Definitive Proof That Eric Holder Lied to Congress About Obama's Medical Marijuana Crackdown


Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee last week that his department was not prosecuting medical marijuana businesses that are in compliance with state law. In the week since, drug reform advocates have culled together an overwhelming amount of evidence that Holder either lied to the committee, or—as seems to have been the case with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm's "Operation Fast and Furious"—is oblivious to what his department is doing outside Washington, D.C. 

Just to review, here's what Holder told the House Judiciary Committee: 

Asked about what critics have charged is an overly aggressively enforcement campaign and broken administration promises — including in states that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes — Holder denied the charge.

"This is inconsistent with the little thing called the facts," Holder said in testimony in front of the House Judiciary committee.

Holder told the committee that the Justice Department is not using "limited resources to go after people acting in conformity with state law."

"One has to deal with the reality that there are certain people who took advantage of the state law and a different policy that this administration announced…and have come up with ways they are tkaing advantage of those state laws and going beyond what those states have authorized," Holder said.

That's from Politico. The Washington Times filed a similar dispatch. What Holder said, in other words, isn't up for debate. Neither is the truthiness of what he said: Holder lied. 

Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access called Holder out last week. Now here's Eric Sterling pointing out that the DOJ has threatened to prosecute state employees who comply with their states' marijuana laws: 

U.S. Attorneys have threatened state governors that the Justice Department would prosecute state employees who are carrying out state law.

In June 2011, the threats were so real they worried New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R), a former U.S. Attorney himself.

In Delaware, this spring U.S. Attorney Charles Oberly, III, threatened to prosecute state employees while state officials were developing the regulations to fine tune the state law. In that case the Justice Department was trying to prevent any possibility that anyone could be in "conformity" with state law! Governor Jack Markell actually stopped state employees from going forward in the regulation writing process.

In the adjacent state of Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley was so alarmed by Oberly's threat, he announced, before the General Assembly could even mark-up a bill in committee, that he would veto any bill that was sent to him!

Last September, the BATF, a unit of the Justice Department, advised all federally licensed firearms dealers that it would be a crime if they sold a firearm to anyone they knew was a state-licensed medical marijuana patient.

In the week since Holder lied, Reuters reported that the Justice Department is using asset forfeiture laws to target landlords of pot shops. If they don't evict medical marijuana outfits, Justice can seize their buildings: 

A civil statute designed primarily to seize the assets of drug trafficking organizations is now being wielded by federal prosecutors in California in an unconventional and little-noticed attack on medical-marijuana shops in the state.

Prosecutors have brought more than a dozen lawsuits seeking the forfeiture of commercial properties that house marijuana shops. The actions pressure owners to either evict these controversial tenants or face costly legal battles or the loss of their buildings.The goal is to scare owners into cutting their ties to such tenants and to help the Justice Department combat the medical marijuana industry, estimated at $1.7 billion annually, without confronting it head-on with costly and potentially embarrassing criminal prosecutions, industry sources and legal experts said.

And here's another case in which the Feds shut down a dispensary that local government approved of: 

DEA agents raided the El Camino Wellness Center at 2511 Connie Drive early Monday morning. They also raided the homes of the center's executive directors, according to a press release from Americans for Safe Access.

"The community is in shock because El Camino Wellness Center was a model dispensary that had hosted tours of the facility for numerous members of City Council, as well as state and local officials," according to local ASA representative Courtney Sheats. "There has been nothing clandestine about its operation."

Unlike Fast and Furious, Holder isn't claiming that he didn't know about Obama's medical marijuana crackdown when it was happening. It's happening right now, and he says it's not. Amazing. 

NEXT: Steven Greenhut on California's New Era of Bipartisan Plunder

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Next up definitive proof that racehorse All Have Another likes oats and looks forward to his years ahead as a stud horse.

    Of course Holder lied. Is he capable of telling the truth?

    1. So is he like that guy that stands at a fork in the road and only tells lies? I guess we need to find someone to stand next to him who only tells the truth. Then we’ll have to strand some lonely traveler on the road with them and have his ask for directions to the nearest town.

      1. Is this the road to liarsville?

      2. Yeah but why would Ron Paul want to spend so much time with Holder?

  2. Eric Holder is a lying piece of dog shit? I never knew.

    1. My only question is why does he look like he’s about to cry in every single picture?

      1. He said the Attorney General’s near.

        1. Someone go get a shitload of dimes!

    2. When Holder lied, do you think he knew he lied?

      Did those in Congress that Holder lied to, know that they had been lied to by Holder?

      When Holder lied, and then his lies were published in the media, did the media know that the lies they published, known as Holder’s lies, were lies told by Holder?

      1. Actually by definition it is not a lie unless you know it is a lie. A lie is not speaking a falsehood, it is knowingly doing so with the intent to decieve

        1. True, but he didn’t make some off statement about trivial actions by a misc individual, which could easily give him this idea of “plausible deniability”.

          He gave a very firm, direct statement. And as the guy in charge, is one of the few people who should know whether what he stated is true or not.

          He says his “limited resources” aren’t being used for that and they are systematically being used for just that reason…

          That’s lie.

          Look at is this way – If he said, US Attorneys never sexually harass and they find one offender – he didn’t lie, as how could he know, and how does one misc person going against that statement represent a policy?

          He has several active on-going investigations and threats in multiple states and tells everyone emphatically “we’re not doing this”.

          Slice it anyway you choose – but it’s a lie.

  3. U.S. Attorneys have threatened state governors that the Justice Department would prosecute state employees who are carrying out state law.

    And not one governor has the balls to call them back and say “I’m having a meeting next week to work on these rules. Come and get me. Bring your fucking SWAT team, because my personal security detail will be there.”

    1. I have some faint hope Rick Perry is that crazy, but we’d have to pass MMJ first.

      1. Rick Perry would leave the personal security behind and take on a SWAT team with his Ruger LCP (Rick Perry Edition LCP, of course…)

        1. Oh man I was about to say the same thing, Coyote Killer edition

    2. Eric Holder has made his decision, now let him enforce it!

  4. And his partisan hack defenders will come out and say “He didn’t lie! It was the act of a subordinate that he didn’t know about!” It just kills me that people can think that incompetence is actually a valid defense against getting fired.

    If that doesn’t work they’ll fall back on the “you just can’t stand it that the president is black and you’re trying to bring him down”.

    1. That’s what amazes me about the whole thing. You have two options here, and both make Holder look bad.

      A: I’m a lying shitweasel. Okay, fire the guy for being a lying shitweasel.

      B: I’m telling the truth and I have no clue what my subordinate agencies are up to. Okay, fire the guy because he’s colossally incompetent.

      Either way, Holder needs to go.

      1. Don’t sell him short. He could be an incompetent lying shitweasel.

        1. I never discount that possibility, but in this case it really is an either/or proposition. Knowledge of a fact is a binary choice.

          1. I see that, now.

        2. Don’t sell him short. He could be an tremendous incompetent lying shitweasel.

        3. Oh I think it is a foregone conclusion here that if it is lying that he is pretty damn incompetent about it.

          It’s one thing to tell a lie, but to tell a lie that is so easily verified is just stupid.

      2. Will be using term “shitweasel” in conversation today.

      3. You and logic. You forgot your Orwell:
        War is peace
        Black is white
        lies are truth

        Or Alice in Wonderland (AKA Federal gubermint)
        When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
        “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
        “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”

  5. OT: Has anyone else noticed that the trial balloons are flying pretty fast this week.
    1. Obama to legalize drugs
    2. Obama to grant immunity to young illegals

    Seems like there are a couple of others.
    Looks like they’ve decided to throw everything at the wall to see what’ll stick.

    1. Looks like they’ve decided to throw everything at the wall to see what’ll stick.

      I’ve seen those balloons. I was betting on desperation.

      1. That’s exactly what this is.

        He’ll throw a bunch of promises, many of them the same promises he made in 08, and hope that a bunch of ‘tards will vote for him.

    2. They know they’re going to lose. They want to see what could prevent that. Other than doing stuff to solve the big problem, the economy, because that would mean reducing the role of the state in all things.

      1. Too late in the cycle for real solutions, because all of the real solutions include about 2 years of pain to their primary funding sources.

    3. I propose that, in Obama’s case, they should now be called trial drones.

    4. They are trying to get the libertarian vote??

      1. Both of them?

    5. Yeah I think there were 99 of them

  6. It just amazes me how much lying, conniving, and contempt for the constitution the highest lawyer in the country can exercise and get away with it. What the fuck does a federal lawyer got to do to get disbarred? Fuck I bet people get disbarred, or at least censured, just for the appearance of lying.

    1. Clinton lost his Arkansas license for less.

      1. But he wasn’t acting in the capacity as a lawyer…. and I thought his license was only suspended.

        1. Ten year suspension, I think. And as far as ethics go, you’re always a lawyer.

      2. And even Roger Clemens was charged with perjury for lying to Congress about freaking steroids in baseball.

        But the AG? Noooooo…

    2. It really says something when Nixon’s AGs were more honest and forthright than Obama’s.

  7. Man, Stedman plays hardball!

  8. His mouth was open?

  9. “One has to deal with the reality that there are certain people who took advantage of the state law and a different policy that this administration announced…and have come up with ways they are tkaing advantage of those state laws and going beyond what those states have authorized,” Holder said.

    So, what he’s saying is, “fuck the 10th Amendment”?

    1. I thought they loved federalism now? Does this mean that Obama didn’t free the gays?

  10. As out of character as it would be for the drug warriors among them, it would be awesome for the GOP to use this in the contempt of Congress vote coming up.

  11. I’m sorely tempted to run for congress and get on some committee that Eric Holder will testify before, just so that I can throw a shoe at that lying little shyster.


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.