Attorney General Eric Holder Indicates Change in Policy on State Marijuana Laws

holderericIn a major policy change, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has indicated that the Justice Department will end raids on pot dispensaries in California and allow states to set its own marijuana laws without further interference from the federal government. It is ironic that it took a liberal president to reinstate the guarantees of states rights in this area.

Opponents of the Justice Department raids took heart in a story that Obama used on the campaign trial of how his mother had died of cancer how he considered the use of marijuana was “entirely appropriate” in such circumstances.

The federal assault on states allowing for the use of medical marijuana was not a Republican policy. It was Bill Clinton who went all the way to the Supreme Court to establish the right of the federal government to claim authority over the states in the area. President Bush then expanded on the foundation that Clinton created.

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19 thoughts on “Attorney General Eric Holder Indicates Change in Policy on State Marijuana Laws”

  1. Buddha:

    “but it sounds like this one goes from some discretion to none just as a matter of usual course”

    which could, ultimately, lead to unusual intercourse.

  2. Buddha,
    He sounds promising. Re: hard and soft drugs I think the categorization is part of the problem. My drugging days came to a halt in 1981 when I had my first infarction. So my experience ended with coke and before crack hit the scene. I did take ketamine before that and found the high oppressive. The problem with classifying is than people can become addicted to any damn thing as long as it satisfies their need for something, whatever that may be. The decriminalization process will be a hard sell and so I suppose categories like hard and soft will be necessary at first, but the issue will always remain medical/psychological. A small percentage of the total population becomes addicts. Its’ just been in the interests of the dealers and the regulators to scare the public by making it seem the use is a rampage.

  3. puzzling,

    It’s also next to Ketamine on that nifty Venn. I’ve given Ketamine to cats before for transport. I’m pretty sure it’s not safe for humans based on that experience. Physiological effects are only part of the equation as is source when thinking of hard vs. soft. My main objection to Ecstasy is that a drug that makes you fall in love indiscriminately is just as dangerous as one that does the opposite. Now, admittedly, this comes from second hand accounts. I’ve never nor would I ever consider taking MDMA. It’s a manufactured substance with no quality control. I could be exaggerating the effects, but from what I’ve heard, it pretty much trashes discretion. You love everything and there is no middle ground. I’ll stipulate that any drug has that potential to critically impair judgment when taken in enough quantity, but it sounds like this one goes from some discretion to none just as a matter of usual course. Now maybe it has a place under the umbrella of physician assisted and screened drugs, LSD has come up in that context here before. Not having tried it, I lack “the” proper frame of reference. However, I’ve never heard anyone describe a post experience benefit from it like I have with those who have taken LSD, but that too could be a matter of exposure. But as an OTC? No, I have to lump MDMA with hard drugs even though it may have overlapping characteristics simply because of what it does to discretion based on evidence I’ve received as personal anecdote. At best it sounds like a substance that would beg for a controlled environment. So while based on that, I personally consider it a hard drug, I’ll leave that is a subject open to debate.

  4. BIL,

    Many are under the impression that synthetic drugs are “hard” by virtue of being man-made, but the “hard” and “soft” classification refers to whether or not the drug is physically addictive or easy to overdose on. Ecstasy, or MDMA, is a soft drug.

    To read more on the matter, google the legal classification in Switzerland from 1999, or perhaps look at the history behind the ignored ruling by an Administrative Law Judge that that MDMA be given a DEA Schedule III classification back in the 1980’s.

    For more discussion on so-called hard and soft drugs, see this Wikipedia entry:

    … and notice the classification of caffeine … and nicotine

  5. Speaking of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder:

    Eric Holder is a racial-minority individual, and in his heart and mind he inevitably does not endorse hate crimes committed by George W. Bush.

    George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism (indicated in my blog).

    George W. Bush did in fact commit innumerable hate crimes.

    And I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed other hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention.

    Many people know what Bush did.

    And many people will know what Bush did—even to the end of the world.

    Bush was absolute evil.

    Bush is now like a fugitive from justice.

    Bush is a psychological prisoner.

    Bush has a lot to worry about.

    Bush can technically be prosecuted for hate crimes at any time.

    In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    I am not sure where I had read it before, but anyway, it is a linguistically excellent statement, and it goes kind of like this: “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Oh wait—off the top of my head—I think the quotation came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

  6. Puzzling,
    Well said. The use of stimulants, depressants, narcotics and psychedelics have been around since the dawn of mankind. The war on drugs, like prohibition, is based on religious/political sensibilities of social control that runs counter to the way human beings act. This stupid “War” has actually put billion$ into the pockets of Drug Cartels by raising the prices to risk
    based levels. Decriminalization and taxation would put that money to better uses. One such would be that for a tenth of the cost of the “War on Drugs” treatment facilities could flourish for those desiring to quit. Special interests though have still prevailed. They include the Drug Cartels, part of the religious establishment, those employed by the “War,” and even organizations like MADD/The Ad Council who are supported by it.

    I’ve actually been on the front lines of addiction treatment. The success rate is pitiful, with the criteria for success being an individual’s motivation to quit. The fact is that many people “on drugs” can lead productive lives and contribute to society. For those who can’t, wouldn’t it be better, more humane and cheaper to maintain them, rather than throw billion$ away on a war that is a failure?

    The last false belief about the need for criminalization is the argument that “everyone” would do it. That is simply not proven by the data, but its proponents assume that using drugs is more attractive than not. That was also the argument used against decriminalizing homosexuality. Other than the falseness of it, it leads one to believe that the proponents of criminalizing “victimless” crimes actually want to do that which they want to make illegal.

  7. Was this done for states rights, or economic necessity?

    If California legalized other soft drugs like ecstasy, would the federal government continue with this states rights approach?

    Prediction: All the so-called “sins” will eventually become widely available and taxed by state governments (drugs, gambling, prostitution). Almost all state governments are broke, not even including massively underfunded pension and entitlements. Public roads will be leased to corporations in exchange for up-front cash and rights to collect tolls… casinos will become so ubiquitous that places like Las Vegas will lose their core appeal. States will do almost anything for cash.

    Back to the topic. All recreational and pharmaceutical-grade drugs should be legalized and our corrupt, incompetent FDA eliminated. As a transition step, allowing Americans to purchase any drug approved in the EU, Japan, or Australia would ease the shift to a fully free market in the United States and allow time for private certification bodies to be developed. This will create standards that medical professionals and retailers will use to determine the efficacy and safety of drugs and manufacturers, determining what is widely prescribed, insured and distributed.

    All non-violent drug offenders should be released from prisons. These policies would eliminate more than a half million drug arrests for possession annually, freeing police time, and cutting prison costs by half. It would also lower drug costs, radically cut drivers to police corruption, crush the power of drug traffickers now about to overthrow Mexico, and restore resources to our judiciary to deal with real offenses. The drug war is killing our nation, our ideals, and now threatening to topple entire governments. If we’re going to pull the plug, it’s now or never.

  8. It’s about time! The feds should stop prosecuting all drug offenses. My last court-appointed pro bono client got 5 years for simple possession of crack because he had priors under the guidelines. There is no reason he should be in federal prison for five years for mere possession! i’m not advocating crack for anyone but the feds need to encourage legalization of drugs, taxation, and regulation.

  9. Obama should do two more things: (1) order no arrests or prosecution for possession of any drug, in any state, whether the stuff was used for medical purposes or otherwise, and (2) pardon everyone in federal prison for drug possession. If he won’t, then a reporter ought to ask him whether he thinks that this nation would be better off if he had been convicted for his youthful illegal-drug use, which would have prevented him from going to law school and very likely from ever being in a position to run for president.

  10. Why limit it to the dying, lets just make it legal and let farmers and others grow it and sell it for profit. Tax it but $50 bucks an ounce is too much. If you do that all your going to create is a new black market. Make it $2 an ounce then you can make a decent profit when you sell it, the government will get more tax dollars because more will be sold and it will be inexpensive enough for people to afford. Let free markets work.

    Its win win and the added benefit is that we dont have to import the stuff from south of the border. I have got to believe with American agricultural know how we can raise some really good sh… here and it can be organic as well.

    Anyone have some good seeds they are willing to sell?

  11. I’m very glad of this as well. I hope it will apply to MI. It is legal to take marijuana for illness there but illegal to procure it! That creates quite a mess! I hope this will help MI form a clarification to the ruling.

  12. Mr. Holder and President Obama,

    Thank you for getting off the backs of the ill and dying.

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