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December 21, 2014

Posts in "marijuana"

October 22, 2014

Is Obama About to Evolve on Marijuana?

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Holder told CNN he was “cautiously optimistic” about the Colorado and Washington’s legalization of marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:26 p.m. | No, President Barack Obama isn’t about to evolve his stance on marijuana. At least not today, according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest at Wednesday’s briefing.

CQ Roll Call asked him about two recent developments — Attorney General Eric Holder telling CNN that he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, and the hiring of ACLU lawyer Vanita Gupta, an advocate of legalizing marijuana and leading drug war critic, to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

“Should we take these as signals that the president is himself continuing to evolve on this issue?” Earnest was asked.

“No,” Earnest said. Full story

October 15, 2014

Vanita Gupta, New DOJ Civil Rights Pick, Has Supported Marijuana Legalization (Updated)

COPOL14 009 082814 445x296 Vanita Gupta, New DOJ Civil Rights Pick, Has Supported Marijuana Legalization (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:31 p.m. | The new nominee to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division — American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Vanita Gupta — has backed legalizing and taxing marijuana.

Just last month in a CNN column, Gupta suggested states follow the lead of Colorado and Washington to legalize and tax marijuana, rather than imprisoning people for using it. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 2:39 p.m.
marijuana

New Choice to Head DOJ Civil Rights Division Has Early Conservative Support

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Gupta, left, and Vernon Jordan chat during a news conference announcing the winners in Reebok’s 2004 Human Rights Awards in 2004. ( Andrew Kent/Getty Images File Photo)

Updated 4:38 p.m. | After the last administration pick to head the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division collapsed on the Senate floor, the Obama team has lined up some conservative backing for its new choice, American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Vanita Gupta.

As the news of her appointment broke in The Washington Post, DOJ spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted out favorable quotes about Gupta from Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and David Keene, the former president of the National Rifle Association.

Those are the kind of endorsements that will be needed to get approval for the pick — either from moderate Democrats who helped sink the previous choice, former NAACP lawyer Debo Adegbile — or from the GOP, which may control the Senate in January. Full story

July 14, 2014

Obama to Congress: Hands Off D.C.’s Marijuana Policy

oversight004 050914 445x300 Obama to Congress: Hands Off D.C.s Marijuana Policy

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., opposes an effort by the House GOP to nix the District’s attempt to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House has a message for Congress — hands off the District of Columbia, including its new law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.

Buried in a broadly worded veto threat of the Financial Services appropriations bill, the administration said Monday it “strongly opposes” language restricting the District’s ability to spend its own money on a host of issues, including implementing marijuana policy and abortions.

“The Administration strongly opposes the language in the bill preventing the District from using its own local funds to carry out locally-passed marijuana policies, which again undermines the principles of States’ rights and of District home rule,” the administration said. “Furthermore, the language poses legal challenges to the Metropolitan Police Department’s enforcement of all marijuana laws currently in force in the District.” Full story

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