One of the greatest threats to liberty has been the government taking people’s liberty for things that people are in favor of. The Pew research group shows that 52% of Americans think marijuana should not be illegal. And yet there are people in jail, [and] your justice department has continued to put people in jail, for sale and use, on occasion of marijuana. That’s something the American public has finally caught up with. There’s a cultural lag, and it’s been an injustice for 40 years in this country, to take people’s liberty for something that is similar to alcohol. You have continued what is allowing the Mexican cartels power, and the power to make money to ruin Mexico and hurt our country, by having a prohibition in late 20th and early 21st century. We saw it didn’t work in this country in the 20’s and we remedied it. This is the time to remedy this prohibition in the 21st century.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee), speaking to Attorney General Eric Holder at a Congressional Hearing.
To be fair, the most DOJ could do is refuse to enforce federal marijuana laws in jurisdictions where state law conflicts with federal law. That’s because it raises a constitutional question that isn’t directly addressed by statute, and therefore presents an opportunity for DOJ to exercise prosecutorial discretion in the enforcement of the law. The real remedy here is for Congress were to pass a law ending federal marijuana prohibition. If that occurred, then DOJ would have no more authority to arrest marijuana users than it did any other legal activity.(via letterstomycountry)