It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Eric Holder Signals Support For Marijuana Reform Just As He's Heading Out The Door

page: 1
6

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 10:02 AM
link   
Eric Holder Signals Support For Marijuana Reform Just As He's Heading Out The Door

As we all know, Holder has just handed in his resignation and should be stepping down soon, but before he goes he has voiced his support for marijuana reform in the DOJ. This should be interesting to see how it plays out.


Just as Attorney General Eric Holder prepares to step down from his post, he appears more open than ever to the argument for rescheduling marijuana as a less dangerous, more beneficial drug.

"I think it's certainly a question we need to ask ourselves, whether or not marijuana is as serious of a drug as heroin," Holder said in an interview with Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric, released on Thursday. "Especially given what we've seen recently with regard to heroin -- the progression of people from using opioids to heroin use, the spread and the destruction that heroin has perpetrated all around our country. And to see by contrast, what the impact is of marijuana use. Now it can be destructive if used in certain ways, but the question of whether or not they should be in the same category is something that we need to ask ourselves and use science as the basis for making that determination."


This is a good point. Thanks to that pharmaceutical companies, opiate addiction is higher than ever. Marijuana is being shown to be no where NEAR as destructive as heroin or opiates.


Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin and '___'. Schedule I drugs, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, have a "high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use."

Yet science clearly indicates otherwise about marijuana. A growing body of research has demonstrated its medical potential. Purified forms of cannabis can be effective at attacking some forms of aggressive cancer. Marijuana use has also been tied to better blood sugar control and may help slow the spread of HIV. Legalization for medical purposes may even lead to lower suicide rates and fewer pain pill overdoses.


Seriously... This is clearly one issue where legislators are COMPLETELY ignoring science in favor of their blind stereotypes that were mostly formed during the heyday of the Reefer Madness craze.


The Schedule I classification hinders federal funding for further research into the benefits of cannabis. Columnist Jacob Sullum recently wrote in Forbes that moving marijuana to Schedule III or below could make it easier for university researchers to look into the drug's full potential.


Basically the Schedule I status of marijuana creates a Catch-22. The FDA says it cannot reschedule the drug because there aren't enough scientific studies about for it (this is actually a lie, there are MANY studies on marijuana and its effects, just not many that are saying what the FDA wants them to say, that it's bad for you), but because of the scheduling status, it becomes hard to impossible to gain access to marijuana to properly test it.


While marijuana use would still be illegal under federal law, recategorizing it could also remove some of the financial burdens that state-licensed marijuana businesses currently face.

A provision of the federal tax code prohibits any business that "consists of trafficking in controlled substances," which include Schedule I and II drugs, from making tax deductions. Because of this, pot shops cannot deduct traditional business expenses like advertising costs, employee payroll, rent and health insurance from their combined federal and state taxes. Dispensary owners face effective tax rates of 50 to 60 percent -- and in some states, those rates soar to 80 percent or higher. The tax rule would no longer apply to pot businesses if marijuana were moved to Schedule III or lower.


This addresses another growing issue. With the 23 states with medical marijuana on the books and 2 states with legalization, pot businesses in those states are having severe difficulties managing their taxes and their finances since the schedule status makes banks not want to deal with pot businesses. And at the same time, makes doing taxes a burden since not having a banking institution means that pot businesses have to do their payroll as well as their taxes in cash, which comes with an IRS penalty for doing that.

Now keep in mind that Holder is still on the fence with this issue, but that is better than being against it.


On whether he thinks marijuana should be decriminalized at the federal level, Holder told Couric, "That's for Congress to decide."

"I think we’ve taken a look at the experiments that are going on in Colorado and Washington, and we’re going to see what happens there, and that'll help inform us as to what we want to do on the federal level," Holder added.

"For you, the jury is still out?" Couric asked.

"Yeah," Holder said, "it is."


Though temper that with this:


Holder's statements to Couric on the potential rescheduling of marijuana appear to follow a continuing evolution of his views on the drug. Under the Obama administration, the DEA and several U.S. attorneys have raided hundreds of marijuana dispensaries that were compliant with local laws in states like California and Colorado. But it was Holder who announced in 2013 that the Department of Justice would allow Colorado and Washington to implement their new laws legalizing and regulating the possession, use and sale of marijuana.

More recently, Holder said that the Obama administration would be "more than glad" to work with Congress to re-examine how cannabis is scheduled. He even said in April that he's "cautiously optimistic" about how the historic changes in Colorado and Washington were working out.


So I guess we can kind of thank Holder for the Obama administration's hands of policy on enforcing federal law where states have allowed usage.

After all this though, I have a few questions. What can holder do before he leaves his position, and more importantly what is Holder going to do about this before he finishes leaving his position? Is this really just lip service? And what about the next guy? What will his views be? Are we going to have to start over with getting him onto our side again like we did with Holder? I guess for these questions, we'll just have to wait and see.




posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 10:07 AM
link   
By speaking up like this (why is it always after they leave or are about to leave - Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton for two) he adds a needed voice to the normalization movement, and maybe it reflects Obama's view. Of course Holder is leaving now so Obama can get a nominee into office before the new Congress takes over (he, of course, is aware the GOP may gain seats or even take over the Senate - a disaster spelled with three letters), and hopefully the new nominee will have the same or even more progressive views.

I still say marijuana reform isn't over until people can walk into a pub or "coffeehouse" and hang out with strangers and friends who enjoy the same thing. Until then it's still legally a second-class substance.
edit on 26-9-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 10:10 AM
link   
a reply to: Krazysh0t

If this is true at least he least redeemed himself somewhat after all the fiasco he had done.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 10:11 AM
link   
a reply to: Aleister

Yeah that's the only thing that gets me. Why now? Though it must be said, that as far as attorney generals go, Holder has done the most FOR marijuana legalization than any other AG by NOT doing anything.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 10:20 AM
link   
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Hard for the Government to gain access to it to study?

The U.S. Government is the LARGEST grower of marijuana in the United States.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 10:25 AM
link   

originally posted by: MrPlow
a reply to: Krazysh0t

Hard for the Government to gain access to it to study?

The U.S. Government is the LARGEST grower of marijuana in the United States.



Who told you that?

US attorney general questions whether marijuana should be in same legal category as heroin


The DEA even sets strict limits on the production of schedule 1 and 2 drugs, although the limits vary from drug to drug. Only one place in the US — a University of Mississippi farm — is allowed to grow marijuana (up to 650 kilograms in 2014) under federal regulations, and the pot is limited to research purposes. In comparison, several private companies produce oxycodone, a schedule 2 substance, and use the drug for prescription painkillers.

edit on 26-9-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 10:49 AM
link   
a reply to: Krazysh0t


From OP:

"I think it's certainly a question we need to ask ourselves, whether or not marijuana is as serious of a drug as heroin," Holder said in an interview with Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric, released on Thursday.


I wonder, was he taking a pot shot at Michelle Leonhart over this:


During a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart repeatedly refused to admit that anything was more addictive or harmful than marijuana. Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado pressed Leonhart on whether illegal drugs like methamphetamine and crack, as well as legal prescription drugs, caused greater harm to public health compared to marijuana. But within a three minute time-span, Leonhart dodged his questions eleven times. “Is crack worse for a person than marijuana?” Polis, who has called for an end to marijuana prohibition, asked. “I believe all illegal drugs are bad,” Leonhart responded. “Is methamphetamine worse for somebody’s health than marijuana?” Polis continued. “Is heroin worse for somebody’s health than marijuana?” “Again, all drugs,” Leonhart began to say, only to be cut off by Polis. “Yes, no, or I don’t know?” Polis said. “If you don’t know this, you can look this up. As the chief administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency, I’m asking a very straightforward question.”


source

Does anyone think she should be removed from being the head of the DEA?



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 11:11 AM
link   
a reply to: AlaskanDad

WOW! Good find. That lady is clearly on the payroll of some pharmaceutical company; either that or she has been thoroughly brainwashed by her time in law enforcement and its various (untrue) propaganda about drugs. Though it is said that if you tell a lie enough, eventually even you start to believe it as true.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 01:05 PM
link   
a reply to: Krazysh0t

I remember reading that she had a brother who started smoking marijuana and latter died from overdosing on hard drugs; so she believes in the gateway premise.

edit on 26-9-2014 by AlaskanDad because: grammar



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 01:14 PM
link   
Funny that they claim more research is needed but they didn't have valid research to make it a schedule 1 drug in the first place.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 01:21 PM
link   

originally posted by: LDragonFire
Funny that they claim more research is needed but they didn't have valid research to make it a schedule 1 drug in the first place.


This hypocrisy has dawned on me as well. I meant to say it but forgot. Glad you mentioned it. So true!



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 01:21 PM
link   
a reply to: AlaskanDad

*Sigh* Another misguided fool blaming marijuana for all their hardships and problems...



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 02:02 PM
link   

originally posted by: AlaskanDad
a reply to: Krazysh0t

I remember reading that she had a brother who started smoking marijuana and latter died from overdosing on hard drugs; so she believes in the gateway premise.


The "Gateway" I am most aware of is alcohol, the substance that conditions us to accept recreational drug use as a normal and accepted - often expected - way of life. In the case of alcohol though it is more than just a gateway but a neon-lighted expressway entrance. Alcohol is present at civic events, sporting events, academic events, county fairs, etc., present at most all celebrations, the center of our nightlife and social activities, ubiquitous at most any occasion - and it is quite a rowdy drug and not at all easy on the body. I would prefer a safer alternative.

Perhaps to get to that safer alternative up to now we had to deal with shady elements and cross a line that had many harsh and addictive substances. Still, pot does not seem to be properly classified and put into that Schedule 1 category that infers it is far more dangerous than those in lesser categories. This would imply, and I would strongly disagree, that if someone were to later use opiates, methamphetamines, or coc aine - which are all included in Schedule 2 - that the person progressed on to 'less harmful drug'?? In my observations of nearly five decades, only a very low percentage pot smokers will become habitual users of other substances, frequently many will even tend to shun alcohol, and often in their later years will seldom regularly smoke pot either.

Ultimately the problems are not with pot use but could become problematic if other substances become involved. If a continued "War on Drugs" would be deemed necessary then lifting the ban on pot would free up the resources necessary to pursue traffickers of substances that truly are dangerous.

Let's hope a truly enlightened new AG will take the reigns in Holder's absence. At least in this instance things had been going in the right direction. Let's take cannabis to the goal line and begin utilizing this precious resource for what it has to offer us. Monopolies and profiteers be damned.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 02:10 PM
link   
a reply to: Erongaricuaro

Agree!

I think in todays society the most abused substance is common sugar; ever seen kids on a sugar high?

Is sugar dangerous to society; I think so as we see the rise in diabetes.



new topics

top topics



 
6

log in

join