• Congressman Garrett (VA-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

What to do about Colorado?


Is the White House Stalling on State Pot Laws?


March 7, 2013 RSS Feed Print


“I’d say they still don’t quite know what to do,” one lobbyist says.

Eric Holder was vague in saying a decision on state pot laws would come “relatively soon.”

Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the Obama administration still didn’t have an answer on how it would handle laws passed to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington state, but that it would come “relatively soon.”

[ALSO: Young Adults Left Behind by Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, Washington]

Many watchers of the issue, however, tell Whispers they believe the administration is stalling.

Howard Wooldridge, a lobbyist for the pro-marijuana legalization group Citizens Opposing Prohibition, says Holder’s remarks show the White House may not have yet made up its mind.

“How this administration is going to react to Colorado and Washington… is an enigma wrapped in a nutshell surrounded by a box in a dark room at midnight,” he says. “But if I had to guess, I’d say they still don’t quite know what to do.”

The reason for the delay may also be that the administration is in a no-win position, according to Jeffrey Miron, a senior lecturer of economics at Harvard University who has done a number of studies on the legalization of marijuana and other drugs.

“They are in an awkward position. Any decision that challenges the new laws in Colorado and Washington will anger their base; any policy that allows those laws to stand will energize the Republicans,” say Miron, who previously warned that legalization of marijuana in those two states could turn into a Supreme Court battle with the federal government. Possession or use of marijuana remains a federal crime despite the new state laws.

[OPINION: Medical Marijuana Is Safe for Children]

Adding a wrinkle to all of this is that a United Nations agency this week put pressure on the administration. In an annual report released Tuesday, the International Narcotics Drug Board said the laws in Washington and Colorado go against international drug control treaties.

A group of former U.S. drug chiefs, who similarly oppose the new laws, are also upset with the delay.

“If they don’t act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months,” former DEA administrator Peter Bensinger told the Associated Press, saying the delay could cause “a domino effect” for other states to legalize marijuana.

[PHOTOS: Marijuana Through the Years]

When probed by Whispers about the reason for the delay, a DOJ spokeswoman only said the agency was “in the process” of reviewing the laws. The White House did not respond to request for comment, while the Office of National Drug Control Policy declined to comment because the issue is before the Justice Department.

More News:

Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report.You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at eflock@usnews.com.



Filed under:In the News

LTE: Dallas Morning News: Legal theft by the police

Legal theft by the police

Re: “Assets being taken unjustly — Forfeiture laws give states free hand to seize property of individuals simply on suspicion, say Laura and John Arnold,” Tuesday Viewpoints.

As a retired Michigan police detective, I am keenly aware of my profession’s desire to “police for profit.” As a property room officer, I handled the cash coming in and the sale of mostly $2,000 cars my colleagues seized. Our local prosecutor received 10 percent of all money seized in the county, ensuring political support. How does this work?

Every six months I would take almost a thousand dollars in cash to buy hay for our horses. Had I been stopped, the officer could seize the money and the truck, claiming I was en route to buy drugs. A year later I could go to the court to show ownership of four horses and the need to buy hay every six months. Maybe, I would get the money back — maybe not. How could I prove I was not buying drugs?

This legal theft by my profession is disgusting.

Howard J Wooldridge, Dallas co-founder, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition


Filed under:In the News

Published LTE: WHY DOES SEN. BROWER HATE FREEDOM? in the Reno News & Review (NV)..Feb. 13, 2014

Re “Don’t be a dick, Senator Brower” ( Editorial, Jan.  30 ):

Big Pharma is already losing north of $2 billion a year in lost sales to God’s medicine, the green plant.  Somebody has to look for the poor drug companies, so why not Sen.  Brower? The other possibility is his ego would be shattered, if he had to admit he was wrong on the issue of medical marijuana.

Some senators like Brower want to continue to stick their nose in my doctor’s office and tell him what is or is not good for me.  Brower is obviously neither a lover of liberty nor less government intrusion in the lives of the citizens of Nevada.

Howard Wooldridge

Adamstown, MD

Filed under:In the News

Published LTE: Times-Tribune (Scranton, PA) – January 28, 2014: Smoke Nothing

Editor: I’m a retired detective. Richard Cohen ( “Tobacco debate gone to pot,” Jan. 22 ) is ignoring the fact that every hour my profession chases a green plant, we have less time for the pedophile or the deadly drunken driver. Moreover, every teen in Pennsylvania has a job option to sell marijuana … and they carry guns. Every year kids are shot and shot dead because of their “employment.”

Pedophiles are not caught as often as possible, as my profession spends about 10 million hours nationally searching and arresting for a green plant.

Policy-making should not be so simple as “this is bad, so let’s make it illegal.” Marijuana is no play toy. I would give it the same respect and rules as beer.

To Mr. Cohen I would say, “Don’t smoke anything.” How hard is that?




Filed under:In the News

Published LTE:Baltimore Sun – January 25, 2014


As a retired detective, I support moving simple possession of marijuana down to a parking ticket-level offense ( “Zirkin, Kittleman propose decriminalizing marijuana Jan. 21 ).

My active-duty colleagues will have more time for pedophiles, the deadly drunk driver and other public safety threats. Most police officers did not sign on for the job to chase a green plant.

Howard J. Wooldridge, Adamstown

Filed under:In the News