October 15th, 2010
09:10 PM ET

Holder: Feds to enforce drug laws if state legalizes pot

The federal government will continue to enforce federal marijuana laws in California even if the state legalizes pot through a ballot initiative next month, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter obtained Friday by CNN.

Holder said the Justice Department would continue to "vigorously enforce" the federal Controlled Substances Act "against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture, or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law," in a letter to former administrators of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"Regardless of the passage of this or similar legislation, the Department of Justice will remain firmly committed to enforcing the Controlled Substances ACT ("CSA") in all states," said the letter, dated Wednesday.

California's Proposition 19, which will appear on next month's ballot, would legalize recreational marijuana use in the state. Supporters say it would raise revenue and cut the costs of enforcement.


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Filed under: California • Drugs • Proposition 19
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. duke

    "You'll have to pry my L from my cold dead hands"

    October 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • You Dumb weed whacker!

      Go git'em Sheriff Holden...babey! @duke here says, "He dares ya!"

      October 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DesertCat

      You ain't the only one, Duke. Count me in.

      October 16, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Val

    Let me get this straight...... They lack the law enforcement manpower to enforce immigration laws, but they intend to arrest every single person who decides to light up in Ca in the event that proposition 19 is passed?????? Eric Holder has demonstrated that he is ready, willing and able to defy the American people to their very faces even when they VOTE contrary to what HE WANTS. But hey, he's just OBAMA'S PUPPET. They are both on their way out and are just flailing about trying to show how big and powerful they are. This should be downright FUNNY cause it's going to be legal. GET USED TO IT.

    October 15, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • You Dumb weed whacker!

      @Val babey...you sound kinda frantic. Need a bowl of fruitloops to calm you down? Now are you a buyer or a user???

      October 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • smarter than weed wacker

      @ weed wacker – you sound a little moronic, misinformed, and misled. How bout a bowl of fruit loops to make you less retarded.

      October 16, 2010 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
    • He worshipped the Quran

      Why than-an-ank yoou! I eat my bowl of fruitloo-oops everyday!

      October 16, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • The Dumb weed whacker!

      Me, t-oo-oo!

      October 16, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • The Dumb weed whacker!

      Why are you smarter, smarter than weed whacker, is it because you are a buyer??? or a user???

      October 16, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • DesertCat

      When will coptards be in season? I forgot to buy my tags....

      October 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan T

      @smarter than weed whacker

      weed whacker is just a troll-tard. He probably got so excited about this stuff that he whacked off his tiny pen1s.

      let's call him pen1s-whacker.

      October 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don WV

      I am seriously starting to wonder how much Mexican drug cartels are paying this administration! First they refuse to enforce the border to keep drugs out of the country, now they are attempting to keep pot illegal so the Mexican drug lords will still have a monopoly on pot keeping them in the life atyle they are used to. If they would legalize pot this would be a large cut into the Mexican Cartels profits, In my opinion something smells bad with Holders comments and the Obama Adminstrations actions!

      October 16, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Vezalo

    It's the agenda man. The agenda.

    October 15, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZuluDeaux

      @Vezalo: That's right.

      October 16, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jim Brieske

    California is really a desperate state. They have run out of things to tax. So now they decide to legalize pot so they can tax it.
    It's really really disgusting because they will need suppliers.
    Currently they are getting it from murderers in Mexico. Do they continue getting it from those Hellbound whatevers? Or do they grow it themselves in much more openly organized way?
    I don't think the Mexican drug cartels will appreciate being cutout of selling weed to Californians. In fact, a war will start.
    People will be murdered by the Mexican drug cartels and legal California pot fields will be torched by the Mexican drug cartels.
    Really. Everyone just thinks, oh let's legalize pot. It's not that. It's, oh let's stop getting our pot from the Mexican drug cartels.
    Not going to go over too well. It will be ugly.

    October 15, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Games James

      If we grow our own supply that kills the high level of demand. And if marijuana growing is allowed on a large scale it will also create jobs. Only problem will be getting farm owners to hire LEGAL workers. And don't worry I think the drug cartels will find something else to export with no problem!!

      October 16, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Smarter than jim

      Jim... if you don't know that there is already open warfare at the border, then you're just not paying attention.

      October 16, 2010 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
    • BrightBetty

      1. We're already at war with the drug cartels, the Regan administration blew it up in our faces-its called The Drug War. Maybe you've heard of it, and how we are losing miserably. 2. Marijuana is a weed, literally. It will grow anywhere. Throw some seeds and BAM you got weeds. We don't NEED Mexico to supply it if its legal. The only reason it is so profitable for the Mexican drug cartels at the moment is because weed does grow so well, it's hunted for by law enforcement in this country. 3. You wouldn't even have to tax marijuana to see an increase in state and federal revenue. The amount of money that will be saved from law enforcement man hours, storage, disposal, court costs and prison housing alone would be phenomenal. The Drug War has been 30 years of repeating the same mistakes over and over again expecting different results. It's time to stop the insanity.

      October 16, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. 1TALENA

    I think Arnold will have a vote on the issue,won't he? Sure wish the officials here in Kentucky would consider some kind of legal use of cannabis. Whether it be medicinal or recreational. Hell,most counties don't even allow alcohol sales let alone marijuana.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • The Dumb weed whacker!

      Stop lying, isn't Kentucky known as the moonshine state...the reason no body bothers the law cause they keep their own supply in their basment! And people brag about their moonshine receipes?

      October 16, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. 1TALENA

    I think Arnold will have a vote on the issue,won't he? Sure wish the officials here in Kentucky would consider some kind of legal use of cannabis. Whether it be medicinal or recreational. Hell,most counties don't even allow legal alcohol sales from the pharmacies let alone marijuana.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • The Dumb weed whacker!

      Ain't grain alcohol a big thing in Kentucky parts? and the mountain water is so-oooo strong it will have you hollering at the moon?

      October 16, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dude America

    You guys know what is the coolest thing nowadays????
    Drug-free America!!!! Yes. Drug-free America. It is cool. It is hip. It is real.
    When people see person who is drug-free, they go, "Man, you are real, man! I admire you! You are real!"
    "What are you up to?", as people inquire.
    The drug-free person says, "Lots of exciting things in life. I feel happiness. I feel pain. I feel everything. It is good to be me and feel real emotions."
    "So, how are we gonna handle those drug cartels, dude?"
    "This is a great project for great minds. By 2012, the drug cartels will all be dismantled. We will create strategies and technology that will dismantle any organized crime organizations anywhere in the world. After all, we are in the 21st century. This is not the 1930s and we can't apply 1930s solutions in the 21st century."
    "Cool. That sounds exciting."
    "Not only exciting. It is hip. The race is onnnnn!!!"

    October 16, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • The Dumb weed whacker!

      Okay little frisky chahuahua...go get'em! I'll wait for here for Deputy Holden and his big dogs!

      October 16, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan T

      What a couple of tards.

      October 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ideas

    Okay-okay. Dude. Here is some brainstorming for us very hip drug-free people.
    If the cartels have more money, more weapons, vehicles, military and police force than the Mexican government itself, the Mexican government needs to take all that drug money to cripple them and take all the weapons first. Without money, the cartels will be crippled. They need to do Internet, phone, cell phone, communications, wire transfers and banks surveillance.

    The Mexican government needs to take the war strategists approach. They need to cut the communications between the cartels, themselves and their customers. Without communications, there is no deal. Find out how they are communicating, then cut them completely. ZERO. Zilch.

    Look for their transportations, then cut them completely. You have to get rid of their supports, tools and devices first, so they are disabled.

    The purpose of the war on cartels is not to necessarily to kill them but to dismantle them. If you cut the communications between Pedro and Juan, they cannot coordinate and execute what they need to do. I mean if Mexico and the USA can't even fight the cartels, how can they fight people smuggling in chemical weapons and biological weapons? They have to have the technology NOW to stop organized crime. You cannot give up on organized criminals because they will stay here forever. AGAIN, you have to have the strategy and TECHNOLOGY to dismantle organized CRIME today. For God's sake, it is the 21st century. This is not the 1930s.

    October 16, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. bassdemon

    If pot is legalized on a state level, the will of the people should be respected. That is what we are all about is it not? As Americans, we respect the will of the people, if they approve it on a state level, that should be the end of it.

    October 16, 2010 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Baker

      As a Canadian, I always look to the USA to be the true Freedom Fighters. If Americans want to really be FREE, they need to respect the vote of the common person (Democracy). I always thought this was the American Way! A country for the People, by the people! In any case, I think you are 100% right. If Americans vote for legalized Pot, It should be legal. No Bureacrat or politician or lawyer should be able to overule the will of the American people! I mean, whats next? If Holder doesn't think woman should Vote, maybe he should arrest any woman who show up at the polls, regardless of the fact Americans decided long ago that woman are equal under the law! Also, most Canadians want pot legalized but we are being threatened by US lawmakers that if we legalize, it will hurt our relations with our largest trading partners the USA, what bullsh-t.

      October 16, 2010 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. JoBidenn


    October 16, 2010 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. okay

    Hopefully this doesn't pass in CA...once again it would just be setting a bad example for other states..why other states follow these wacked out liberals anyways is beyond me..if does pass i hope the feds kick some cali @ss ! JUST SAY NO !

    October 16, 2010 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
    • shane

      This proposition is about libertarian principles, not liberal Californians. Get your head out of the sand!

      October 16, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not okay

      Why does your choice not to use marijuana have to affect everyone else in America's choice for whether to use it or not. Marijuana only has a stigma in this country because it is illegal. People have the choice to use tobacco and alcohol- and these two substances actually KILL people. I applaud your choice not to use marijuana, but there are so many reasons to legalize, just a short list being economic/tax revenues, medicinal/psychological, and helping quell drug/gang violence here and in Mexico. Why is it that we have to spend billions and billions of dollars on hunting, finding, and incarcerating/killing countless numbers of people for something that is less harmful than tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs, when all we really would have to do is legalize it and give people the CHOICE of whether they want to use it or not??

      October 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy Reagan was a major tard who loved Tarot cards

      "okay" you are a complete waste of American freedom and sucking up our freedom-laced air and taking up some freedom-laced space that could definitely be put to better use....

      I remember the "Just Say No" campaign when it began. It was evil then and it's evil now. Your narrow-minded, boot-licking, opinions are not needed here.
      Go crawl back under your rock.

      October 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RigidPrinciples

    Hopefully Arnold would order the national guard and state police to fight off the feds. If the feds raised the stakes and used nukes, then California would probably secede.

    October 16, 2010 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
    • The Dumb weed whacker!

      Stoner Ridge, drone-daddy would kick that plan to the curve...oh-o-o-o umma tell...deputy Holden! They planning insurrections, again!

      October 16, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kirk

    We should be looking at the effects of a drug before deciding to classify them as legal or not. Government's job is to protect public welfare. Comparing marijuana to alcohol you'd have to say it's more benign. It's far less likely to impair one's driving ability resulting in death for example. You just don't look at the physical effects either but also consider the social impact. Crack as an example has caused a lot of crime to get a fix.

    Our resources are limited, I like to see the lion share of any tax revenue from what we evaluate as the less benign legal substances being used to curtail the use of the destructive illegal ones. Starting with treatment over incarceration, so were not just throwing people away.

    People are going to use enhancing substances no matter what so we need the rational non-political approach to deal effectively with this fact. As we have forgotten the lessons of the prohibition era we can begin by looking at others countries with policies far evolved beyond ours to start.

    Agree with previous post about interjecting into the communications of command and control for the cartels, it's very effective. Even more effective though is depriving them of the market itself. Taking the market could result in blowback but it will be short lived as the money train dries up, or more appropriately is re-directed.

    October 16, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Drunk drivers kill people!

      Stoned drivers just miss their exits.

      October 16, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. Canuck

    Wow, Americans just can't stop telling the world how to live, including your own people. Another civil war for you lads? Hey California , secede from these morons and be happy.

    Home of the free, pleassssse..........

    October 16, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. loser

    A$$h0le Muslim obama and his regimne a$$h0le Eric holder,should enforce illegal deportion,kicking out muslims and keeping them out,instead of messing with states that pass voter approved laws,this muslim will be out nov '12'.

    October 16, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
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