Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Colorado Republican Rips Holder on Marijuana

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s decision not to challenge marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington has one Centennial State Republican fuming.

On Tuesday, Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado penned a pointed letter to Holder torching the DOJ’s decision, given that federal law makes possession of the drug a criminal offense.

“Do you believe the DOJ has the authority to override federal law?” Gardner asked in his correspondence with Holder. “Do you believe you have the authority to change the law without the approval of Congress?”

Gardner, as you might expect, opposed the Colorado ballot initiative last November legalizing marijuana in the state.

In the letter, he goes on to question “whether this action sets precedent to allow states to opt out of other federal laws,” and, as William Shakespeare might say, therein lies the rub: In what other case might a state want to opt out of a federal law? Obamacare, anyone?

He writes:

“The new DOJ policies seem to imply that federal authorities will not preempt state laws. Does this set precedent of other areas? For example, several states have passed laws to opt out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, yet the federal government has consistently said it will take over health insurance industries regardless of states that contest the law. If you do not agree that there is a precedent set, would you explain the inconsistencies of why in certain areas federal law may be deemed irrelevant, but not in others?”

  • Call Saul

    Well, there goes your re-election.

  • Andre Leonard

    Gardner is a dinosaur who belongs in Jurassic Park. After 50 years of a failed war on marijuana, the people spoke and legalized it.

    Draconian attitudes on marijuana like Gardner has impede America’s ability to move forward.

    Gardner is a hypocrite, he is not representing the will of the people. It’s hoped the people in Colorado throw him out in the next election.

  • Freedom First

    Certainly, if one wished to distribute others’ income in an “unfair” manner, say to friends, centralized power would also be needed.

  • Filbert Brazil

    guy needs to chillax…do a wake n bake, grab a muffin and play some xbox…

  • Buford2k11

    Who is this guy? he can write? Heh, heh…there are pockets of stupid and mean in Colorado…

  • The Spirit of the Laws

    If our education system simply instructs technicians to serve others, it is failing to prepare people for success in liberty’s free markets.

  • Freedom First

    Our gadgets, gizmos, computers, and vehicles were first produced in small quantities for those able to afford them and free to enjoy them.

  • Aaron Mason

    I wonder whose money is in his pockets. There is no logical reason to oppose the end of prohibition, leaving corruption as the only excuse. Just like the police and substance abuse “counselors” who are fighting tooth and nail to continue the farce of prohibition with their lies and propaganda. Corrupt. Period.

  • Borstal

    The notion of “pre-empting” or “opting-out” of federal law is bogus in this context. Federal drug laws overlay state laws. States are free to modify their own criminal law, while having zero impact on the parallel federal laws. Holder is right, on the other hand, to use prosecutorial discretion to permit states to experiment with other approaches to marihuana control, provided core federal objectives (protection of minors, containment of spillover effects in other states) are maintained. This dope is just giving another demonstration that social conservatives don’t like democracy.

  • medcannabis1

    this man is not worthy of elected office…anyone who supports cannabis prohibition supports the suffering of the sick and dying and the American Slave Trade with Private For-Profit Prison Industry and simply unworthy of a tax payer funded job…

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