Aug 272013
 August 27, 2013

Eric Holder drug policy reform marijuanaAccording to at least one media outlet, United States Attorney General Eric Holder has confirmed that he will testify at an upcoming Senate hearing. The Senate hearing was scheduled by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt) earlier this week. Senator Leahy, along with a lot of Americans, wants the White House to explain it’s marijuana policies. Namely, what is the ‘official’ position of the White House in regards to Colorado and Washington State’s passage of marijuana legalization initiatives?

From UPI.com:

“U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he will testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about state-level laws that legalize marijuana.”

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., called on Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole to testify before the committee and clarify the federal government’s stance on state-level laws that legalize the drug, The Hill reported Monday. Leahy said such state laws ‘should be respected.'”

I don’t expect much to come out of this Senate hearing, sadly. There will no doubt be a lot of question asking, and a lot of rhetoric thrown around, but I don’t expect anything ‘solid’ to come out of this. There is literally nothing that Eric Holder can say that I will believe at this point. I will only believe actions. What do you expect to come out of this hearing? Are you like me, or are you more hopeful?

Powered by

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.
  • i_H8_Holder

    I expect the same amount of honesty and integrity that we always get from Holder. Use Fast and Furious as a good example of his position on anything … roughly standing behind US holding our hips and thrusting away at us from behind …

  • Johnny Bloomington

    I’m surprised they’re not suing to block it. Holder’s a dick.

  • Carl Olsen

    Holder is going to say he’s already on it. He’ll say the U.S. Department of Justice has been told to only go after the really bad guys and leave the good guys alone. He’s already all over it.

  • Sarijuana

    Could be good, could be bad. Depends on the questions asked. I would hope he could say the cartels should be the focus and targets, but I don’t think that is going to happen. He will say he must uphold the laws of the land. Sigh.

  • Pat Cowdin

    I think he might declare a limited moratorium on federal marijuana prosecutions in Colorado and Washington that would allow those states to proceed with their experiment in legalization, without changing the policy at national level. They would still arrest and prosecute large-scale illegal dealers and smugglers in those states, but would ignore individuals and businesses that followed the state laws. Or, they could arrest every smoker in the country and send us all to Leavenworth for the rest of our lives. It will be interesting to watch.

  • Frank Mashensky

    I expect a new federal force that will be placed in states that legalize and will enforce the fed
    law states won’t.

    • robb32

      called the dea? tsa?…worse part is states where it’s legal are still affording police aid to make these arrests and worse..won’t act to protect their constituency FROM them

    • Pat Cowdin

      Very doubtful. The federal courts are completely overloaded now, thanks in part to the sequester. How would they handle thousands of low-level pot offenders? And, if proven guilty, where would they put them?

      • Art

        In Hodler’s earlier testimony before the judicial budget committee he cited budget constraints and a very long laundry list of concerns the DOJ has. Nowhere was their any mention of drug enforcement.

    • Art

      I also doubt that will be the case. In this area there are over 100,000 folks spread over two counties and there is exactly one DEA agent. I think that it might be actionable if local law enforcement should help federal agents enforce laws that are contrary to state law. What strikes me as important is that the government is making statements about enforcement which mirror the conservative arguments against prohibition. Given the state of affairs with budget and building public opinion against the war on drugs I think that they will do what they say. The recent pronouncement has to me the “ring of truth” because it takes into account how miserably equipped law enforcement is to continue what it is doing. The long silence on this issue seems to me to be witness to the fact that the federal government is in a fix and has been peddling very fast to figure out what it can say or do that works.

  • Zaccheus Abraham

    While it is most likely that the legalization glacier will move a few inches down the mountainside, it is possible that the hearing will calve significant progress, given Holder’s recent drug reform statements.

  • Al Gagnon

    holder is a criminal , who cares what this racist fool thinks ??

    • Mar’ Barn

      he’s also an ignorant of popular issue

    • Pat Cowdin

      Please don’t confuse his race with his political and legal views. He says about the same things as his white predecessors in the Attorney General’s office (which, in the case of marijuana, are nonsense, of course).

  • Pitchman101

    Holder lacks credability so hard to get excited about his being a part of this potentialy historic next first step. Regardless of the outcome, Smokers will smoke. legaly or illegaly is what its about. If the feds continue with there ignorant lie’s and treat mj user’s as criminals, then criminal I will be.I would not have lost anything.On the other hand, the Feds have and continue to loose much. They dont even realise how foolish they actualy look busting users, growers and distributers when the people have spoken in these states.There being laughed at and dont even get it! Fools!

  • Sean Collard

    I don’t know what is going to come out of this meeting, one way or another. But I will watch it and track it as much as I can, because it will be interesting and it will be important, no matter what.

  • medcannabis1

    We can contact our senators on this committtee and demand an end to cannabis prohibition. They need to understand that cannabis prohibition is the crime.

    • bart

      how do we know who is on the committee?

      • medcannabis1

        The phone number for Senator Leahy’s is 202.224.4242 and for the US Senate is 202.224.1044.. We must share these numbers and push the phone calls to all of our elected officials to support the end to the American Slave Trade with the for-profit prison industry…/

        • bart

          do you think people should only contact the senator from their state? or it doesnt matter and just contact any/all?

          • medcannabis1

            we all must contact the Senators on the Committee and then your elect Senators and Representatives in Congress…Prohibition of cannabis is a crime against the sick and dying.

      • medcannabis1

        here is the link to the committee members…http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members.cfm

  • robb32

    Now let’s buttonhole the head and deputy of the DEA and find out how much $$$ they’ve spent persecuting American marijuana users. The real evil Obama doesn’t corral is the DEA

  • Mar’ Barn

    I predict it’s legalized in 2016 as of # 2+1+6=9 the # of cannabis is 9 delta thc during next presidential campaign marijuana will be an issue & will be time to descheduled at federal level if more of willing people liked minds involve!

  • https://twitter.com/ThinkingKlearly Thinking Clearly

    Rhetoric and spin. Dazzle them with brilliance then baffle ‘em with bs. Standard Obama Administration operating procedure.

    This Administration has committed itself to doing nothing but talk about ending the war on drugs. Time to get the dishonesty and reefer madness out of Washington. Prohibition wastes America’s resources.

    • Ole Man

      OH please. Get a grip on life. Your quote, while somewhat correct, is applicable to any politician. Why do you hold Obama to a higher standard than others?

  • Jon Paul

    i feel the same way as you this is a hot button issue and the white house is just playing hot potato

  • Thomas Tony Vance

    Ever the optimist! I would hope this is a good beginning.

  • Nurse Julia

    The utter incompetence of the federal laws governing cannabis simply destroy Americans’ perception of a just and proportional government. The governmental- police-industrial-capitalist kleptocracy has created a massive jobs program in cannabis prohibition sowing violence and injustice in it’s wake and destabilizing the entire planet. Lot’s of easy money to be made as a crusader against cannabis, the jails are filled and sheriffs deputies can make great money playing commando as they drop out of helicopters to harvest the evil weed. It is big business. No, it is mega business. The justice or intelligence of this policy is not even on the table and you cannot expect Holder to up end, or much critisize such a lucrative industry. The Obama administration simply doesn’t have the strength or desire to challenge such an entrenched system. Ed Julia Glick

  • Cheryl Vandomelen

    Actions speak much louder than words.

  • Sarijuana

    I’ve contacted my Sens & Reps, but we should also implore the media to cover it. Now.

    • Eric ‘The Mad Hadder’ Melton

      I have as well. Receiving a response from Tim Ryan (D-OH)! saying this:
      “I believe our nation must utilize its resources in the most efficient way possible to combat substance abuse. That is why I believe that we must re-evaluate our drug control policies to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent effectively towards curbing drug abuse. There are indeed things we could be doing better, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that our policies on illegal drug abuse do not cause more problems than they solve.

      Rest assured I will keep your views in mind as Congress works on this issue. Thank you again for your correspondence.
      Sincerely,”
      I think if senators receive support they will act on the majority!

  • jontomas

    One thing is sure about Obama’s intentions with marijuana policy. They’re going to change things on their own sweet schedule, no matter what hearings take place, or how many polls show most Americans want to end the war on marijuana consumers. They have to transition all their prohibition assets, programs and revenue streams into other channels.

    Hopefully, they are just about ready. 8^)

    • Eric ‘The Mad Hadder’ Melton

      Congress members need to take the blame over any big mouth president.

  • Ricky Ableidinger

    Well I can tell you that the upper management of the Veterans Administration has made a policy that in the States that have voted to Legalize Medical Marijuana that the veterans doctors will not interfere with the patients care by an outside doctor and there use of Marijuana as long as they have a recommendation from a doctor and the use of said marijuana will not affect the care at the veterans facility…I live in a state that has not legalized the use yet and I suffer from cronic Severe PAIN 4 THE LAST 20 PLUS YEARS AND STRUGGLE EVERY DAY TO MANAGE MY PAIN,BUT MY DOCTORS SAY THAT IF I WANT TO KEEP THEM AS MY DOCTORS AND HAVE THEM CONTINUE PERSCRIBING MY PAIN MEDS THAT I CAN NOT USE MARIJUANA….This is a unfair and crule to treat some one that suffers every day when in 20 states it is O.K. to utilize this substance….It seems a little strange that Veterans Doctors can legaly work in every state un like other doctors but they can treat patients differently from state to state in the same health system….I think that if the Government system allows some of its citizens to utilize a medication it should allow all of its citizens the same choise……I have a hard time understanding how our leaders are not fighting to help every citizen/veteran afford the same medical advancements…………

  • Joshua Michael Branham

    According to the DEA, marijuana is more dangerous, more habit forming and also contributes to more mental health problems than METHAMPHETAMINE. Marijuana is a schedule one substance. Methamphetamine is a schedule two substance. If that does not show you that these people do not have a clue what is going on, then I’m not sure what will.

    • Jonathan Spencer

      And drinking isn’t? I understand that America’s Founding Fathers came over with alcohol and that is why it is legal today, but honestly, if instead of Alcohol, they bought marijuana over we would be smoking that commonly and this issue would be over Alcohol legalization.
      Besides, how many instances do you hear of a person smoking marijuana going into a car and driving carelessly and getting in a wreck? To add to that, marijuana can give you a “high” sense that relaxes the muscles.
      So to say that marijuana is more dangerous than Meth is a lie. Alcohol can lead you to habit forming and the only mental issue it causes is short-term memory and decreased motor skills. Not to mention that Marijuana is the least addictive drug we have, less than caffeine even. So if a person decides to go and try stronger drugs it is on that person, not marijuana.
      So, by saying that marijuana is a “gateway” drug may be true, but couldn’t alcohol cause the same? And why waste government money to stop it. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use a person’s desire and sell marijuana to help the government. If a person want’s to go further then leave that to the person. Marijuana is only as dangerous as the person smoking it let’s it be.

      • guessMI_MJsupporter

        i think he was making a point about its classification not its actual harm, mj isn’t more harmful but scheduled in a higher drug class (Class I) that states it has NO medical use, we know that to be untrue, but meth is no (Class 2) putting it in a lower bracket that just states it has med properties or vicodins (Class 3) can be more harmful but there not considered it cause of classification, they should just remove mj from classification or at least lower it ti a Class 4 drug thats my Opinion though

  • http://www.facebook.com/freckwilkinson Lindell Wilkinson

    Has anybody else noticed that the politicians that are always championing “states rights” are the same ones that say federal laws trump the state laws of Colorado and Washington states?