Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Holder to Slightly Reduce Drug Sentencing?
U.S. Attorney General and once Covington & Burling pharmaceutical industry attorney Eric Holder announces a change in U.S. Justice Department prosecutorial procedure to omit the amount of contraband from charging documents, though not from the actual sentencing- admitting that the US spends some $80 billion annually for incarceration.
But if he were truly serious, there's so much more that he and the Obama Administration could do.
From the comments section at the Facebook page of the Drug Policy Alliance:
Barack Obama could end the Federal Drug War right now if he wanted to and he either doesn't want to end it or he doesn't have the courage to end it!
I am interested in your comments but please read ALL of this before you try to apologize for him and tell me that it isn't his fault or that he doesn't have the power. Read on . . .
As President, Barack Obama has the power of the Bully Pulpit to set the tone for change and refuse to sign new laws that further the oppression and discrimination of the War on Drugs. Barack Obama also makes appointments to many offices that could use their position to change drug policy and the enforcement of drug laws:
Department of Justice:
Deputy Attorney General
Associate Attorney General
Administrator - Drug Enforcement Administration
Deputy Administrator - Drug Enforcement Administration
Director - Federal Bureau of Investigation
Office of National Drug Control Policy:
Director - "Drug Czar"
Deputy Director - Demand Reduction
Deputy Director - State and Local Affairs
Deputy Director - Supply Reduction
Department of Health and Human Services:
Commissioner of Food and Drugs
Director - National Institutes of Health
Administrator — Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The President appoints the Attorney General and the Attorney General is accountable to the President. The Attorney General can change the classification of Marijuana from Schedule I to any other schedule that he chooses so that it can be considered to have medicinal value and immediately put a stop to the Federal Raids on Medical Marijuana Clinics in states that have Medical Marijuana Laws.
Here is an excerpt from The Controlled Substance Act where the Attorney General’s authority to reclassify or remove drugs is defined:
Section 811. Authority and Criteria for Classification of Substances
(a) Rules and regulations of Attorney General; hearing
The Attorney General shall apply the provisions of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other substance added to such schedules under this subchapter. Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by rule–
(1) add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he–
(A) finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and
(B) makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed; or
(2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.
Barack Obama's appointed Attorney General can reclassify, the DEA and FBI can change their priorities and use their resources elsewhere, the DOJ can prosecute real criminals, and the FDA and NIH can allow unbiased studies on Medical Marijuana. All of these agencies answer to the President and their directors are appointed by Obama.
Barack Obama would be able to effectively end the Federal War on Drugs if he wanted to and had the courage! Yes he could!
Controlled Substance Act: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/811.htm
Presidential Appointments: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_positions_filled_by_presidential_appointment_with_Senate_confirmation