Holder ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About Legal Pot Implementation | Marijuana

Holder ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About Legal Pot Implementation


Attorney General Eric Holder says he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the implementation of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington State.

In a CNN interview taped Monday, Holder pointed to the eight guidelines the Justice Department laid out last year for the legalization states to abide by, saying he still thinks they are “the appropriate way we should approach this problem.”

Those guidelines are:

  • Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;
  • Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels;
  • Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
  • Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
  • Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;
  • Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
  • Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and
  • Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

“We’ll look to see whether or not there is a strict regulatory scheme that is in place in those states,” Holder told CNN.

The attorney general, who announced last month that he intends to resign soon, says the Department of Justice is closely monitoring the states to make sure they are abiding by the guidelines and are effectively regulating the newly legal marijuana trade. “What I’ve told the governors of those states is that if we’re not satisfied with their regulatory scheme that we reserve the right to come in and to sue them,” he said.

About Author

Tom Angell covers policy and politics for Marijuana.com. Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit organization Marijuana Majority, which works to ensure that elected officials and the media treat legalization as a serious, mainstream issue. Marijuana Majority led the effort to get the U.S. Conference of Mayors to pass a resolution telling the federal government to respect state marijuana laws, and orchestrated the first-ever endorsement for marijuana legalization by a U.S. Supreme Court justice (John Paul Stevens). Previously, Tom worked for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (All organizations are listed for identification purposes only.)


  1. Lawrence Goodwin on

    We, the People, reserve the right to sue all federal, state and local officials who continue to impose their anti-cannabis tyranny in our states and communities. A class-action lawsuit should be filed tomorrow for denying countless millions of Americans–in the course of 77 years–safe and legal access to the medicinal properties of cannabis plants; for wasting at least $500 billion of taxpayers’ money (since 1937) to arrest, prosecute and imprison “marijuana” offenders; and for squelching untold billions of perfectly legal commerce in the manufacture of non-psychoactive cannabis hemp products. The lack of such prompt action in the courts ensures the slow death of our once exemplary republic.

    • We should give the two-party system the boot, period. Most of the politicians don’t give a dam n about we the peons; their policies don’t benefit we the peons. They perpetuate a divide and conquer strategy that is harmful to the people of this country. And we bend over gratefully, giving them the authority to tell us how to live our lives.

      200 years after the fact, the two-party system has no relevance to our lives. There is no rule saying we the people can’t tell them to shove it where the sun don’t shine .

  2. How can anything positive happen with the progress legal cannabis has made, now that theDEAhas once again said there is no medical benefit to cannabis? I’m so mad about that latest statement from the DEA. And by the way.. I’m prescribed a drug called MARINOL. It’s a derivative of cannabis to increase your appetite. What do we do now? I feel as though we have hit a brick wall in the movement to de-tangle the mess Enslinger made of Marijuana in the sixties? What now? Is it Patrick Kennedy standing in the preverbal doorway?

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