Eric Holder was the United States Attorney General, serving under the Obama Administration until last year. Several times Eric Holder was pressed on the issue of rescheduling/de-scheduling marijuana. Every single time Eric Holder refused to do anything meaningful on the issue, always punting the issue to Congress. Even when specifically asked why he wouldn't initiate a review, which was well within the Obama Administration's power, Eric Holder continued to punt on the issue. Per Fire Dog Lake:
During a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing today Rep. Steve Cohen (D) directly pointed out to Attorney General Eric Holder that the power to reschedule any drug, including marijuana, rests with his office.
When explicitly asked why he hasn't even at least request the medical evaluation that would begin the rescheduling process Holder responded, "I'm satisfied with what we have done."
What they "have done" is actively stood in the way of change. Under Holder's leadership the Department of Justice has not only refused to move forward with a petition from several sitting governors regarding the rescheduling of marijuana but has actually gone to court to fight against efforts to compel them to act.
Below is a video of the exchange between Eric Holder and Representative Cohen:
In a recent interview with PBS, Eric Holder had the following to say about rescheduling marijuana:
"I certainly think it ought to be rescheduled. You know, we treat marijuana in the same way that we treat heroin now, and that clearly is not appropriate. So at a minimum, I think Congress needs to do that. Then I think we need to look at what happens in Colorado and what happens in Washington." - Former Attorney General Eric Holder
If someone is new to the issue of marijuana policy reform, those words may have come across as being sincere. However, anyone who has been following marijuana policy reform for awhile knows that this is basically just more of the same from Eric Holder, in that he continues to act like only Congress has the power to do anything about this issue, which is clearly not the case. And if Eric Holder truly feels the way he claims to feel, then at the very least it's too little, too late. Tom Angell from the Marijuana Majority had the following to say about Eric Holder's recent statements:
"It's nice to have Holder's support for this sensible policy change, but it would have been a lot better if he'd exercised the power to get marijuana rescheduling done while he was still in office. We know that Holder and President Obama are good friends, so I hope the former attorney general encourages his former boss and his successor Loretta Lynch to follow through during these final months of the administration and get the job done. There's absolutely no reason marijuana should be in Schedule I, and it would be absurd to keep passing the buck to Congress when federal law clearly gives the administration the power to act."