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Democrats

Holder: We Won’t Criticize It.

“The eight high-priority areas leave prosecutors bent on targeting marijuana businesses with a fair amount of leeway, especially the exception for ‘adverse public health consequences.’ And prosecutors have shown a willingness to aggressively interpret DOJ guidance in the past, as the many medical marijuana dispensary owners now behind bars can attest…But the official stressed that the guidance was not optional, and that prosecutors would no longer be allowed to use the sheer volume of sales or the for-profit status of an operation as triggers for prosecution, though these factors could still affect their prosecutorial decisions.”

In keeping with recent trends, and in what Ryan Grim bills as “a historic step back from its long-running drug war,” AG Eric Holder announces that DOJ will not actively challenge state marijuana decriminalization laws in Washington and Colorado. “A Justice Department official said that Holder told the governors…that the department would take a ‘trust but verify approach’ to the state laws. DOJ is reserving its right to file a preemption lawsuit at a later date, since the states’ regulation of marijuana is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.”

Really, given that Obama himself was a documented bogarter-of-joints — Bad Form, Mr. President — any other policy towards Washington and Colorado would be extraordinarily hypocritical, even for this administration. And with that out of the way, may I offer some handy advice to my fellow Democrats, if we want to get to serious about this whole winning-elections thing? Take a page from Karl Rove’s old gay marriage playbook and get medicinal marijuana and marijuana decriminalization initiatives on as many state ballots as possible in 2014 and beyond — particularly in the midterm elections when youth turnout is low. It’s the right thing to do, and it’ll even further accelerate the ticking clock working against the GOP.

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