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Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch As Attorney General, Drug Policy Advocates Are Optimistic

loretta lynch attorney general

(via wsj.com)

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General in a 56-43 vote this afternoon. The results of the vote have been highly anticipated, as significant partisan bickering has stalled her appointment for months. Lynch is the first African-American woman to hold the office of Attorney General, the nation’s top law enforcement position and head of the Department of Justice. Her statements made in the Senatorial confirmation hearing indicate she intends to follow Holder’s legacy of prioritizing civil rights. Criminal justice experts hope this means she will continue and expand the drug policy reforms enacted by her predecessor.

“Loretta Lynch will hopefully continue the more positive aspects of Eric Holder’s legacy,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a criminal justice group opposed to the drug war. “We hope she continues to restore sanity and dignity to the profession of policing by de-escalating the War on Drugs and allowing states to proceed with marijuana legalization.”

Loretta Lynch is well known for her work with the team of prosecutors who charged NYPD officers for the brutal assault of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in 1997. But opponents questioned her nomination after she failed to criminally charge HSBC bank leaders for laundering money for drug cartels and other terrorist organizations, despite the banks’ own guilty admission.

During Eric Holder’s six year term, he opened investigations into the misuse of force and racial profiling by Ferguson police in the aftermath of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, as well as other investigations into corrupt law enforcement practices. Holder has also reduced federal penalties for non-violent drug offenders and has been outspoken about a need to rethink the War on Drugs. In August 2013, Holder released a memo stating that the Department of Justice would no longer go after states that choose to legalize marijuana, so long as the new resulting businesses abide by certain guidelines such as not selling to minors and not being involved in organized criminal activity. Additionally, given a stipulation in the recently passed federal “cromnibus” spending bill, the DOJ can no longer go after states that permit medical marijuana.

LEAP is committed to ending decades of failed policy that have created underground markets and gang violence, fostered corruption and racism, and largely ignored the public health crisis of addiction. The war on drugs has cost more than one trillion dollars, yielded only disastrous outcomes, and ultimately diverted the penal system’s attention away from more important crimes.

Source: Law Enforcement Against Prohibitionmake a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. Another reason (and angle to approach from) when considering the ending of prohibiting cannabis is the religious/spiritual use of the plant. That, and it helps to alleviate the symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal. What a shame that no one seems to be addressing these side-topics.

  2. I’m all for the decriminalization and responsible legalization of marijuana and hemp, but when paying attention to issues such as Jade Helm 15 and the (c)overt militarization of police and FEMA camps intended for peaceful political dissidents, it makes the topic of marijuana legalization seem so trivial. Still, press on progressively.

  3. People don’t use alcohol, tobacco, or prescriptions drugs competently, and probably never will.not to mention those three things kill more people then all the illegal drugs combined.nothing is gonna change until the “illegal”drugs are not treated As Taboo, And People Are Treated For Addiction And Not Like Criminals. It’s counterproductive to keep this unwinnable drug war going when the facts totally support legalization.

  4. She won’t..there isn’t anywhere enough resources and it would actually end prohibition much faster as a consequence.

  5. I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t put their personal beliefs above other people’s…guess what, most people disagree about something and yet they all think they are right

  6. It is more dangerous culturally because it is not really a primary, established culture and will displace existing primary, established cultures as it grows.

    Facts aren’t required for laws, just common belief

  7. Religion is popular..I can’t see how people that think supernaturalism is a valid construct can be expected to make rules based on facts.

  8. Those people know what they are getting into. That is a piss poor reason for it.

    The proper reason is because the danger is specious and therefore the standing law is unconstitutional…we need to have courts mandate factual accuracy in legal foundations, however, as of current, facts are not required to support the law, only beliefs.

  9. So we should do what they think is bad for the greater of society so a small minority can experience relief from heir poor genetic conditions?

    There is lots of options that don’t get people high…I wonder why something that does get you high receives more attention…hmm

  10. Lets legalize heroin because a small minority of people benefit from it.

    The later half of your paragraph is exactly why they have the position they do.. They know your “Medicalization” is just a way to get access to a high.

    We can legalize drugs when people demonstrate competency to use which is more detailed than what is required to get a driver’s license. That will effectively keep the using population down since most people don’t want to be bothered with actually being competent.

  11. The political stance on cannabis is generally BFYTW. (translation – Because F*** You That’s Why) She will be no different. She has targets – she is a prosecutor. The targets will be attacked. The attacking is unpopular? Well what are you going to do about it? FYTW.

  12. I agree 100%. Also making sick veterans who suffer from PTSD, war injuries, and other conditions to move from non legal states to one with medical cannabis laws on the books. These men and women put their lives on the line for this country. Lord only knows what horrors they have had to endure.

  13. You’re right it’s totally ridiculous that these Supposedly highly educated lawmakers can’t see the medicinal benefits of Marijuana and show some compassion for sick people, especially kids. I just don’t get it, do they really think it’s gonna go away?.of course even if they caved on the medicinal marijuana it wouldn’t be nearly enough.the fight is not over until all drugs are legalized.the fact that these people won’t even look at medical Marijuana tells me that they are pig headed fascists that have no clue about what’s best for this country, and it’s people like they are supposed to do.

  14. Beverly Cutter on

    I do not understand how a Harvard educated lawyer who is clearly capable of understanding the medicinal benefits of marijuana can be against it. Marijuana oil has been proven to help epileptic kids with seizures, ms patients, cancer patients, and numerous others. If she wants to oppose recreational use, that is up to her, but it is foolish because it puts the money in the hands of the street vendors instead of the state, where it could be used to fund public education. Medical marijuana should be legal in EVERY state. It is unfair to make parents with sick kids have to move to another state to purchase the marijuana oil that can ease the suffering of their children.

  15. I agree that it’s ludicrous for these lawmakers to not look at the facts about marijuana; it’s been proven over and over again that it’s far less dangerous than alcohol.even hard drugs are safer than alcohol, and they won’t look at that either.these politicians just wanna save face because all the idiots around them feel the same way. It’s bullshit because these politicians are supposed to be for the people, and they don’t pay attention to what the people are saying.i guess with time, when we get younger more clearly thinking minds in these positions well get somewhere ,but unfortunately it’ll be awhile

  16. Obama’s policies on recreational weed could have been a lot worse. But his actions on medicinal marijuana have been much less helpful. Given the overwhelming support for it, the increasing scientific evidence, and how desperately some people need it, his failure to frame MMJ as a moral and civil rights imperative is a grotesque.failure on his part.

  17. She’s disagreed with Obama’s comment that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. Can she really believe marijuana is more dangerous than mega-killer alcohol?? She needs a class in Public Health 101 if she does. If she won’t go to back to school voluntarily, she’s going to have to be force fed the information she needs to know to do her job correctly.

    Alcohol is so much more dangerous than cannabis that there is utterly no comparison. None, none, none. Deal with it, alcohol supremacist bigot promoters of violence!

  18. A pew poll recently showed that 53% of Anericans support legalization of marijuana. When do you ever see 53% of Americans agreeing on anything? Judge Francis Young a DEA judge made a sane ruling on marijuana and was ignored. The Marijuana train is roaring though America and gaining more speed. There will be dozing politicians that don’t hop on that train that will be run over by it.

  19. The fact that we’ve spent a trillion dollars on this unwinnable drug war says It all. its also true that it’s caused racism, and a violent underground along with mass incarceration for largely non-violent drug crimes. It’s time to do the humane and fiscally responsible thing and legalize all drugs; not just marijuana.we could spend all the money we save from abolishing the d.e.a., and stopping the mass incarceration to not only offer more drug treatment options, but to use the billions made in tax dollars to fix roads bridges, etc; across the country. Not to mention the financial benefits Iegalizing could have in closing the massive deficit and financial problems in this country. when we stop wasting money and resources on this unwinnable drug war, our quality of life will also improve and we will be more free.legalize now!,this drug war is doing far more harm than good.

  20. ĐΣFΣCŦΣĐ on

    I don’t care what she thinks. The people have spoken. So awake to the bullshit, it almost makes me wonder why we even ask these corrupted men and women, if we can please have our rights. They need to wake the fuck up and realize its “WE THE PEOPLE” they need to FEAR and RESPECT!

  21. He’s just sucking up to her, hoping he can some traction with her on his “prohibition lite” – (“Don’t put marijuana consumers in jail, just force them into rehab they don’t need.”)

    He’s already dead in the water and the flotilla is leaving him behind – led by those stalwart vessels: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and D.C.!

  22. I didn’t realize when I commented earlier that this is a woman too, sorry about that. Anyway, that’s irrelevant.nothing will change until we these old anti – legalization politicians are out of office.the d.e.a. should be defunded and abolished, it is a total failure that ruins people lives with bogus drug arrests, as well as costing needless lives caught in the crossfire of this bullshit drug war.lets save billions of dollars and defund this bullshit, and make billions more by legalizing and taxing all drugs.

  23. She said during her confirmation hearing she was against legalization. Just as Obama and Holder have said the same. Raids have increased and continued under this administration. She will be no different except in the fact that she loves asset forfeiture more than Holder. She is just as bad as the asshole she is replacing.

  24. If your think Loretta Lynch is going to help, your sadly mistaken. She cant be on your side and on Kevin Sabets side at the same time.

    Heres what Kevin Sabet tweeted!

    “@learnaboutsam: I congratulate Loretta Lynch on her confirmation today as AG! We look forward to working with her. Position on marijuana is A+”

  25. She has made no gestures or statements that would suggest she will do anything different than Holder has done. Just because a memo was sent out does not mean there weren’t ample unjust raids and convictions on Holder’s watch.

    Remove whatever party you lean toward and take a hard look at this administration’s actions, not their words. You will see they have been just as punishing, or more so, than previous administrations when it comes to marijuana legalization.

    The fact is we the people are making the push forward in spite of our federal government. We have stood up and plainly told our elected officials we aren’t going to allow unjust laws to continue to ruin lives by either A) incarcerating non violent offenders or B) denying access to safe, effective medicine or C) a combination there of.

    Elected officials are just riding the wave we created: let’s not give credit where credit is not due.

  26. Superstorm420 on

    Yes, but neither did Eric Holder and Obama is also opposed to legalization. Just because she’s opposed to it doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s gonna send the Feds after the states that have legalized.

  27. I would love to believe that, but she’s already said that she doesn’t support legalization, which is somewhat worrying

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