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Attorney General Announces Resignation, Shows Support For Cannabis Reform

Former Attourney Genral, Eric Holder, gives his resignation.
Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Politics

Attorney General Announces Resignation, Shows Support For Cannabis Reform

Cannabis legislation around the country is seeing rapid changes thanks to the growing support for the medicinal plant and all of its healing properties. More than ever, it’s clear prohibition is on this last leg. One by one, states around the country are making steady, although incremental, changes towards full legalization while entire countries, like Uruguay, have already courageously taken the trailblazing steps to legalize the entire nation. Now, in the United States, a high-ranking government official has explicitly expressed his perspective on reform when it comes to cannabis.

In an interview with news anchor Katie Couric, United States Attorney General Eric Holder openly questioned the legitimacy of the standing classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance. Under the Controlled Substances Act, it’s illegal to manufacture, distribute, possess or dispense cannabis. The government currently places marijuana in the same category as heroin, LSD and ecstasy and insists that it has no medicinal uses whatsoever. Holder believes it’s time to reevaluate that increasingly baseless claim.

“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 the interview.

His comments emerge as just as he is planning to resign from his position as the Attorney General, leaving his position open to a new candidate that might carry out the actions expressed in his sentiments. As soon as his successor is nominated and confirmed, he will end his five-and-a-half year career in the respected position.

In the past, Holder has been vocal about his stance on sentencing reform and lessening sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. His successor may follow in the footsteps, pushing for a number of drug policy reforms that will continue the slow but steady progress towards eliminating the War on Drugs.

Recent reports show that Holder’s initiative “Smart on Crime” has helped to significantly reduce the total prison population by about 4,800 federal prisoners down to 215,000 inmates. Under the program, the harshest penalties are reserved for high-level or violent drug offenses. The Justice Department estimates a steady decline in federal prison populations with 2,200 fewer prisoners by 2015 and 10,000 fewer by 2016.

As for decriminalization and full legalization of cannabis, Holder is still hesitant to lend a straightforward endorsement towards the movement even though recreational marijuana was legalized in two states on his watch. Luckily, even though his stance on nationwide legalization isn’t as widely publicized on his perspective on rescheduling, he’s clearly open to the idea of progress.

“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 said.

What do you think? Should cannabis be rescheduled? Tell us in the comments below.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Eric

    October 16, 2014 at 1:33 am

    The only reason for not rescheduling marijuana, well the main reason is they would have to admit they were wrong. Many people already know the reason for the way the it is scheduled the way it is. Many people who don’t even smoke it see why marijuana is a schedule one and they know it’s not a schedule one narcotic in any way. Meth is class two and marijuana is class one. This should be a question one should ask during elections to politicians. One should ask, is marijuana more dangerous then meth? Then after they answer, ask why marijuana is still classified as a class one narcotic.

  2. Steven Tigges

    October 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    The simple reason cannabis is still illegal is, the first rule in Business is never do anything to hurt your bottom line and the second rule is, If compelled to do something that hurts your bottom line, do it f ing KICKING and F ing Screaming. Honest to Heaven this is the Mindset of the BIg Pharma, BIg Alcohol,Big Tobacco that really runs this country. Revolt Revolt Revolt. Heaven forbid their Profit Margins should see a decline. Fucking swine!

  3. patrick

    September 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    I think there is no way that pot is in the same category as heroine an so on everything u mentioned pl die every day from pot never a death alcohol is legal everyday a death dui’s everyday car wrecks never any of that on Pot an are crime will go way down if everyone smokes pot

  4. Maurice Samuels

    September 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Years ago!!! Fact and “some” scientific research and break through apparently isn’t worth implementing even when the results remain brawlingly positive.

  5. alvin sims

    September 26, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Yes sir tired of being harassed about it when i wasn’t even using it… it gives officers a reason to search even if they dont have one all they have do is say hey i smelled weed

  6. Justin Michels

    September 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    If policy is to be based on science, like Holder and seemingly everybody now agrees it should, “rescheduling” cannabis is not possible. It’s not dangerous enough to fit the criteria for anything but “descheduling”. Problem is certain international treaties forbid that from happening. What’s funny is other international treaties are written to protect our basic human rights and should easily apply to cannabis like our rights apply to other medicines. Changing state laws has accomplished a great deal, but now that we have necessary momentum and press coverage it’s time for reform advocates heed the wisdom of AG Holder: “it’s a civil rights issue”! Then we can focus on dismantling the failed policies nobody supports, instead of arguing over how much freedom must be sacrificed in the name of “legalization”.

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