Holder: DOJ only going after people ‘taking advantage’ of pot laws

By David Edwards
Thursday, June 7, 2012 13:27 EDT
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Photo: AFP.
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Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday denied that the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) was trying to shut down all legal medical marijuana in the U.S.

Holder told the House Judiciary Committee that critics who charged the that Obama administration was abusing its authority with an aggressive campaign against the medical marijuana business were “inconsistent with the little thing called the facts.”

The attorney general said that recent enforcement actions were necessary because some people had “come up with ways in which they are taking advantage of these state laws.”

“We limit our enforcement efforts to those individuals, organizations that are acting out of conformity with state law,” Holder explained.

“One has to deal with the reality that there are certain people who took advantage of the state law and a different policy that this administration announced.”

He added that the department was not using “limited resources to go after people acting in conformity with state law.”

Holder announced in 2009 that he would keep Obama’s campaign promise of no longer raiding medical marijuana clubs and dispensaries that were operating within state laws. Since that time, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has taken a series of actions against legal medical marijuana businesses, including Oaksterdam University, which teaches students how to grow pot.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) claims that more dispensaries have been shut down under Obama than under former President George W. Bush.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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