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Eric Holder “Cautiously Optimistic” About Marijuana Legalization


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US Attorney General Eric Holder “Cautiously Optimistic” About Marijuana Legalization

 

During a visit to the federal courthouse is Charleston, US Attorney General Eric Holder explained that he is :cautiously optimistic” about recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado.

 

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When asked where he saw the future of marijuana, however, Holder wasn’t so positive.  “I think there might have been a burst of feeling that what happened in Washington and Colorado was going to be soon replicated across the country,” he stated.  “I’m not sure that is necessarily the case. I think a lot of states are going to be looking to see what happens in Washington, what happens in Colorado before those decisions are made in substantial parts of the country.”

 

Holder also explained that he is pleased with the compliance with the Department of Justice’s eight marijuana-related enforcement priorities.  “I think what people have to understand is that when we have those eight priorities that we have set out, it essentially means that the federal government is not going to be involved in the prosecution of small-time, possessory drug cases, but we never were,” Holder said. “So I’m not sure that I see a huge change yet, we’ve tried to adapt to the situation in Colorado with regard to how money is kept and transacted and all that stuff, and try to open up the banking system.”

 

Despite feeling optimistic, Holder did say that the progress in Colorado and Washington is being closely monitored by the Department of Justice.  He said, “If we conclude that they are not being done in an appropriate way, we reserve our right to file lawsuits.”

 

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