The Department of Justice is making waves this week.
Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder said he was "cautiously optimistic" about legal cannabis in Colorado and Washington. He should be considering that legalization has driven down crime and teenage use while driving up state revenues.
But Holder and one of his deputies, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, both warned this week that the DOJ isn't quite finished with enforcing prohibition.
"What I've told the governors of those states is that if we're not satisfied with their regulatory scheme that we reserve the right to come in and to sue them. So we'll see."
“If you don’t want us prosecuting [marijuana users] in your state, then get your regulatory act together.”
Prosecuting marijuana users? Let's be more precise, Cole is talking about prosecuting people who are participating in voter approved cannabis programs. This may seem absurd, but you never know with this administration.
The Obama administration now infamously promised to deemphasize cannabis when it came into office in 2009 but subsequently changed course by raiding scores of voter approved dispensaries, including right here in California. Now we're back to where they promised to be in the first place, but that's not very reassuring — especially when you consider that a new administration will be in place in just 26 months.