When Eric Holder held his tongue when he held the office as US attorney general. Now that he is a civilian, the nation’s former top cop is singing quite a different tune.
In a story first reported by Tom Angell in Marijuana Moment, Holder says he does not worry about marijuana regulation leading to addiction. Holder’s position, of course, aligns with all available science.
According to Angell’s story:
“I’ve never seen any scientific evidence that points you to concerns about addiction through the use of marijuana,” former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in an interview published on Friday by NY1.
The comments by the former A.G. call into question cannabis’s current status as a Schedule I drug. That category is supposed to be reserved only for substances with no medical value and a high potential for abuse. In fact, it would mean that marijuana should be moved to at least Schedule III, where drugs with “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence” are categorized.
While serving as AG under President Obama, Holder held firm against any movement to actually do what he now suggests: Reclassifying marijuana. But since retirement, he has been vocal about his true beliefs.
“We need to move marijuana from Schedule I, so research can be done,” Holder said in the new NY1 interview. “It is classified now on the same level as heroin is, and clearly that is inappropriate.”
Under Holder, of course, medical marijuana programs thrived in states from coast to coast. The Department of Justice under Holder issued what was known as the Cole Memo, guidance (not a codified law) allowing states to design and operate medical marijuana programs without interference from the federal government. Earlier this year, however, current Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the memo.
Like most Americans who believe in social justice, Holder worries not about addiction, but unfair incarceration. As Angell reported Holder saying:
“One of the things that I am concerned about, though, is the racial disparity you see in the enforcement of marijuana law. You see African Americans, Latinos using marijuana at just about the same rates as whites, and yet seeing rates of arrest four, five times as great as it is for whites. That is something that I think is extremely troubling.”