The Senate officially approved Loretta Lynch as U.S. Attorney General Thursday to the slight disappointment of many marijuana advocates. Lynch has clearly stated that she does not support legalization and still views marijuana as a dangerous drug. However, Lynch also said she plans to continue her predecessor Eric Holder’s hands-off policy of allowing states to make their own marijuana laws without federal interference — which is something, at least.
“The Department’s August 2013 memorandum simply provides guidance, applicable to federal prosecutors in every state, regarding the use of the Department’s limited investigative and prosecutorial resources to address the most significant public health and public safety threats in an effective, consistent, and rational way,” Lynch stated in reference to policy that protects those acting within state marijuana laws from federal interference — which is pretty much political bureaucratese for ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’
While Lynch claims she won’t interfere with states’ laws, she has been very outspoken about her views on marijuana. During her confirmation hearing, Lynch was asked to comment on Obama’s claim that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol.
“I certainly don’t hold that view and don’t agree with that view of marijuana as a substance,” she said. “I certainly think that the president was speaking from his personal experience and personal opinion, neither of which I’m able to share. But I can tell you that not only do I not support legalization of marijuana, it is not the position of the Department of Justice currently to support legalization — nor would it be the position if I were confirmed as attorney general.”
While legalization advocates, myself included, would definitely prefer an attorney general with a more cannabis-friendly outlook, at least we have it in her own writing that she won’t interfere with state’s rights and marijuana laws. Now all we have to do is trust that a politician will stick to her word.