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.