Friday, January 25, 2013

What Did Eric Holder Say to Governor Jay Inslee During Their Private Pot Talk?

By David Downs
Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Weed is the love that dare not speak its name among Washington D.C. Democrats, a truth best-evinced this week at the first serious meet-up between the federal government's top weed enforcer, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the heads of either of the two states who've legalized pot.

The in-person chat went down Tuesday in Washington D.C. and it sounds like it was a bit awkward. By most accounts, Washington Governor Jay Inslee did all the talking, while Holder sat there.

Washington is setting rules to license an estimated 100 growers and 55 processors to grow about 85 million grams of pot per year for Washington's 363,000 users. A 25 percent tax at each stage in the sale chain could net the state $1.9 billion in revenue over 5 years. Weed will cost $12 a gram. No home-growing is allowed.

Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Attorney General Eric Holder
Inslee stressed that Holder didn't explicitly condone the idea. According to the Seattle Times, "Inslee said he did not press Holder for a clearer signal, or position, because he considered their talk a preliminary meeting, with more discussions to follow."

A key topic was preventing diversion of Washington-grown marijuana to other states.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
“[Holder] listened with great interest, and I appreciated that,” Inslee said.

Inslee called the sit-down "very satisfying" in the Seattle Times, saying "nothing I heard should dissuade us.”

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson was also in the room, and issued the following powerfully boring statement:

“Today, we had a cordial, successful first meeting. Governor Inslee and I communicated Washington state’s intention to move forward in implementing I-502."

Great, Mr. Holder was cordial and did not throw coffee in your laps while you laid out your state's plans to break federal law and violate a few international treaties. Did Mr. Holder say ANYTHING? What did he say? Politico?

"The Justice Department confirmed the meeting to POLITICO, but wouldn’t release any details."

Gah.

The meetup comes the same week as a US Court of Appeals ruling sets back activists' attempts to re-schedule pot down from Schedule 1 (heroin) to Schedule IV (Valium) or V (cough syrup).

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