By Steve Elliott
In what he called "a bit of editorializing," U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on Wednesday morning suggested to Attorney General Eric Holder that the Department of Justice should pursue "more serious things than minor possession of marijuana."
Sen. Leahy also asked Atty. Gen. Holder what many people in Colorado and Washington have been wondering about: if Holder was prepared to announce the federal government's official response to the voters of those two states legalizing marijuana at the ballot box last November. But, once again, Holder didn't offer a straight answer.
The Attorney General did say he'd had "good conversations" with elected leaders in the two states, including with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Atty. Gen. Bob Ferguson.
"We expect our ability to announce a policy relatively soon," Holder said.
Both Washington and Colorado are moving ahead with their state-run legal marijuana programs, but could face lawsuits and prosecution from the federal government, which officially considers all forms of cannabis a dangerous Schedule I controlled substance with no accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse.
Yes, it's been awhile since federal drug policy had a meaningful reality check.