“Your premise is wrong. We are enforcing the laws of the land,” [Attorney General Eric] Holder said. “The question I have for you which you haven’t answered is: Would you have us prosecute every marijuana possession case that exists in the United States of America? Would you have us do that?” [Politico]
WHEN REPUBLICANS questioned Eric Holder on marijuana prosecutions, their big concern was whether he was enforcing the Controlled Substance Act, which also revolves around giving banking system access to weed businesses in Colorado and Washington, though the latter is far behind in advancing their recently passed referenda on legalization.
Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen quickly got to the heart of the issue, which someone in Washington must take up before we can move forward on legal medical marijuana without the legal sword hanging over people’s heads.
“In my humble opinion — and, I think, the majority of people in this country — there’s no way that marijuana should be Schedule I, because it’s not in the same class as heroin, as is LSD,” Cohen said. “There are certainly medical bases…for multiple sclerosis, for children with epilepsy and seizures, and so it has medical benefit. Schedule I says no medical benefit. Well, that’s just fallacious. … Why will you not act?”
Cohen said it was strange that Obama administration has proudly taken executive action on immigration, environmental and labor policies, but not on reclassifying marijuana. “Why won’t the administration act with the pen and the phone to help people out?” the congressman asked.
“I think we actually have acted in a responsible way,” Holder replied.
When Cohen said it was “obvious” that marijuana was miscategorized, the attorney general gave an answer that captured the disparate views on display at the hearing.
“What’s obvious to one perhaps is not obvious to another,” Holder said.
It’s a plainly ignorant answer from Holder, especially if he’d look at the medical evidence lately provided for children with epilepsy, to name one instance where the properties of pot, after stripping the high factor, clearly have been proven to aid medically.
For all the gains on decriminalization and medical marijuana access, the Schedule I status of weed remains the biggest threat to full access to a substance that is not a gateway to harder substances, but unlike alcohol, has actual medicinal properties that can be utilized by a wide swath of people.
The other issue is that if adults want to buy and smoke weed in their homes we should be allowed to do so without the government landing on our heads.