Attorney General Hints That Feds Won’t Pursue Medical-Marijuana Cases
DEA raids on medical-marijuana dispensaries could end, with the federal government leaving enforcement of state medical-marijuana laws to the states, Attorney General Eric Holder seemed to indicate in recent comments to reporters.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Feb. 27 that the Obama administration may tack away from the policy of DEA raids and federal prosecutions of medical-marijuana program operators pursued under the Bush administration. Obama signaled support for medical marijuana during the presidential campaign.
“What the president said during the campaign, you’ll be surprised to know, will be consistent with what we’ll be doing here in law enforcement,” said Holder. “What he said during the campaign is now American policy.”
DEA raids on medical-marijuana programs had continued into the early days of the Obama administration, prompting protests from advocates and a statement by White House spokesperson Nick Shapiro that “the president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws.”
Drug-policy advocates also hope that Obama will lift a federal funding ban on needle-exchange programs as well as restrictions on marijuana research.
This story’s original headline and lead paragraph have been edited to clarify the apparent scope of Holder’s comments. See the comment posted below by Join Together news editor Bob Curley.