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Former DEA Leaders Ask Holder To Stop State Marijuana Reform Initiatives


Eric HolderNine former directors of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sent a letter last week to US Attorney General Eric Holder urging his office to actively oppose several statewide ballot measures that seek to depenalize the personal use and possession of cannabis by adults.

“We urge you to oppose publicly Amendment 64 in Colorado, Initiative 502 in Washington, and Measure 80 in Oregon,” the letter states. “To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public … a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives.” Signatories include every former director of the DEA since the agency’s inception.

Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, Initiative 502, and Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, all seek to amend state law to allow for the limited possession and distribution of cannabis to adults. Both Amendment 64 in Colorado and Initiative 502 in Washington hold solid leads among likely voters. This week, a Survey USA poll of Washington voters showed I-502 ahead by a margin of 57 percent to 34 percent.

The DEA letter did not specifically address separate state initiatives in Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Montana that seek to regulate the physician-recommended use and distribution of cannabis.

Holder’s office previously spoke out in 2010 against Proposition 19 in California after receiving a similar letter from past chiefs of the DEA. That measure sought to allow for the limited possession and cultivation of cannabis for adults. The measure was defeated at the polls by a vote of 46.5 percent to 53.5 percent.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500. NORML has additional details about this November’s statewide and municipal ballot proposals here: http://norml.org/about/smoke-the-vote.

News Release From NORML


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  1. These guys need to wake up. The people have spoken. There’s alot of money to made off putting people in Their for profit Prisons. That’s all this is about, greed on behalf of the Private Prison. I’m sorry I don’t believe in anybody anymore because the Supreme Court has legalized corruption. I believe all politicians are on the Take. Time for Term limits. Time for public financing of elections and get rid of political lifers.

  2. I think the retired DEA bosses rather fear for punishment. Once marijuana has been legalized and the truth about it, and especially about the evils of its prohibition, becomes generally known, I think and hope that the main proponents of prohibition will have to pay.

    They have to pay for all the misery they have caused, for the innocent people whose lives have been destroyed for a “crime” without victims. For the war on drugs, the spraying of south america with cancer-causing chemicals, the billions of tax-payer money wasted on destruction and not preventing a single drug user getting their stuff.

    These people deserve the most severe punishment the USA has to offer. Of course they are scared. But I hope they will be hunted down and brought to justice.

  3. And how many of those ‘ex-DEA’ are involved, like one DEA ex-chief, with commercial orgs that depend on the Drug War to continue…with ever escalatingviolence, quite a few ‘ex-DEA’ members will profit nicely. Checkout the top leadership in Carbon Cars(bullet proof Police vehicles).
    Of course the entire purpose in making the upper echelon of the central gov war on drugs is the avenue to high paying private enterprise…. and of course that avenue is most likely a law enforcement associatio,,,, and of course there is little need for Ex-Drug War czars… if the Drug War no longer exists.
    Most ‘ex’ law enforcement profess a signifigant if not completely different opinion about the usefullness of the methods utilized in the Drug War(especially cannibis), once out of ‘uniform’. It’s (lol), high time someone put together all the comercial connections of these individuals(EXs) that still believe MJ prohibition is the answer…. unlike the ex-DEA men(rank and file from the trenchs,Ex-dea soldiers, these ‘top brass act completely different than the rank and file DEA, ex..

  4. Go ahead douche bag Holder, you’ll only bring attention to the issue which could energize the “masses” to get out and vote yes. All those retired DEA asshats are just worried they won’t get speaking dollars since their message is no longer accepted as truth.

    He should be concentrating on voter repression so this move by right wing drug czars is just to keep the DoJ from doing their REAL fucking job, protecting all American’s right to vote!

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