Eight former DEA chiefs have issued a joint statement encouraging the Obama administration to nullify Colorado’s Amendment 64 and Washington’s I-502, both of which legalize the use, purchase, and possession of marijuana by individuals age 21 and older.
The former chiefs involved include Robert Bonner, Thomas Constantine, John Bartels, Francis Mullen, Asa Hutchinson, Peter Besinger, John Lawn, and Donnie Marshall. They issued the statement through Save Our Society From Drugs, a national group that is lobbying against marijuana legalization.
The statement suggested that the Obama administration has waited too long to take action on the legalized marijuana programs. The former DEA heads believe the appropriate action is to immediately sue the states to force them to stop the legalization programs from being implemented.
While these two states have opted to legalize marijuana, some of the former DEA chiefs believe that marijuana’s illegal status under federal law is non-negotiable. Peter Besinger explained, “If they don’t act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months. It’s a no-brainer. It is outrageous that a lawsuit hasn’t been filed in federal court yet.”
The DEA has been reviewing both legal marijuana programs since they were passed, and US Attorney General Eric Holder recently told Washington and Colorado that an answer on the matter would be coming “soon.”
Holder is scheduled to appear before a US Senate judiciary committee hearing on Wednesday. The former DEA chiefs are pushing senators to question Holder on marijuana legalization.