The Obama administration on Thursday said it would not sue to undo laws legalizing marijuana in 20 states, although it will monitor operations in those states to make sure they do not run afoul of several enforcement priorities.
Washington and Colorado recently began allowing small amounts of marijuana to be used recreationally, while 18 other states and the District of Columbia permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
In a phone call on Thursday afternoon, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. explained the government’s “trust but verify” approach to Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and Gov. John W. Hickenlooper of Colorado, a Justice Department official said.
In a memo sent to federal prosecutors nationwide on Thursday, James M. Cole, the deputy attorney general, laid out eight priority enforcement areas. They are aimed at preventing marijuana sales to children, illegal cartel activity, interstate trafficking of marijuana, and violence and accidents involving the drug…
Mr. Cole is scheduled to testify on Sept. 10 at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused on clarifying the administration’s stance on the state laws. Mr. Holder was also invited, but he is not expected to attend.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and the chairman of the committee, said the administration should respect the state laws.
“It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal,” Mr. Leahy said. “I believe that these state laws should be respected. At a minimum, there should be guidance about enforcement from the federal government.”
President Obama still doesn’t support changing federal laws regulating marijuana, laws which treat cannabis as a dangerous substance with no medical value. Apparently, he still values the hypocrite and idjit vote critical only to Republicans.
He’s also a politician of sufficient cunning to realize that history is catching up with the kind of stupid politicians who passed laws criminalizing marijuana in the first place. Just like fools who went along with regulations restricting the civil rights of minorities. Those chickens are coming home to roost on a daily basis.