Washington, DC: In an unprecedented move, Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week a major series of substantive reforms to the federal government's civil forfeiture enforcement practices.
Pressed by both liberal and conservative lawmakers, as well as left-n-right leaning think tanks, Attorney General Holder has immediately cancelled the 'Equitable Sharing' program with local and state police agencies, where billions in cash and assets seized since 2008 are divided between federal and local law enforcement agencies.
According to the Washington Post, "Holder's action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs."
NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre commented, "Since taking office in 2009, President Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, have made numerous actions to lessen the costs and burdens to the United States from a once out of control criminal justice system, such as changing federal enforcement priorities and practices regarding allowing states that want to end cannabis prohibition and replace with tax-n-regulate policies, recommending changes in federal sentencing guidelines, embracing so-called harm reduction strategies Mr. Holder often refers to as "smart on crime", acknowledging disturbing racial imbalances in the country's criminal justice system, seeking body cameras for police and now civil forfeiture reforms.
If you're a cannabis consumer, patient, cultivator or seller, it is impossible not to acknowledge the good work Mr. Holder did as Attorney General to replace failed and unpopular public policies with functional and publicly-supported policy reforms."
For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML founder and Legal Counsel, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.