Nov 172012
 November 17, 2012

Earl Blumenauer marijuana letter washington colorado congressEighteen Members Of The United States Congress Send A Letter To DEA And DOJ Urging Respect Of State Marijuana Laws

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer and 17 other U.S. Congress members formally asked the Department of Justice and DEA to respect state marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado in a letter released Friday. The letter is addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder and Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart. The letter language is below:

We are writing to urge federal law enforcement to consider carefully the recent decisions by the people of Colorado and Washington to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults. Under the new laws, each state will establish a comprehensive regulatory scheme governing the production, sale and personal use of marijuana. We believe that it would be a mistake for the federal government to focus enforcement action on individuals whose actions are in compliance with state law.

We are concerned that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continue to threaten individuals and businesses acting within the scope of their states’ laws on the medicinal use of marijuana despite formal guidance on exercising prosecutorial discretion. These actions contradict assurances made by DOJ in 2009 that the Department would not prioritize criminal charges against those who act in compliance with state law. It is also a poor use of limited federal resources. We hope your agencies will not take a similar approach with regard to individuals and businesses who comply with Colorado’s and Washington’s new laws, each of which were approved with overwhelming public support.

As Supreme Court Justice Louis Bradeis once observed, states are the laboratories of democracy. The people of Colorado and Washington have decided that marijuana ought to be regulated much like alcohol, with strong and efficient regulation of production, retail sales, and distribution, coupled with strict laws against underage use and driving while intoxicated. The voters chose to eliminate the illegal marijuana market controlled by cartels and criminals and recognized the disproportionate impact that marijuana prohibition has on minorities. These states have chosen to move from a drug policy that spends millions of dollars turning ordinary Americans into criminals toward one that will tightly regulate the use of marijuana while raising tax revenue to support cash-strapped state and local governments. We believe this approach embraces the goals of existing federal marijuana law: to stop international trafficking, deter domestic organized criminal organizations, stop violence associated with the drug trade and protect children.

While we recognize that other states have chosen a different path, and further understand that the federal government has an important role to play in protecting against interstate shipments of marijuana leaving Colorado or Washington, we ask that your Departments take no enforcement action against anyone who acts in compliance with the laws of Colorado, Washington and any other states that choose to regulate access to marijuana for medicinal or personal use. The voters of these states chose, by a substantial margin, to forge a new and effective policy with respect to marijuana. The tide of public opinion is changing, both at the ballot box and in state legislatures across the country. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

To see if your Congressional member signed, click this link.

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Jetdoc

    It’s a FARCE, for the Feds to CONTINUE to oppose legalization of marijuana. The sentiment of marijuana across the COUNTRY has changed over the past 10 years or so. People have come to REALIZE that prohibition of marijuana & $50 BILLION/year Failed Drug War, it’s WORSE for society than the DRUG ITSELF is.

    • FMedlock

      I wrote the legislators, governor, and the president a letter stating all the poll results on the topic of medical marijuana and legalization of marijuana.. also told them they need to know how the people feel and they should take heed of the result. Al results were over 70 to 80 % pro. people are speaking up in these polls and the government needs to listen

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

    All Democrats.

    • DavidTheExpert

      This could easily be a bipartisan issue, but it’s actually a good thing that one side has picked it up as their own cause. It means they’ll fight harder for it, and they’ll be able to strong-arm all the other party members into going along with it.

      • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

        I hang with Republicans. They are terminally stupid. Which is why I don’t hang with them much.

        • DavidTheExpert

          This isn’t a very constructive comment. Partisan bickering is stupid. But when one party adopts an issue, it becomes a very serious issue. This issue could have just as easily been adopted by the republicans. It’s easy to take ending prohibition and turn it into an end the deficit issue.

          • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

            I’m a Republican. I’m not bickering. They ARE terminally stupid. And yes it could be a bi-partisan issue. I have been working on them for years to make it so.

            I ask the Rs to get right with Jesus. Get some love in their hearts. You can see the responses here:

            http://classicalvalues.com/2012/11/political-marketing/

    • FMedlock

      It is a Bipartisan, because we are fighting for it here in Alabama for Medical Marijuana and we have both a democratic and a republican representative working hard for us to get our Bill in session

      • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

        Excellent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keef.washington Keef Cola WA

    Drink cannabis not booze :)

  • http://twitter.com/ragehavoc420 Lance Rogers

    with almost half the nation having some sort of state regulation , wether it be medical or not, that contradicts federal law, it is inevatble at this point, every 2 years more and more states pass medical marijuana laws, eventually that will turn into regulation and legalization, the federal government has no choice.
    just legalize it already!

  • Silverado

    Where’s those other worthless members of Washington state’s Congressional delegation, ESPECIALLY Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell?? I see Adam Smith was the only member with the balls to sign such a document. And once again there’s Maria all over the TV prior to the big election expecting us to believe that she is responsible for Boeing’s success in securing big Govt contracts and begging for your vote. And yet on perhaps the most important issue like say for instance STATES RIGHTS in general and pot legalization in particular, she like her cohorts in Congress from this state where the historic vote took place, are nowhere to be found. WTF?? How many of you that supported legalization now have that…..ill feeling in the pit of your stomachs and the accompanying apprehension when thinking about your federal representatives and how they are going to represent YOUR (the majority’s) views on pot back in DC in front of all their like minded buddies that for the most part STILL support federal drug laws and their continued meddling in what should be a states rights health issue??? If your member of Congress didn’t sign that document maybe you ought to contact that Congress person and inquire as to the reason why. You’ll have to hold these anti-freedom scoundrel’s feet to the fire on this issue or they’re going to sell out the entire state. What difference does it make whether they agree with the majority or not anyway?? Who in Hell do they think they work for?? Haven’t the voters of Washington state spoken on the pot issue LOUD & CLEAR?? Only IF they’re listening, I guess. Only if they’re listening…..

    • KJ

      This letter is from the House of Representatives, of which SENATORS Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray are not members.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greencrzymm Priscilla Green

    This battle has been waging since I was in High School and I Graduated in 1961. Can you Imagine the trillions of dollars spent on policing to control it. They have not been able to control it’s use,and they have ruined the lives of so very many.The Federal Government should legalize it and control it as they do alcohol. The revenue it would generate, not to mention the prison population , court costs, and numerous considerations that would be eliminated,in my humble opinion would be well worth it.