Attorney General

DOJ Says It Will Enforce Marijuana Laws in Calif., Prop 19 or No

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that even though efforts would be “greatly complicated if Proposition 19—a California ballot measure to decriminalize marijuana—is passed, the Department of Justice would still prosecute federal drug laws there against the substance.

A letter that Holder sent to nine former chiefs of the Drug Enforcement Administration on Wednesday stating this position was made public Friday, the New York Times reported. The former officials suggested the DOJ take legal action to prevent Proposition 19 from becoming law, the Wall Street Journal reported. In response, Holder only said that the DOJ is “considering all available legal and policy options” if Proposition 19 passes. The vote on the referendum takes place Nov. 2.

This policy is a contrast to the DOJ’s stance on medical marijuana: Holder said said last year that his office had no plans to prosecute the sale of medical marijuana in states that allow it.

Last week, dozens of law professors signed a petition urging voters to support the passage of Proposition 19.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.