Posts tagged: Eric Holder
In what state officials described as a “game changer”, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday the federal government will focus attention on several key areas of illegal marijuana production and sales, but allow
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is being asked to explain to a Senate committee his department's policy toward Washington and other states that have legalized some form of marijuana consumption.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wants Holder to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 10 to clarify the federal response for Washington and Colorado, which have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults, and for the 20 states and the District of Columbia which have legalized medical marijuana.
Afther Washington and Colorado voters passed state laws legalizing recreational marijuana use last November, Leahy asked the Obama administration what it planned to do about enforcement policies and “what assurances the administration can give to state officials responsible for the licensing of marijuana retailers to ensure they will not face criminal penalties for carrying out their duties under those state laws,” he said Monday in a prepared statement.
State laws should be respected, Leahy said. “At a minimum, there should be guidance about enforcement from the federal government.”
Gov. Jay Inslee and State Attorney General Rob Ferguson met with Holder in January, asking what the federal government's response would be to Washington's legalization of marijuana. They have yet to get an answer, and Ferguson said last week he had “no additional knowledge” of what the federal response would be. The state is preparing rules for people who want to obtain licenses to grow, process and sell marijuana legally.
The attorney general's office “continues to prepare for the worst case scenario, which would be litigation” if the federal government tries to stop that, Ferguson said.
OLYMPIA — State officials appear to be hoping for the best while preparing for the worst as Washington and the federal government try to determine how the state will license and regulate marijuana.
After a meeting in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee said the nation's chief legal officer was open to learning more about the law voters passed and the state's plans to make it work. There were no firm conclusions from their first meeting, Inslee said.
OLYMPIA – States that have legalized marijuana for medical uses are pushing the U.S. Justice Department for help in sorting out the conflict between federal drug laws and their own, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Tuesday.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he’s aware of the problems and agreed this week to work with her, as the head of the National Governor’s Association and the point person for the 16 states with medical marijuana laws.
But Holder told her a department memo on not using federal resources to pursue patients using medical marijuana is being “misinterpreted” by the states and people setting up dispensaries to sell the drug to patients. That lack of prosecution was intended only for “those that are really quite ill” she said. “It’s expanded beyond anything anticipated in the Ogden Memo.” Holder told her he fully supports federal prosecutors who are shutting down dispensaries, and they are in Eastern Washington and Montana.
Gregoire believes the federal government should reclassify marijuana so it can be used for some medicinal purposes. Right now it’s classified as illegal for all uses. But reclassification usually takes time for drug tests, and the states don’t have that luxury. “I said, ‘The states need your help, the sooner the better.”