Attorney General Eric Holder will continue to enforce the federal marijuana laws even if California voters pass Proposition 19 next month.
The 10/15/2010 Los Angeles Times reports:
The Justice Department strongly opposes California’s Proposition 19 and remains firmly committed to enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act in all states, Holder wrote in a letter to former chiefs of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter, dated Wednesday.
“We will vigorously enforce the CSA against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law,” Holder wrote.
The attorney general also said that legalizing recreational marijuana in California would be a “significant impediment” to the government’s joint efforts with state and local law enforcement to target drug traffickers, who often distribute marijuana alongside cocaine and other drugs.
He said the ballot measure’s passage would “significantly undermine” efforts to keep California communities safe.
The ex-DEA chiefs sent a letter to Holder in August calling on the Obama administration to sue California if Proposition 19 passes. They said legalizing pot presented the same threat to federal authority as Arizona’s recent immigration law that spurred a federal lawsuit.
Medical marijuana patients will continue to be protected under state law.
…. Holder said last year that federal law enforcement would defer to state laws on using it for medicinal purposes.
Many California cities have pledged that in the event that Proposition 19 passes they will adhere to the federal laws.
Los Angeles County’s top law enforcers said Friday the federal government would still have help from them regardless of the vote’s outcome on Proposition 19.
County Sheriff Lee Baca and District Attorney Steve Cooley said at a news conference that the law would be unenforceable because it is trumped by federal laws that prohibit marijuana cultivation and possession.
“We will continue as we are today regardless of whether it passes or doesn’t pass,” Baca said. His deputies don’t and won’t go after users in their homes, but public use of the drug will be targeted, he said.
Becoming a medical marijuana patient will always be the safest way to posses and obtain marijuana to treat your medical condition.