Friday, September 6, 2013

Police groups protest Holder's marijuana decision

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 12:54 PM

click to enlarge Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Attorney General Eric Holder
As the Huffington Post reported a few days ago, national police groups across the country wasted no time telling Attorney General Eric Holder that his plan not to sue to block new marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington was a dumb idea.

"As law enforcement officials, we are charged with enforcing the law and keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe — a task that becomes infinitely harder for our front-line men and women given the Department's position," reads the Aug. 30 letter, signed by leaders of groups like the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

"Marijuana is illegal under Federal law and should remain that way," reads a later section. "While we certainly understand that discretion plays a role in decisions to prosecute individual cases, the failure of the Department of Justice to challenge state policies that clearly contradict Federal law is both unacceptable and unprecedented. The failure of the Federal government to act in this matter is an open invitation to other states to legalize marijuana in defiance of federal law." (Emphasis in the original.)

We reached out to our local enforcers for their opinion on the letter. We have yet to hear back from Sheriff Terry Maketa, while a spokeswoman for District Attorney Dan May declined comment, writing "It's not really our issue." But, through a spokesman, Colorado Springs Police Department chief of police Pete Carey said he agreed with the stance.

"When Colorado Springs City Council initiated a community dialogue concerning recreational marijuana many months ago, I felt strongly that the sale would pose public health risks to our children, schools and public roads," Carey says. "I feel just as strongly about it today.

"While I appreciate the voice of our citizens, I applaud City Council’s wisdom and courage in choosing to implement the 'opt out' choice granted in the bill for recreational sales in Colorado Springs. It is my belief, that the Federal Government’s recent decision not to challenge policies in Colorado and Washington, will have a harmful impact on public safety and will stretch already tight resources."

National Law Enforcement Letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Over Marijuana in Colorado and Washington by Bryce Crawford

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