Eight former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Tuesday issued a joint statement calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to “prevent” Colorado and Washington state from creating regulations for businesses to grow and sell marijuana to adults in accordance with laws approved by the voters last November.
The statements were issued via a national anti-marijuana advocacy organization just one day before Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It is not surprising that these ex-heads of the marijuana prohibition industry are taking action to maintain the policies that kept them and their colleagues in business for so long,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Their desire to keep marijuana sales in an underground market favors the drug cartels, whereas the laws approved in Colorado and Washington favor legitimate, tax-paying businesses.”
“Marijuana prohibition has failed,” Tvert said, “and voters are ready to move on and adopt a more sensible approach. It’s time for these former marijuana prohibitionists to move on too.”
“President Obama said in December that we need to have a discussion about how to reconcile state and federal marijuana laws,” said Steve Fox, national political director for MPP. “He did so because he understands that the American people, starting with the voters in Colorado and Washington, are ready to put the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in the past.
“As states take the lead on reform, the federal government should work with the states, not against them,” Fox said. “The Cold War-like mentality demonstrated by the former DEA heads is as outdated as the Cold War itself.”