Former Drug Warriors Urge Attorney General Holder to Let States Legalize Pot

Today Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) delivered a letter urging Attorney General Eric Holder to refrain from interfering with plans to legalize marijuana under ballot initiatives approved by Colorado and Washington voters two weeks ago. The LEAP letter, signed by "73 current and former police officers, judges, prosecutors and federal agents," reads in part:

The great American political writings upon which this country was founded were based in John Locke’s concept of the social contract, which recognizes that the authority of police, and of all government, is derived from the people. And the people have spoken. To disregard the fact is to undermine the legitimacy of the ideas for which our forefathers fought and died....

One day the decision you are about to make about whether or not to respect the people’s will may well come to be the one for which you are known. The war on marijuana has contributed to tens of thousands of deaths both here and south of the border, it has empowered and expanded criminal networks and it has destroyed the mutual feeling of respect once enjoyed between citizens and police. It has not, however, reduced the supply or the demand of the drug and has only served to further alienate—through arrest and imprisonment—those who consume it.

At every crucial moment in history, there comes a time when those who derive their power from the public trust forge a new path by disavowing their expected function in the name of the greater good. This is your moment. As fellow officers who have seen the destruction the war on marijuana has wrought on our communities, on our police forces, on our lives, we hope that you will join us in seeking a better world.

So far the Justice Department's only response the legalization initiatives has been a boilerplate declaration that it will continue enforcing the Controlled Substances Act. As Mike Riggs noted this afternoon, Raymond Yans, the head of the International Narcotics Control Board, wants Holder to do more than that. A.P. reports that Yans "hopes [Holder] 'will take all the necessary measures' to ensure that marijuana possession and use remains illegal throughout the U.S." But that is clearly beyond Holder's power, since our Constitution precludes the federal government from forcing states to ban marijuana. The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs—which requires each signatory, "subject to its constitutional limitations," to criiminalize the cultivation, possession, and distribution of cannabis for recreational use—does not change that fact.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And the people have spoken.

    But they did not speak with one voice. Someone must give voice to those who voted against legalization, and those here were too busy or apathetic to go to the polls and vote no, or the people who don't live in Colorado or Washington but still think it's wrong for people they don't know and will never meet to use marijuana legally. Who will speak for those people? Barack Obama and Eric Holder and a host of federal prosecutors and drug enforcement agents will, that's who.

  • CE||

    Who will speak for those one million souls who voted for Gary Johnson, and don't want more deficit spending, higher taxes and bailouts?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That type doesn't want others speaking for them anyway.

  • SIV||

    You GayJay voters will get your consumption tax, either carbon or a VAT, just wait.

  • naql||

    So you think the minority of voters who want it to remain illegal should be able to arrest, imprison, confiscate the property, and ruin the lives of the majority of voters who want it legalized? Guess who's not going to let that happen? Us, that's who.

  • Paul.||

    Former Drug Warriors Urge Attorney General Holder to Let States Legalize Pot

    Drink!

  • Ken Shultz||

    We need a protest movement ready to respond to what the Obama Administration is almost certainly planning to do in Colorado and Washington.

    If only the Occupy Wall Street people cared enough about minorities and the poor who disproportionately pay the price for the Drug War...

    But they don't. The OCW people only care about rich people not getting richer. They don't really give a shit about minorities or the poor.

  • ||

    he most certainly is planning jackshit

    not gonna happen

    the war on MJ is over for us

  • Fluhdoten1||

    "us"?

    do you speak for the obama admin?

    it would be refreshing if obama let this slide, even if the implementation is nothing more than govt horning in on drug dealers profits.

    apparently the gap between black market prices and free market prices will be gobbled up by taxation, and users will have to be satisfied with merely not being a criminal anymore.

    i dont smoke but it really rubs me wrong to legalize and then regulate and rob. tax and spend liberals should bear the consequences of their bankruptcy, not find new industries to tax.

    victory for drug legalization and higher taxation.

  • ||

    i dont smoke but it really rubs me wrong to legalize and then regulate and rob.

    In the mid-term I really do not see how states will be able to regulate pot grown at home.

    States already have a hell of a time regulating people making beer and spirits at home (most choose simply not to regulate it) as it is and pot is easier to grow then making beer.

    My guess is pot will quickly become something people do outside of commerce and therefor not taxed or regulated...of course the government does not want this so it will have to swiftly lower taxes and regulations in order to keep the commerce portion of it generating revenues.

  • Lewisite||

    "the war on MJ is over for us"

    If there is any truth to that statement, then so be it. Without the ability to co-opt state and local law enforcement to pursue their agenda, the D.O.J/D.E.A are somewhat dead in the water. That is going to be where the real power struggle starts, what if the state and local police "just say no"? Federal law enforcement lack the resources nor the intel to enforce drug laws without local L.E. support, the ball is in your court Dunphy..you and your department..when the feds say “Do it!“, what are you gonna say back?

  • ||

    my dept is not going to do the feds bidding, and that's ASSUMING the feds would bid us to do what you are claiming

    not going to happen

    and by "us" above,fluhdoten, i was referring to "US", the people in WA and CO , the two states that have legalized

    i have never taken an oath to enforce federal law. i have taken one to defend and protect the people in the state of WA. yours is a baseless worry imo

  • Lewisite||

    "my dept is not going to do the feds bidding, and that's ASSUMING the feds would bid us to do what you are claiming

    not going to happen"

    I would assume a certain amount of funding your (as well as other) department receives is federal in origin, would you department forsake it to uphold decriminalization of MJ?

    co-opt
    1. To take or assume for one's own use; appropriate: co-opted the criticism by embracing it.
    2. To neutralize or win over (an independent minority, for example) through assimilation into an established group or culture:

    see also: DHS/DEA/DOJ grants and loans to state and local law enforcement organizations, to 'purchase fealty or compliance'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "my dept is not going to do the feds bidding, and that's ASSUMING the feds would bid us to do what you are claiming"

    I don't understand why anyone would assume that the Obama Administration isn't going to do the same thing to recreational dispensaries in Washington that it has been doing to medical dispensaries in California.

    The Obama Administration shut down 600 dispensaries in California between October of 2011 and October of 2012. Does the DEA need to coordinate with local police? Tell me what makes recreational sales in Washington different from medical sales in California.

  • ||

    this is not medical mj. MJ attacked fed sovereignty and its relationship especially with BIG PHARMA. it also was seen by many as a stealh approach to legalization and thus was a nod nod wink wink acceptance thang

    this is legalization of recreational MJ by a majority. it is NOT the same thing. i said it was different from the start and we are ALREADY seeing evidence of this -witness bipartisan proposed legislation to move MJ in the schedules so as to accomodate recreational MJ states.

    the era of MJ prohibition effectively ended a couple of weeks ago with the passage of legal recreational MJ. the feds can read the writing on the wall.

    again,we are ALREADY seeing differences in reaction by the feds and it hasn't even gone into effect yet

    imo and ime i have a pretty good understsanding of how the feds work (or don't work) vis a vis drug enforcement. medical MJ challenged their authoritah in a way that recreational MJ will not, and recreational MJ is not a stepping stone, it's THE stone. simply disanalogous as you are already seeing and will continue to see.

  • R C Dean||

    this is legalization of recreational MJ by a majority. it is NOT the same thing.

    Well, yeah. The questions are (1) is that a difference that will make a difference to the feds? and (2) couldn't the feds see this as an even bigger threat/intrusion on their WOD meriting an even bigger response?

    Time will tell. Sure, there are bills pending to de-schedule pot, but the vast majority of bills die.

    I just can't believe the WODders are going to lay down without a fight. And, at the federal level, that's a fight they've never lost. We haven't even seen the counterattack yet, but it will be coming; there's still lots and lots of WODders at all levels of the federal government.

    So, we'll see. But the notion that the war on pot is now over, all the troops will come home, no more casualties, strikes me as naive at best.

  • Lewisite||

    "Does the DEA need to coordinate with local police?"

    From what I've seen in videos of various raids (on the internet)
    the DEA/DOJ seems to like involving local PD/sheriff’s offices in the raids as a bulk up/force multiplier, as well as for local intel on targets, logistical support, and to ease local fathers from being too ruffled, but I certainly could be wrong (I’m merely basing these assumptions on observations). I'm not a LEO, and don’t profess any keen insight into the interdepartmental cooperation, whereas Dunphy does/has, so I digress...

  • Libertymike||

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL.

    My holiday prognostications:

    Detroit upsets Houston.

    Dallas, in a thrilla, bests Washington.

    New England gronks New York.

  • wareagle||

    and from the "stories you'll read nowhere else but here" file.....

  • Rich||

    The signatories of the letter collectively represent more than 1,100 years of experience in law enforcement.

    And the voters who approved the ballot initiatives collectively represent more than 1,111,100 years of experience in recreational drug use. All are trumped by Eric "A Nation of Cowards" Holder. Weird, huh?

  • ||

    Look, I like LEAP. But 73? Do you realize how insignificant that number is? It's almost embarrassing that they would trumpet it.

  • ||

    i posted a case where an officer was fired for merely being a member of leap

    however, case law is on our side, as i have also seen a case to the contrary and it was quite explicit

  • ||

    You know that "97% of climate scientists" believe global warming is caused by people?

    yeah as it turns out that number is gotten by 75 out of 77 scientists who chose to respond to the survey.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/201.....consensus/

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The great American political writings upon which this country was founded were based in John Locke’s concept of the social contract, which recognizes that the authority of police, and of all government, is derived from the people. And the people have spoken. To disregard the fact is to undermine the legitimacy of the ideas for which our forefathers fought and died....

    Did Holder laugh his ass off at this, or scratch his head in utter befuddlement?

  • Lewisite||

    "Did Holder laugh his ass off at this, or scratch his head in utter befuddlement?"

    He read it while he sat on the shitter, wadded it up, and then wiped his ass on it just as soon as he finished up.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Must have run out of original copies of the Constitution.

  • Lewisite||

    "Must have run out of original copies of the Constitution."

    LOL...he never had a copy, let alone read it. XD

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Raymond Yans, the head of the International Narcotics Control Board, wants Holder to do more than that. A.P. reports that Yans "hopes [Holder] 'will take all the necessary measures' to ensure that marijuana possession and use remains illegal throughout the U.S."

    I know this is a silly question, but why hasn't the State Department kicked this motherfucker out of the country yet?

  • ||

    Because he's a disciple of the UN, happy and glorious, long to reign over us -- God save the King!

  • CE||

    What do they mean "let"? States have already legalized. How about urging Obama to refrain from violating state sovereignty and the Tenth Amendment, and hence his oath of office?

    And why isn't Holder in prison yet?

  • seguin||

    State sovereignty? Tenth Amendment? That's it buddy, you're on the No-Fly list.

  • waaminn||

    Whoa wait wut? Pot is illegal? Really?

    www.Go-Anony.tk

  • ||

    I had so much hope for anonbot.
    Who knew it would be so useless after it became self aware.

    The good news is that Skynet will probably not decide to eliminate us...instead it will focus on becoming the most inane troll ever.

  • Belgian||

    It has a long way to go to catch up with post-election Tony.

  • ||

    post-election Tony

    To be honest just before the election he was saying that birth control should be mandated.

    It is hard to imagine him getting worse then that low point.

    Is he calling for public executions now?

  • Belgian||

    He has spent two weeks repeating "if the government does it, it is not illegal" in one form or another. Regardless of what the subject is.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Two weeks? More like several years.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    And why isn't Holder in prison yet?

    Laws are for little people.

  • The Derider||

    Because he hasn't committed any crimes that the government can prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 11.20.12 @ 8:54PM |#
    'Because he hasn't committed any crimes that the government wants to enforce'
    FIFY, deidiot

  • John C. Randolph||

    Sure he has. So did a bunch of Bush's minions, but there's an agreement among Ruling Party apparatchiki not to hold each other accountable under the law.

    -jcr

  • R C Dean||

    Well, when the government isn't even trying to prove up a crime, its gets a lot easier to say they can't prove up a crime.

  • The Derider||

    I think it's highly likely that obama's policies towards pot will change significantly this term, because he doesn't have to worry about reelection anymore.

    If they don't, I'll be pretty disgusted.

  • Lewisite||

    "he doesn't have to worry about reelection anymore."

    Well, it’s comforting to know that he held his principles soo cheap, to get re-elected of course (. Even with a super majority, if AHCA wasn't so resoundingly popular amongst both politicians and populace, he would have held off, like all of the other seemingly broken promises that he can now act on, but backing off MJ as it was just too politically toxic. He's truly a man of impeccable moral fiber (and so pragmatic). Perhaps I’ve misjudged him.

    *The more you know...*

  • SIV||

    Good luck with that. Stock up on barf bags.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 11.20.12 @ 8:57PM |#
    "If they don't, I'll be pretty disgusted."
    Gee, that's impressive.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Why isn't it disgusting that Obama shut down 600 medical dispensaries in California over the last year--just to get reelected?

  • Whahappan?||

    Because he supported his reelection.

  • The Derider||

    Obama doesn't make the laws, his job is to enforce them. Choosing not to enforce them carries huge political consequences (see all the nativist h+r commenters criticizing him for refusing to deport young immigrants. Emperor Obama blah blah blah)

  • John C. Randolph||

    Obama doesn't make the laws, his job is to enforce them.

    You'd better tell him that, since he apparently believes he's entitled to legislate by executive order.

    -jcr

  • ||

    If they don't, I'll be pretty disgusted.

    But that won't stop you from carrying his water.

  • 4tehsnowflakes||

    I'll just say that the argument that the CSA is invalid (unconstitutional) under the Commerce Clause is pretty much a sure loser in the courts under Wickard v. Filburn (family farming and use of wheat subject to fed law because of effect on interstate commerce). Lopez (guns near schools) took a step back on the Commerce Clause, but it was not a decision with legs -- Congress can easily draft around it.

    Obviously Reason advocates for a narrower interpretation of the Commerce Clause, which is put forward as a con'l basis for most federal laws and regulations. Just want to clarify what is the reality on the ground. Not likely to change with new appts to the Supreme Ct.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Congress can easily draft around it.

    Just like they did with the gun free school zone bullshit. You ever read the convoluted shit they came up with to be CC compliant.

    (A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.

    Fucking fuckers, fucking piss me the fuck off.

  • Lewisite||

    "Fucking fuckers, fucking piss me the fuck off

    Why do you hate the childrenz?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Fucking kids man, hate 'em.

    Here's the deal, some kid goes nuts and takes a gun to school. He shoots up a bunch of other kids. So now, adults can't have guns near schools. This sounds like a problem between kids.

    Also, every time I try to buy heroin at the supermarket I am turned down because "of the children". Look lady, I ain't no child so give me my goddamn drugs already.

  • Lewisite||

    Yeah..childrunz are teh sux :(

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I think it's highly likely that obama's policies towards pot will change significantly this term, because he doesn't have to worry about reelection anymore.

    I think you have that exactly backwards. As a lame duck President, he doesn't have to give a shit about the dupes; he can now concentrate on doing the bidding of the people who will most be of use to him as an EX President. And smelly dope smoking hippies are not part of that demographic.

  • R C Dean||

    Bingo, P.

    Obama has always acted on one principle, and one principle only; "What's in it for me?"

    I don't see any upside for him in backing off on the WOD. It doesn't push any of his agendas (bigger government, more redistribution, crony capitalism), and actually works against them as well as costing him political capital.

    Ain't gonna happen.

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