Eric Holder Optimistic, Cautious About Legal Marijuana | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Eric Holder Optimistic, Cautious About Legal Marijuana

The nation's top law enforcement officer has sounded a conciliatory tone in recent months, though he remains hesitant to fully embrace legal pot.


Photo via

By Paul Gaita


| Share

Attorney General Eric Holder continues to maintain a veneer of optimism – with considerable reserve – in regard to marijuana legalization efforts across the country.

Speaking at a federal courthouse in Charleston, S.C. last week, the Obama administration’s top law enforcement figure stated that he was “cautiously optimistic” about efforts in both Colorado and Washington to legalize and regulate marijuana use. Last August, Holder allowed both states to have their ballot-approved laws go into effect, while also outlining guidelines for federal prosecutors to curb efforts to pursue small-time drug possession charges and allow marijuana businesses greater access to banking services.

The states were also told to follow a set of eight guidelines regarding the distribution or sale of marijuana to minors or states where marijuana remains illegal, among other priorities, or face prosecution through the Justice Department. “As I indicated to both [of the states’] governors, we will be monitoring the progress of those efforts [to maintain the guidelines]," Holder said. "And if we conclude that they are not being done in an appropriate way, we reserve our right to file lawsuits."

Holder expressed a similar level of caution when asked about the impact of Colorado and Washington’s legalization efforts on other states and districts. Already, Holder’s home base of Washington, D.C., has taken the steps to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and a number of states, including Florida, Rhode Island, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Michigan have either implemented similar laws or have submitted them for votes.

“I think a lot of states are going to be looking to see what happens in Washington [and] Colorado before those decisions are made in substantial parts of the country,” Holder said. “I think there might have been a burst of feeling that what happened [in those states] was going to be soon replicated across the country. I’m not sure that is necessarily the case.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
PMS: A Natural Threat to Sobriety

I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv