Four Months After Two States Legalized Pot, Holder Still Says He'll Respond 'Relatively Soon'

USDOJUSDOJA month after voters in Colorado and Washington approved the legalization of marijuana, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department would respond "relatively soon." Now he says we can expect that response..."relatively soon." No, really:

"We're still in the process of reviewing both of the initiatives that were passed," Holder said at a morning appearance, answering a question from Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. "I would say, and I mean this, that you'll hear soon."

"We are, I think, in our last stages of that review, and are trying to make a determination as to what the policy ramifications are going to be, what our international obligations are. There are a whole variety of things that go into this determination," Holder said. "But the people in [Colorado] and Washington deserve that answer and we will have that, as I said, relatively soon."

Surely that is why no one at the Justice Department is returning my calls. Last week Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper had this to say about the eagerly awaited DOJ response:

"They're looking at how we can adjust something in the rule-making—is there something in the regulatory framework that we can accommodate the will of these voters, and can we do it in such a way that doesn't endanger or put undue pressures on our neighboring states or other states?" Hickenlooper said. "No one's got the answer on this one."

"They have an open door to discuss it and try to work through this," he added of Holder's team at the Justice Department. "There's more nuance to the law than just the black and white." One legal option, said Hickenlooper, would be to "go back to Congress and somehow change the controlled substance laws—they're open to all of that."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee made similar comments after meeting with Holder last month.

Addendum: Whoops. Mike Riggs noted this story earlier today.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Is anyone else getting a feeling of deja vu?

  • Rich||

    "is there something in the regulatory framework that we can accommodate [sic] the will of these voters, and can we do it in such a way that doesn't endanger or put undue pressures on our neighboring states or other states?" Hickenlooper said. "No one's got the answer on this one."

    *** waving hands ***

    "How about doing *nothing*, which is always an option?"

  • ||

    Yeah. How could this possibly put undue pressures on other states. Other states are the ones putting undue pressures on themeselves by having these drug laws in the first place.

  • Paul.||

    Emails are being written, memos are being crafted.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Drone bases take time to set up okay? They need to buy some time.

  • Paul.||

    "They're looking at how we can adjust something in the rule-making—is there something in the regulatory framework that we can accommodate the will of these voters

    Well, yes, there's always something in the regulatory framework that can accommodate the will of the voters.

  • Paul.||

    "They have an open door to discuss it and try to work through this," he added of Holder's team at the Justice Department.

    FYI, for those of you who don't work in large corporations, when a boss says his "door is always open," be afraid, be very afraid.

  • Pi Guy||

    This would be a perfect time to realize that Wickard was decided incorrectly...

  • Juice||

    and Raich

  • some guy||

    When it comes to government "relatively soon" means "sometime between the next election and the one after that".

  • some guy||

    "Now" means "sometime before the next election".

    "Eventually" means "maybe sometime before you die [crosses fingers with cringing face]".

    "Never" means "it's already happening, but I don't feel like telling you about it."

  • Rich||

    Or, "whenever I can get my nepotistic colleague to work on it".

  • Libertarian||

    Well, that's the status of states' rights, that "international obligations" have to be considered when two of our 50 states decide to do something that the other 48 haven't?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  • Paul.||

    Semi on-topic: I love NORML's mission, really I do, but this article's so full of question-begging, one barely knows where to start:

    http://stash.norml.org/fda-app.....ed-herring

    After stating several things which may or may not be true, but posture themselves as assuming they are, they go into this:

    Cannabis was used medicinally in China and India for thousands of years. No medicine survives that long if it is not effective.

    I actually believe that marijuana has some medicinal properties, but that statement makes me cringe. I feel like the article was written by one of those 16 yr-old activists who's 5% smarter than average, but not educated or wise enough to know better.

  • RSteeb||

    "'Some' medicinal properties"?

    Cannabis was featured in the United States Pharmacopoeia from the time of W.B. O'Shaughnessy up until the time of Anslinger.

    There is no substance on Earth nearer to a literal panacea. If you doubt that, go read "Storm Crow's List".

  • Gene||

    The fact he mentions international obligations is kinda ominous.

  • Hugh Akston||

    China doesn't want to loan money to a bunch of doped-out reefer addicts.

  • Paul.||

    Funny, we seriously wanted to do business with a bunch of opium addicts... oh wait, we were the ones supplying the opium... now it all makes sense.

  • NeonCat||

    Didn't the US basically insist on cannabis being part of the UN Single Convention? "Oh no, our hands are totally tied by this law we forced everyone to adopt."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The prison industrial complex must really be putting the screws to them.

  • Paul.||

    We're talking about high-paying prison sector jobs. One day, if we're not careful, they'll all be outsourced!

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