The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and various drug czars appear to be gearing up for a Constitutional showdown with states considering legalizing marijuana. One of the alleged goals of the cannabis conference call was to put pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to make a public statement opposing ballot initiatives drafted to allow the controlled and taxed sale of marijuana in multiple states.
Both DEA officials and Office of National Drug Control Policy directors voiced a stringent reminder to the Department of Justice (DOJ) that, if state legalization of marijuana measures pass, such transactions would still violate federal law, the Huffington Post reports.
Conference call moderator and former DEA President, Peter Bensinger, had this to say during the multiple agency communication:
“Next month in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington states, voters will vote on legalizing marijuana. Federal law, the US Constitution, and Supreme Court decisions say this cannot be done because federal law preempts state law. And there is a bigger danger that touches every one of us – legalizing marijuana threatens public health and safety. In states that have legalized medical marijuana, drug driving arrests, accidents, and drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed. Drug treatment admissions are up and the number of teens using this gateway drug is up dramatically.”
Co-Director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol group from Colorado, Mason Tvert, had this to say about the marijuana legalization conference call:
“We believe anything claimed by participants on the call today needs to be taken with many grains of salt. These people have made a living off marijuana prohibition and the laws that keep this relatively benign substance illegal. The nation wastes billions of taxpayer dollars annually on the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and people like Bill Bennett and John Walters are among the biggest cheerleaders for wasting billions more. The call today should be taken as seriously as an event by former coal industry CEOs opposing legislation curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. They are stuck in a certain mindset and no level of evidence demonstrating the weakness of their position will change their views.”
A plethora of anti-marijuana decriminalization officials encompassing the entire alphabet soup of Washington, D.C., agencies were in on the call imploring Attorney General Holder to acknowledge the pending dismissal of federal law in multiple states. The conference call expanded on a message sent to Eric Holder in September urging him to oppose the pending pot legalization ballot issues. In 2010, the Attorney General promised to “vigorously enforce” federal marijuana statutes, but, with only a few weeks left before the presidential election, he has remained decidedly mum on the controversial topic.
Considering America’s struggling economy, the need to create jobs, and generate tax revenue for necessary domestic programs, is there really a legitimate reason not to treat marijuana like booze and permit the sale of cannabis to consenting adults?