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

During 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 thoughts

  1. @snapu23: Ain’t that the truth! Seriously, the only reason decriminalization and/or medical marijuana are being favored by politicians/legislators is because legalization has such overwhelming majority support at this point, and is even gaining a lesser but still significant majority support in southern states as well. I think it’s another extinction burst of the prohibitionists and their purchased politicians, that they vainly hope that if they give us decriminalization and medical marijuana they can pass on legalization–or they can say “okay, well, it’s legal for medicinal use, so we’re not being ogres denying sick people their medicine, and it’s decriminalized so no one gets a felony for it. What more do you hoi polloi want? We can’t compromise any further, do you have any idea how much money we’re getting from Drug War profiteers?”

    Either that, or their hoping that if they legalize medical marijuana they can re-demonize marijuana for legalization by pretending that at that point it’s just “criminal” stoners trying to protect their “dangerous” habit. Basically another angle on “Reefer Madness”, once they eliminate the medical part. It won’t work, of course, but they’re losing so badly and so inevitably now they’ll try anything.

  2. As stated in other post above, ill believe this malarkey when I see the raids stop on farms and dispensaries…..
    ……this county had a HUGE raid on a pot growing subdivision THE DAY that Holder announced this.

    …..and they likey had pre-arranged plans for this raid….

    I don’t think they’ll stop raiding farms and dispensaries just because of holders announcement…….

    id be surprised if all the brainwashed DA’s in this country even listen to him on simple possesion…

    the FACT is that the locals are HIDING behind federal LAW, even THOUGH they HATE every little other thing ABOUT FEDERAL LAW!!!!

    amazing, but not……tea baggers aren’t too bright!!

    they treat prohibition like a cash cow that they would be poor without….

    ……when the eradication teams come to raid your farm….

    they’ll likely NOT arrest you, but chop everything down and refer your case to the DA for consideration(a fine)

    BUT they like to steal anything they can carry which is valuable(generators, expensive pumps ect….ripe plants!!!

    they are no different from gangs who would home invade!!! seriously!

  3. What he said was no enforcement NOW but we (or the next admin) can turn on a dime and swoop down on the industry. We need law change, rescheduling and legal protection. Whenever the government says “don’t worry, we won’t enforce the unfair law in question; lets just leave it on the books”-run.

  4. Marijuana needs to be taken out of the drug category altogether. All states should legalize marijuana . It is not man made, it is nature. No man/woman should have the right to take away our freedoms, especially when it comes from nature, not man.

  5. It (Cannabis) stimulates the central nervous system so it would always be considered as a drug. Like sugar or caffeine or coco or nicotine. But do take it off the dangerous drug list. It has killed no one in it’s natural state. It could cause death by over use while driving a motor vehicle due to the sedative process of THC. But government needs to drop the stigma and remove the propaganda that’s been pushed on Americans for all these imprisoning years. The United States government needs to stop policing the people and the world. And get back to their/it’s job of protecting the people of these United States. I get more carcinogens from one camp fire than all the carcinogens I’ve received from my use of Cannabis throughout these last 40 years. So carcinogenic poisoning is not an issue. We as adult must always protect the innocent. Keep it out of children’s reach like prescription drugs, which by the way have killed 100’s of thousands!

  6. Tomorrow is the day, September 10th. I hope there are some good questions about cannabis being clearly answered, and not have it being being avoided by deflecting it as an illegal substance and constantly repeating it with: “how it would threaten and affect the children with the wrong message”. That has always been the prohibitionist “wild card”.

  7. The only thing that can get things done is money and votes. Most of us have voting rights, some have money. If ya have some money to spare – contribute to Normal or a like organization and/or email this message to your elected officials and stand firm. Also send to like minded friends and family:

    I can no longer support elected officials or organizations that support current prohibition laws. I have decided not to vote for any politician that does not publicly support the removal of all penalties for the private possession and endorse responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts.
    20 million arrested is 20 million reasons why.
    The problem is the law – not the plant.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.”

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

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