Search Results for: Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder Set to Resign After Nearly Six Years

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning after heading the Justice Department for six years. A White House official says President Barack Obama will announce Holder’s departure later Thursday.

Holder, a former judge and prosecutor, is the first black attorney general, and his tenure is the fourth longest on the job. He is among only a handful of cabinet officials who have retained their posts since the beginning of Obama’s presidency.

He has previously spoken about his resignation, indicating he was planning to leave office sometime this year. He plans to remain at the Justice Department until his successor is in place.

Eric Holder Would Be ‘Glad To Work With Congress’ To Reschedule Marijuana

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The Obama administration would be willing to work with Congress if lawmakers want to take marijuana off the list of what the federal government considers the most dangerous drugs, Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday.

“We’d be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress,” Holder said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. “It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made.”

Several members of Congress have called on the administration to downgrade cannabis on its own without waiting for congressional action. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, the attorney general has the authority to “remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.” Holder didn’t indicate Friday that he would be willing to do that unilaterally.

Holder’s Spokane Visit Doesn’t Dim Prosecutors’ Zeal In Pot Case

WASHINGTON:  Attorney General Eric Holder swooped into Spokane, Washington, without public notice Friday to visit with federal prosecutors, but his trip didn’t immediately benefit a group of indicted medical marijuana patients nicknamed the Kettle Falls Five.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington, based in Spokane, is not backing down in its multiple-felony case against four family members and a friend who tended a rural marijuana garden for what they say was personal medical use.

The case, easily the highest-profile prosecution involving medical marijuana this year, is nearing trial as federal lawmakers consider cutting the purse strings for such enforcement.

Prosecutors argued Monday during a conference call with federal Judge Fred Van Sickle and defense attorneys that the defendants should not be allowed to tell jurors the marijuana was for medical use.

DEA Chief Dials Back Drug War Bluster After Talk With Holder

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart and her boss, Attorney General Eric Holder, appear locked in a bureaucratic staring match over the Obama administration’s attempt to reform the way the federal government approaches criminal justice and punishment.

For Holder and for President Barack Obama, sentencing reform has become a critical, second-term legacy item, as they aim to bend the arc of incarceration policy away from a federal system well practiced at imprisoning drug offenders for as long as possible. But those efforts are colliding with institutional resistance from law enforcement officials with a single-minded focus and, perhaps, turf to defend.

The high-level shift toward easing punishment for drug offenders, backed by public opinion, raises the question of whether any DEA chief who could win the support of rank and file agents would be willing to carry out White House reforms. So far, Leonhart appears uninterested, at best.

Eric Holder ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About Marijuana Legalization In Washington And Colorado

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Attorney General Eric Holder is “cautiously optimistic” about how things are going in Washington state and Colorado following the legalization and state regulation of marijuana.

But the nation’s top law enforcement official, who spoke to The Huffington Post in an interview on Friday, also said it was tough to predict where marijuana legalization will be in 10 years.

“I’m not just saying that, I think it’s hard to tell,” Holder said in a jury room at the federal courthouse in Charleston, which he visited as part of the Justice Department’s Smart on Crime initiative. “I think there might have been a burst of feeling that what happened in Washington and Colorado was going to be soon replicated across the country. I’m not sure that is necessarily the case. I think a lot of states are going to be looking to see what happens in Washington, what happens in Colorado before those decisions are made in substantial parts of the country.”

Eric Holder Would Be ‘Glad To Work With Congress’ To Reschedule Marijuana

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The Obama administration would be willing to work with Congress if lawmakers want to take marijuana off the list of what the federal government considers the most dangerous drugs, Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday.

“We’d be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress,” Holder said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. “It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made.” [Read more…]

Don't Blame Eric Holder For Confusing Pot Policies

By Mark Kleiman

WASHINGTON:  Federal law makes it a crime to grow, sell or possess cannabis. New state laws in Colorado and Washington state permit those activities, and officials there are issuing licenses to local companies to commit what remain federal felonies.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced in August that it would give a low priority to enforcement efforts against state-licensed growers and sellers in states with “strong and vigorous” regulations, except where they involve other activities such as violence or interstate sales. [Read more…]

Don't Blame Eric Holder For Confusing Pot Policies

By Mark Kleiman

WASHINGTON:  Federal law makes it a crime to grow, sell or possess cannabis. New state laws in Colorado and Washington state permit those activities, and officials there are issuing licenses to local companies to commit what remain federal felonies.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced in August that it would give a low priority to enforcement efforts against state-licensed growers and sellers in states with “strong and vigorous” regulations, except where they involve other activities such as violence or interstate sales. [Read more…]

Legal Marijuana Businesses Should Have Access to Banks, Holder Says

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Thursday that lawful marijuana businesses should have access to the American banking system and that the government would soon offer rules to help them gain it. The rules are not expected to give banks a green light to accept deposits and provide other services, but would tell prosecutors not to prioritize cases involving legal marijuana businesses that use banks.

“You don’t want just huge amounts of cash in these places. They want to be able to use the banking system,” Mr. Holder said at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. “There’s a public safety component to this. Huge amounts of cash, substantial amounts of cash just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited, is something that would worry me, just from a law enforcement perspective.” [Read more…]