Both the United Nations and former U.S. drug chiefs recently called on the United States to overturn laws legalizing marijuana. Eight former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a statement criticizing the Obama administration for not filing a lawsuit that would rescind the marijuana legislation in Colorado and Washington. Those laws conflict with federal policy, which still views marijuana as an illegal drug with no medical value. Peter Bensinger, who acted as DEA chief under three presidents, said, “It is outrageous that a lawsuit hasn’t been filed in federal court yet.”
On the same day the DEA heads issued a statement, the United Nations’ agency International Narcotics Control Board urged the United States to “ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory.” Officials in Washington and Colorado say they still intend to move forward with implementing the legislation and that they plan to defend it in court if the federal government challenges it. Some expect United States Attorney General Eric Holder to reveal his plans at a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee today.
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