Former DEA Chiefs Slam State Pot Laws; Drug Czars Join Effort to Stop States from Superseding Federal Laws

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 6, 2013 | Go to article overview

Former DEA Chiefs Slam State Pot Laws; Drug Czars Join Effort to Stop States from Superseding Federal Laws


Byline: Valerie Richardson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

DENVER -- The Obama administration is facing rising national and international pressure to nullify efforts in Colorado and Washington state to implement new laws legalizing recreational marijuana use.

Nine former Drug Enforcement Administration chiefs and four former drug czars are asking the Senate Judiciary Committee this week to encourage Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to adhere to long-standing federal law and policy in this regard at its Wednesday oversight hearing.

Our nation urgently needs action from Attorney General Holder to ensure that federal marijuana laws are enforced, federal preemption is asserted, and our obligations under international drug treaties are honored, said the officials in a letter dated Monday on stationery from S.O.S.: Save Our Society from Drugs.

The letter comes as a United Nations agency, the International Narcotics Control Board, called on U.S. officials in its annual report released Monday to ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory.

Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, issued a statement Tuesday blasting the former anti-drug chiefs for taking action to maintain the policies that kept them and their colleagues in business for so long.

Their desire to keep marijuana sales in an underground market favors the drug cartels, whereas the laws approved in Colorado and Washington favor legitimate, tax-paying businesses, said Mr. Tvert, who led the Amendment 64 campaign in Colorado. Marijuana prohibition has failed, and voters are ready to move on and adopt a more sensible approach.

Mr. Holder has yet to say whether he will permit the states to sidestep federal marijuana law, although he told the National Association of Attorneys General last week that the department expected to issue a policy soon. …

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