Justice Department Will Stop Medical Marijuana Raids, Attorney General Says

In a little-noticed remark Wednesday, Obama Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Justice Department will no longer raid medical marijuana dispensaries established under state laws but technically prohibited by the federal government.

The decision marks a shift from the Bush Administration, which was more draconian in its approach to hunting those who sought to dispense marijuana for medical purposes.

Numerous states have decriminalized marijuana in recent years, and new fiscal pressures are turning more states toward being more lenient toward first-time drug offenders as the cost of keeping drug users in jail becomes untenable for state budgets.

The remark was caught by The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grimm.

The Drug Enforcement Administration continued to carry out such raids after Obama’s inauguration, Grimm says, despite an Obama campaign promise to cease the practice. But asked at a press conference Wednesday, Holder said it wouldn’t be the Administration’s policy going forward.

“No” it won’t be Obama policy, Holder said. “What the president said during the campaign, you’ll be surprised to know, will be consistent with what we’ll be doing in law enforcement. He was my boss during the campaign. He is formally and technically and by law my boss now. What he said during the campaign is now American policy.”

Holder’s response comes at about the 25:00 mark on a C-SPAN clip.

The following states have medical marijuana laws (click to enlarge — South Dakota does not):

– Article from The Raw Story.



  1. Anonymous on

    Why is this story so far down on the home page??? This is the biggest news EVER for the medical community in the USA, and will certainly change the US policies for the better in the coming years, including leaving people like M.Emery alone.

  2. Cannabus Sapetus on

    Absolutely! this news needs to make it to the top. “They’ll vote for us 2 to 1,” Milk says in the movie Oscar winning movie, “if they know one of us.”

    Same with pot (or any other compromise of a civil liberty) – coming out the closet in necessary to bring the cause to the next level of acceptance. With pot as the “sin”, the cost of being know as “one of those pot-smokers” has been too high (jail, job loss, and overall a strong prejudice toward pot smokers endure). The only people “out” as pot users are less main-stream (Marc Emery etc.) – and I recognize as a legitimate and necessary stage in the evolution. But when is his version of acceptance going to transition to more mainstream???

    When does it get accepted??? When we come out of the closet. A headline on CNN or Fox putting out information about USA changing its position on medical cannabis would go a long way to help me come out.

  3. Sourkrout44 on

    The medical marijana map is inaccuate; michigan just enacted a med-pot law.