Former AG Eric Holder: “It’s Time to Talk About Decriminalizing Marijuana”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder recently came out in favor of reclassifying marijuana from being a schedule 1 drug. By this standard it currently sits in the same category as heroin, crack cocaine, etc.

“I certainly think it ought to be rescheduled,” Holder said in an interview with Frontline. “You know, we treat marijuana in the same way that we treat heroin now, and that clearly is not appropriate.”

When holder was attorney general he also made similar statements about letting science research the plant and make decisions based on that research instead of just blindly accepting things the way things were set up in the Controlled Substances Act passed by the Nixon Admin back in 1970.

Under that act marijuana falls under Schedule I, the most restrictive scheduling for any drug. Meanwhile highly addictive drugs like cocaine, opium poppy, morphine, and codeine are placed in Schedule II with less restrictions. Ironically, the synthetic version of THC, “dronabinol”, is listed as Schedule III, even though THC is the active ingredient in cannabis responsible for mind altering effects.

Eric Holder said in his Frontline interview that Congress should act to reschedule marijuana. However, even without Congress, the executive branch and DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) together have the ability to unilaterally reschedule controlled substances.

Sadly, former AG Eric Holder’s position is more progressive than that of Obama’s current AG Loretta Lynch, who was quoted as saying in January 2015 during her confirmation hearing, “I can tell you that not only do I not support legalization of marijuana, it is not the position of the Department of Justice currently to support the legalization nor would it be the position should I become confirmed as attorney general.”

Hopefully she was just playing to her audience of elderly conservative congressmen and will come around to a more progressive position that takes into account all of the facts, including what’s already happening in states like Colorado, Washington and Oregon.

Comforting to know that politicians can eventually come out and support things they believe in – once they are no longer in a position to do anything notable about it… right?



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