinking. Oklahoma is a bible-thumping, closet hiding, judgmental state. Our judges are corrupt, my county, Lincoln, is well known for having some of the worst cops in the state, they lie and break the laws and its just hid. I only know 2 police in my town who do their job but yet they have a heart. Most of them act like your beneath them. Someday, I hope legal marijuana will be in Oklahoma, but it is sad that we will have to pay the politicians for that right. If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I hope all, or most, because there are a few that aren’t evil, will be coming back here to see how it feels to be on the receiving end of their BULLSHIT!

    2. Mindy says:

      If we were illegal , they would be falling all over us to give us anything and everything. But, because we are not wanting to break the law, we are penalized. But, illegals who break our laws are rewarded , just like they were today with driver license.

    3. Jack Rogers says:

      A HEMP Flag flew over Wash. DC on the 4ih of July…It is now going to various States to fly..

      You can now grow low THC Hemp in Vemont for a 25$ registration…

    4. OdiOlen says:

      Well added Tim! Thanks for the candor. Such literal brilliance has been needed for far to long. Kudos to you.

    5. tim says:

      I’ll do you one better than that. I introduce the discussion topic of cannabis at every opportunity and with everyone I meet.

      I can get a good impression of a person’s intellectual development and critical thinking ability simply by listening very carefully to their perspective on cannabis.

      The ones who sound like they are children in direct observation of a police officer standing in a classroom and want approval from Mrs. Teacher…they are still children, mentally and psychologically.

      Avoid these sorts. They are no longer just well-meaning but poorly informed people, they are usually weird, usually religious (extra weird), and usually not worth talking to, which you find out after meeting too many of these sorts. Social engineering and propaganda full of lies and corrupt federal law for 40+ years seems to add more dysfunction and friction to society.

      Prohibition hype is conducive for societies desirous of a half-deluded citizenry who live in black/white, good/evil realities. It helps people become accustomed to the easy and comfortable habit of believing things they’re told (outright lies) by people wearing costumes and badges, service commercials that want a never-ending war (on drugs), lying politicians, and so on.

      I say don’t just vote for the other candidate, don’t even talk to prohibition supporters. It’s not worth it. They don’t even live in the real world, they live in a mental Disneyland where government acts like “daddy and mommy” and if you don’t obey, it’s property seizure and prison, and this is perfectly “normal.”

    6. Lori Ann says:

      I so agree with you Bob. This is very important to many people. I will not vote for any of them who are against the legalization of marijuana either.

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