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. Michael B says:

      Turn on the lights, and watch the cockroaches run.
      I live in Washington,and hope we can use Colorado’s success as a foundation for our laws.
      Thank you Rep.Jared Polis for all your effort.

    2. Smoke n toke says:

      Like i said, ”It’s a choice between GOD and i. And since GOD gave it to all men,what makes you think you (Man) has the right to tell another yes or no? Did someone MAKE you GOD’S oppointed sheriff of the universe? I think not! I have GOD’S permission, thanks anyhow. Mess with GOD and he will mess with you. Ask the feds.

    3. casualty says:

      Unfortunately none of Holder’s explanations changes the fact that hundreds of state compliant dispensaries in California have been targeted by the U.S. attorneys and forced to shut down.

    4. Brandon says:

      You know, we’re having a lot of issues with the legalize gay movement. I can’t imagine the public backlash (from the opposition and even support) on regulated cannabis. I know eventually we’ll have legal gay and pot, but it’s an uphill battle for sure. Hell three supreme judges were voted out in Iowa after legalizing gay.

    5. kirk says:

      Smoke n toke…one other God related thought. even He ultimately failed(or suceeded)(depending oh His actual objective) at prohibition(forbidden fruit) and He attempted it at a time when there were only two people

    6. Msgt Vance says:

      The 2012 election will tell the tale. The Republicans traditionally support prohibition and the current frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Newt Gingrich, has indicated he would double down on the enforcement of prohibition laws if elected. President Obama, despite what he has said in the past, now says legalization is a topic worth debating. The millions of voters who use marijuana will find it in their best interests to support Obama. We must keep in mind that 2012 will be the tipping point in the long fight against the failed 19th century policy of prohibition, a policy that those who believe in liberty and personal freedom are honor and duty bound to oppose with every fiber of their being and every vote that they cast.

    7. Holder is such a tool
      He is selling his soul for his job
      All the while he knows mary J
      And the hypocrite tells us NO

    8. Buggsy13420666 says:

      Attorney General Holder can play ignorant on guns going to Mexico, but sure knows whats going on with MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. Just another puppet under FEDERALISM not with just a BLANK CHECK but with a MENTALITY THAT GOES BLANK protected by FEDERALISM. When a FED is cornered like a rat in a cage, they can spew lies and get away with it, just like a MONARCHY with BANANA REPUBLIC RULES.

    9. Galileo Galilei says:

      Seems to me California should look into passing regulations patterned on Colorado (and other unattacked states).

      Of course, this assumes we can believe something a prohibitionist just told us.