Eric Holder Signals Support For Marijuana Reform 
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Eric Holder Signals Support For Marijuana Reform 
Posted by CN Staff on September 25, 2014 at 18:22:26 PT
By Matt Ferner, Huffington Post 
Source: Huffington Post
USA -- Just as Attorney General Eric Holder prepares to step down from his post, he appears more open than ever to the argument for rescheduling marijuana as a less dangerous, more beneficial drug."I think it's certainly a question we need to ask ourselves, whether or not marijuana is as serious of a drug as heroin," Holder said in an interview with Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric, released on Thursday. "Especially given what we've seen recently with regard to heroin -- the progression of people from using opioids to heroin use, the spread and the destruction that heroin has perpetrated all around our country. And to see by contrast, what the impact is of marijuana use. Now it can be destructive if used in certain ways, but the question of whether or not they should be in the same category is something that we need to ask ourselves and use science as the basis for making that determination." 
Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin and LSD. Schedule I drugs, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, have a "high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use." Yet science clearly indicates otherwise about marijuana. A growing body of research has demonstrated its medical potential. Purified forms of cannabis can be effective at attacking some forms of aggressive cancer. Marijuana use has also been tied to better blood sugar control and may help slow the spread of HIV. Legalization for medical purposes may even lead to lower suicide rates and fewer pain pill overdoses.The Schedule I classification hinders federal funding for further research into the benefits of cannabis. Columnist Jacob Sullum recently wrote in Forbes that moving marijuana to Schedule III or below could make it easier for university researchers to look into the drug's full potential.While marijuana use would still be illegal under federal law, recategorizing it could also remove some of the financial burdens that state-licensed marijuana businesses currently face.A provision of the federal tax code prohibits any business that "consists of trafficking in controlled substances," which include Schedule I and II drugs, from making tax deductions. Because of this, pot shops cannot deduct traditional business expenses like advertising costs, employee payroll, rent and health insurance from their combined federal and state taxes. Dispensary owners face effective tax rates of 50 to 60 percent -- and in some states, those rates soar to 80 percent or higher. The tax rule would no longer apply to pot businesses if marijuana were moved to Schedule III or lower.To date, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use, while Colorado and Washington remain the only two states to have legalized it for recreational use.On whether he thinks marijuana should be decriminalized at the federal level, Holder told Couric, "That's for Congress to decide.""I think we’ve taken a look at the experiments that are going on in Colorado and Washington, and we’re going to see what happens there, and that'll help inform us as to what we want to do on the federal level," Holder added."For you, the jury is still out?" Couric asked. "Yeah," Holder said, "it is."Holder's statements to Couric on the potential rescheduling of marijuana appear to follow a continuing evolution of his views on the drug. Under the Obama administration, the DEA and several U.S. attorneys have raided hundreds of marijuana dispensaries that were compliant with local laws in states like California and Colorado. But it was Holder who announced in 2013 that the Department of Justice would allow Colorado and Washington to implement their new laws legalizing and regulating the possession, use and sale of marijuana. More recently, Holder said that the Obama administration would be "more than glad" to work with Congress to re-examine how cannabis is scheduled. He even said in April that he's "cautiously optimistic" about how the historic changes in Colorado and Washington were working out."It's refreshing to hear these remarks from the attorney general, especially since the science couldn't be any clearer that marijuana doesn't meet the criteria for being classified as a Schedule I substance," said Tom Angell, chairman of the advocacy group Marijuana Majority, after the Couric interview. "Numerous studies confirm marijuana's medical value, and if the administration is serious about taking an objective look at this issue, rescheduling is very achievable by the time this president leaves office. They can do this administratively without any further action from Congress."Neill Franklin, a retired police officer turned executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, also praised Holder's comments. He said he hoped the attorney general's successor "will recognize the war on drugs for what it is: the single biggest problem afflicting our criminal justice system and the central civil rights issue of our time."Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Matt Ferner, Huffington Post    Published: September 25, 2014Copyright: 2014, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #6 posted by bigjoshman on September 30, 2014 at 07:20:45 PT:
lsd/cannabis with heroine?
I agree with Mike above it really is the policy of heroine that makes it dangerous.. but still lsd and cannabis don't belong in The same category as heroine. Lsd and cannabis are nearly harmless to the user 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on September 29, 2014 at 13:32:49 PT
I hold both these men in the highest regard.
Ethan Nadelmann and Eric Sterling.Eric Holder Was Great on Drugs
Will his successor throw it all away?
By ETHAN NADELMANNRead more: Holder’s Drug Policy Record Is Much Weaker Than Many Believe
Advocates for reform are praising the outgoing attorney general's accomplishments. But ultimately his legacy is more words than deeds. By ERIC STERLING tip to Pete at DrugWarRant
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Comment #4 posted by Oleg the Tumor on September 28, 2014 at 05:23:18 PT
A 48-word novel about Eric Holder.
ARIZONA WIDOW BRINGS "FAST AND FURIOUS" SOUVENIR TO FAMOUS LAS VEGAS PAWNSHOP"Cut!" screamed the tall bald guy behind the counter. "Not so fast there, son" said a kinder, older man, all dressed in black, as he counted out stacks of Benjamins – "The womans come a long way."
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on September 27, 2014 at 19:36:09 PT
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.)
GOP Congressman Warns Of The Real Social Ill Destroying American Values: Marijuana
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Comment #2 posted by swazi-x on September 26, 2014 at 14:15:17 PT
And another law enforcement-type seems to magically grow balls once he's on his way out of his job. He throws us a bone just before he quits, perfect timing to do nothing about it other than show how cowardly and dishonest he's been while in a position to actually do something about this gross injustice.As head of our "Justice" Dept. (really only a Legal Dept. as true justice is and has never been their goal) he could and should have done something, but as with all of these jackasses he chose instead to let law enforcement clock their overtime chasing potheads down to goose their arrest numbers and their paychecks.For him to come out now and state such stupidly obvious facts like "maybe heroin is worse than cannabis" only underscores the depth of his dishonesty and abuse of power while in office.Disgusting. Good f'ing riddance you piece of sh*t.
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on September 25, 2014 at 20:16:23 PT
Heroin vs cannabis
Most people will tell you there is a difference between the two. All we need to do is look it up in a drug guide. Heroin is obviously a narcotic, a totally different class of drug. It does not work on the same neuro receptors and the side effect do not compare. Third, people can OD on heroin, a cannabis user will fall likely fall asleep, and wake up the next morning (alive).I see the problem the prejudice in this country. If the US copied the European model from places like Switzerland, most of the heroin users here would be alive. In places like Switzerland, each heroin user is able to join a program. A doctor would prescribe the doses of heroin, making sure it is the correct dose. The user would have the option of getting treatment, if they're interested in getting off it. Verses the US model, I think its called "Let them die!," then use blame, "It was that darn heroin." That is to say, it must be the drug, not the policy. 
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