Eric Holder Still Non-Committal About Federal Response to State Legalization Law
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It has been over two months since voters in Colorado and Washington State chose to legalize marijuana for adults and there still hasn’t been any real indication how the Obama administration will respond. While US Attorney General Eric Holder continues to remain non-committal about the administration’s plans, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) seem to have developed a mostly positive impression from a recent meeting with Holder. From the Seattle Times:
Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson met with Holder because of the conflict between federal law, which bans all marijuana, and the state’s law, which makes possession of an ounce of pot legal for those 21 and older.
Inslee said the 45-minute conversation was “very satisfying” and a “confidence-builder” about the state’s ability to move forward implementing legal marijuana. “We went in thinking we should continue with rule-making and nothing I heard should dissuade us,” Inslee said.
At the same time, he stressed that Holder said nothing about the federal government’s intentions and whether it would crack down on Washington state or look the other way.
A non-response it better than a directly negative one but is no guarantee. It is still roughly a year until the first marijuana businesses regulated by the new law are set to open and that gives the administration a long time to decide how they will deal with this federal/state conflict.
So far the only thing anyone has to go on are a few generic statements and vague hints from the administration. While it is a positive development that Inslee seems mostly satisfied with his meeting with Holder, everyone is still trying to read the tea leaves at this point.