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. po

    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'. I want to get high

    October 16, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. loser

    Eric holder go enforce illegal immigration,have you notice the feds want control from states but aint getting it?states suing obamacare, states passing tough illegal immigration laws,legalizing marijuana,nobody listening to obama.all states legalize it see what obama going to do.if all the states stuck together or close to it what power would the feds have?none.kick illegals out.

    October 16, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. loser

    Great hillary wants to play world police,let those mexicans kill each other.our soldiers need a break,we should waste more money to fight a war that is not our problem.idiot american should have not gotten to mexico knowing what was happening there.i get the feeling he was trafficking drugs and he got killed.

    October 16, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. wake up

    The mexican gov is the drug cartel,the enforcers got fed up and what their cut.cartels pay the mexican gov.the mexican gov could shut down cartels but how would the gov make money?it like our gov banning from recieving politican campgain donations?

    October 16, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • The Dumb weed whacker!

      Wow, political suspense and drama combined with national crisis we gonna have to get a panel of experts from Meet the Press tm to solve this one.

      October 16, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. okay

    Just what we need are these pansie a.ss Canadians telling us how to be free..cmon..your like a sh!tty loft apartment over a high class gallery..please keep your moronic comments in your own sh!tty country ! I got an idea let's just BLAME CANADA ! LMAO !

    October 16, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan T


      People like you make me sick. I puke on you, okay.

      October 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • kaz

      You've never been to Canada before. Standard of living is higher than in the states, poverty is lower than in the states.

      October 17, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. okay

    Dam socialists !

    October 16, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jim Brieske

    I must be more aware. This matter does not matter. Everyone knows voting in California on propositions is absurd. The outcome will lead to another vote on the same subject.
    Who knows though. Maybe if Californian's pot supply is legally grown, distributed and sold there, all to make it easier to smoke then maybe proposition subjects will be voted on one time only.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joe Mahma

    The feds want a steady stream of non-violent drug offenders in privatized prisons for their golfing partners to exploit. No big mystery there.

    The feds want US to be unhappy so we go to the malls and buy crap we don't need manufactured and sold by their golfing partners. No big mystery there.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. phil

    The way Feds enforce immigration laws, I don't think potheads have anything to worry about.

    October 16, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. DFDA

    Oh, this is latest awesome brainstorming from the very hip and very cool Drug-Free Dudes of America.

    Cool Drug-Free Dude 1: "Hey, Dude. What's up?"

    Cool Drug-Free Dude 2: "Dude, last night was a blast. I had a good time and it was all real, dude. I remember all of every moment. We decided to gather up some plasma's in this room like mission control, man. Hooked up some awesome games, with live communications to every dude in the world. We were laughing our a s s e s off. We killed them, dude Then we decided to go get some out of this world physical activity outside. Everyone, was stoked. This dude was really acting stupid. Man, after that strenuous activity, we were sleeping like a baby. And today, we wake up ready for more action."

    Cool Drug-Free Dude 3: "Hey, Dude. Remember, we gotta do this project. This government agency, they want some dudes like us to gather up intelligence for them. Some organized crimes, dude. We have to gather up our tech devices and get that intelligence for them so they can intercept."

    Cool Drug-Free Dude 1: "Oh, yeah. I have the perfect equipment for doing that. Hey we can make a movie out of this, Dude."

    Cool Drug-Free Dude 2: "Dude, this is real man, This is real. We gotta do it."

    To be continued... coming from the very hip very cool drug-free dudes of America.

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

      Okay friskey, chahauhua 2...go get'em!

      October 16, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan T

      Sounds like a bunch of total tards. They never should have let you kids have videogames if you don't like letting people have fun that you don't want yourself.

      October 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. shane

    Headline could just as easily read:

    The one proven way to put the criminals out of business: Tax and regulate!!

    October 16, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan T

      I agree.

      October 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AJR

    Why aren't people looking at the other big positives??!! Legal Marijuana means LEGAL HEMP!!! and that means Job's!! and a whole lot more!! HEMP is the reason why it became illegal to the uninformed. Not just the psychoactive part. (THC) Many big Corporations and lobbyist teamed up with the DEA of the time and confused the minds of the country mixing Hemp with other and re-naming it "Marihuana 0r Marijuana" meaning a slang a word devil weed in Mexico.This could be a huge start of getting this Country back moving in the right direction, creating a product instead of importing everything.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chimpinalls

    I don't think that this is exactly the best political climate for Washington to override state's rights.

    October 16, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Standard mode of operation

      when the laws: state and federal are in conflict ye citizens are much obliged to follow the more stricter stance of the law...see ask dot commie about it if in doubt!

      October 16, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GTOJER

    This is a far larger problem than Prop 19. If this is voted in, the STATE says it is legal but the FED says it is not. This is one of the main reasons for the Civil War – States Rights. Slavery was added later by Lincoln to get more support for his re-election. Main reason was taxes and what the states would agree to. The north had more people and industry but the south had cotton on large farms. The Feds increased the tax based on the amount of property. This was screwing the south but made the north happy which led to the Succession.

    October 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GTOJER

    Another point is President Obama said he was not going to use the limited resources busting pot. Yet to this day, the shops in CA are getting busted at the direction of the DEA. So we have the DEA doing whatever they want, and Holder saying he will do as he wants. I support our President but WHO THE HELL IS IN CHARGE?

    October 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • You Dumb weed whacker!

      Ohoo, Deputy Eric Holden! we gotta another closet insurrectionist here...fussing about his we-eeeed!

      October 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
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