Eric Holder Must Clarify Decision on Medical Marijuana, Congressmen Say; Dems Argue for States' Rights, Repubs Want Federal Status Quo

Categories: Medical Weed
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Barney Frank

Four U.S. Congressmen want Attorney General Eric Holder to clarify the Obama Adminstration's position on medical marijuana, and what they're asking for cuts down party lines.

Ironically, it's two Democrats who are pushing for states' rights, while two Republicans are demanding that the federal government keep its stranglehold on the marijuana industry.

In a June 15 letter to Holder, Congressmen F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin and Lamar Smith of Texas note that they "strongly" disagree that the feds shouldn't bust medical pot dispensaries. Both have long been considered drug-war "extremists."

Meanwhile, Democrats Barney Frank of Massachussetts and Jared Polis of Colorado, who both would like to see marijuana legalized outright, have asked Holder to let states with medical-pot laws do what they wish.


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F. James Sensenbrenner

While local blogger Greg Patterson recently penned a thoughtful argument about why Repubs are "following the rule of law even when they disagree with it. He refers to the outlandish decision in a 2005 Supreme Court case in which a pot-growing operation was said to be interstate commerce even if the pot never crossed state lines. Patterson goes on to say:

I think the Supreme Court got it wrong, but the issue has been decided. Do we follow the court or not. Obviously, even if we disagree with Supreme Court interpretations, we follow them.

Yet we as Americans don't just follow something like that blindly. When we don't get what we want, we push back. In the political wrangling before a landmark 1992 Supreme Court abortion case, for example, Pennsylvania GOP leaders pushed to overturn or modify Roe v. Wade.

No mental gymnastics or appeals to the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court are required to see that how politicians feel about marijuana influences their position on this issue. If conservatives believed in the concept of medical marijuana, you can bet they'd be ahead of Democrats in crying that this was a states' rights issue.

That being said, it's hard to believe that Holder will make a clear decision on medical marijuana because that's not how the Obama Administration rolls. Like Patterson does occasionally, we'll make a prediction even on the chance that it'll be wrong: Holder's impending clarification will both allow states to have their medical laws but stop well short of reversing the Schedule One status of marijuana.

Anything clearer than that probably will have to wait until after the 2012 presidential election.

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Steven M. Cooper
Steven M. Cooper

Too bad the photo in the article is Photoshopped.  Takes away from the discussion.

Holder won't act to end raids, not with a fanatic-right wing leading the DEA.  The DEA could change the status of cannabis, but won't.  Too much $$ in the War on Some Drugs.


ewww, I have barney frank on my side? that is really distasteful.


So very interesting how the state wants Status Quo on legalizing pot, but when it comes to immigration, Arizona wants to be its own independent country! What a bunch of TOOLS!!!


"If conservatives believed in the concept of medical marijuana, you canbet they'd be ahead of Democrats in crying that this was a states'rights issue."

Oh, they believe in it. You think a conservative on chemo wouldn't be looking to score?

What they believe in even more is the police state, and the drug war is the false justification for the police state.


I very much agree with Mistalee that a conservative on chemo deffinetly would be lookin to get some herb.But why stop there...Anyone in Government from the cop to Mr Obama himself would look at legalizing marijuana Atleast for medical use if they had to suffer through the hell of chemo And then were to find how much marijuana takes the hell away. Ive been through this with my brother who i sadly lost to cancer.However i saw How much marijuana helped him while hew uz goin through chemo&radiation.Rite now i am facing jail&probation for tryin to help my brother in law who had to have a feeding tube put in because of the effects of chemo&radiation.Unfortunately,my car had a documented mechanical falure.Which caused my car to roll2x's.I wuz Very Lucky2live since i broke bones1&2,5&6in my neck,along with bleeding on my brain.I wuz charged with Dui,Which i dont drink much so alcohol limit wuz Way below intoxicated.The only other things found in my bloodwork wuz my migraine med which wuz below perscribed amount&some pot that wuz metabolized.They are charging me still with dui and possession.As i stated the possession wuz to help out my brother in law.The System is Bullshit.


Considering the Cost of maintaining the WoD's, Cannabis Eradication programs etc..I can't believe the Fiscal Conservatives/Small Gov't folks are Not all over this while they consider Spending Cuts and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.


Mistalee, Don't forget the private prison industry who have these clowns in their pocket

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