Former U.S. Attorney General Says U.S. Is ‘On The Path’ To Federal Marijuana Decriminalization

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A former U.S. attorney general says that the country is “clearly on the path to decriminalizing marijuana” at the federal level as more states continue to advance reform. Eric Holder, who served as the nation’s top law enforcement official under President Barack Obama, spoke on a drug policy panel hosted by Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law on Thursday. He said he felt encouraged that the U.S. is trending toward more lenient laws on drugs that treat addiction as a public health matter, and he also argued that federal cannabis reform is increasingly inevitable. The war on drugs has cost people their livelihood and taxpayer dollars, Holder said, and society is starting to move in a different direction. “Now with regard to decriminalization, we are clearly on the path to decriminalizing marijuana,” he said. “You know it’s going to happen. We are on a glide path now.” He added, however, that he felt conflicted by efforts to decriminalize other currently illicit substances like heroin and cocaine. A first-of-its-kind congressional bill to broadly end the criminalization of all drugs was introduced this session. “I have a difficult time trying to think about the decriminalization of other drugs,” Holder said, “given the fact that you see the negative impact that the use of these drugs has on people individually and then, individuals banding together, a negative impact on
 society at large.” That said, the former attorney general argued that penalties for drug-related offenses could be “substantially lower,” judges should have more discretion to deal with drug cases on an individual basis and mandatory minimum sentences for these types of crimes “should largely be done away with.” Holder has received credit from advocates for deprioritizing federal marijuana enforcement under the Obama administration, with the Justice Department issuing the so-called Cole memo in…

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Source : Former U.S. Attorney General Says U.S. Is ‘On The Path’ To Federal Marijuana Decriminalization

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