Holder Says Legal Marijuana Won’t Make Kids Toke Up

Promises the feds are still working to keep the drug out of young hands, even in states where it's been legalized

  • Share
  • Read Later

Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that just because states are legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes doesn’t mean minors will be able to roll up a joint.

“People cannot buy alcohol I guess now until you’re age… age 21, but young people find ways to get alcohol because adults can have access to it,” Holder said before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I’m not sure that we will see the same thing here given what we have said with regard to our enforcement priorities.”

His comments came as Colorado and Washington state have been implementing new laws allowing recreational pot. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and under questioning, Holder defended the Obama administration’s stance in allowing the states to move forward with their laws while the feds work to make sure the drug doesn’t become available to minors or move across state lines.

“The distribution of marijuana to minors will…  will entail a very vigorous federal response,” Holder said.

The Department of Justice is expected to unveil new guidelines that might help banks transact with legal marijuana companies, which are increasingly worried about the dangers of operating all-cash businesses.

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, a member of the committee, lamented President Barack Obama’s recent comments that marijuana isn’t more harmful than alcohol, saying he was “heartbroken” to hear Obama argue that states’ experiments in legalization should go forward. Sessions said the country had previously worked to“create a hostility to drug use” that shouldn’t recede.

“I think that the use of any drug is potentially harmful,” Holder said of Obama’s comments. “And included in that would be alcohol.”

Sessions was skeptical. “Well, Lady Gaga says she’s addicted to it and it’s not harmless,” he said.

66 comments
ChikuMisra
ChikuMisra

Come on, the Attorney General is an intelligent man. He seriously wants to pretend legalization doesn't mean a lot more kids will get high? It will be easy. Whereas before they were asking random people outside of gas stations, after legalization they will ask those people for mj instead or in addition to alcohol.

RobertMeeks
RobertMeeks

Well, Well, One thing for sure, If full marijuana legalization then kids can not use to black mail against parents and adults in order to access the marijuana use.  If not full marijuana legalization then kids always can use black mail against parents and adults in order to access the marijuana use because kids love to seek the laws for "illegal" of marijuana to use the entrapment upon the parents and adults.  NOW we all in reality that full marijuana can stop the kids from trying to get the marijuana use. GOD is your LORD your GOD Who created both marijuana and hemp plants for Habitation, Peace, Education, Love and Harmony. We do believe in GOD forever ever and ever.  For full legalization of marijuana and hemp, GOD will name it and Bless it,  AMEN !

JustinHale
JustinHale

"  Marijuana legalization will make it harder for children to obtain it."

No,what will make it harder for kids to get MJ is eliminating the black market. The feds have been unable to put a dent in the illegal MJ trade through law enforcement for most of our lives,Why?,because prohibition has made the commodity so outrageously expensive. As long as the black market can underprice the "legal" product they will flourish,and their customers will be the underage. If the state would treat MJ like the common plant it is,that can be produced easier than organic tomatoes,and priced accordingly it would be so cheap that there wouldn't be any profit motive for the black market to risk jail time for dealing in it.

The AG can kiss my AS. The feds are the ones who took a common plant and made it more expensive than gold,by prohibiting it. Now after 70+ years the Feds say if the states can't accomplish what they couldn't accomplish then the wrath of the feds will come down on them. Right.

Afreedomfighter
Afreedomfighter

If You want to keep kids safe, FIRST keep them away from booze, tobacco and prescription drugs. Data direct from CDC dot gov show that no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose in all recorded medical history, while tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs directy cause over 350,000 deaths per year in the US.

US CDC Figures directly from the CDC dot gov web site on numbers of deaths per year in the USA :

*  Prescription Drugs: 237,485

*  Tobacco: 81,323

*  Alcohol: 39,199

*  Marijuana 0, none, not a single death in all medical history

Cited direct from CDC dot gov. Stop the lies and Legalize! 

MindyAucoinManchester
MindyAucoinManchester

Legalizing marijuana will actually make it harder for underage persons to get since they will have to get from a licenced dispenser that is regulated by the government and would not risk losing their license by selling to an underaged person.  Unlike the drug dealers now who are not licensed and who could care less how old a person is when they sell the drug to them.  Drug dealers do not check id's, Licensed dispensaries do!!   You people need to educate yourselves on the subject before commenting.

quangbright
quangbright

Dear Sir,
Happy New year to you.
Life of Bright Quang is a paid soldier of the United States of America without American benefits, so I have become a Vietnamese American citizen and I do wish enjoy a little of American Justice before my life will be passing in the future because I am an oldest of a Paid soldier of the United States of America. However, the main of my mother country American that has been destroying my name and age since I have been building my life for the over sixty five years and coming to the United States of America that my mother country has been awarding a mental case, so my life does not only hurt but also be ashamed life of a paid soldiers.
Therefore, I do wish enjoy a little  of American Justice before I will be dead, so my heart, soul, and brain will not be shamed when my soul will be met all of my American Presidents who are Washington or Abraham  Lincoln in order to beg a little of American Justice and so on.
Sincerely yours
Bright Quang

LibertyFirst1776
LibertyFirst1776

If that is true, what is the excuse for keeping the drinking age at 21?  Why can't it be lowered to the more reasonable age of 18?  In fact, why have a drinking age at all?  The Democrats are for all the vices now - gambling, pot, soon it will be prostitution.  Whatever they can latch onto to make up for all that Democrat overspending, and quell the ongoing ruckus from the freak show tent that is the Democrat Party.

BrianKellyBBizzle
BrianKellyBBizzle

Regarding "The Children",


What message are we sending our children when it is easier for them to obtain marijuana now with it being illegal than it is for them to buy alcohol?


It doesn't take the intellect of a genius to understand that stores card kids for I.D.. Thugs and gang members do not. They also push the real hard drugs on children. Stores do not.


  Marijuana legalization will make it harder for children to obtain it.


  What message does it send our children when the President of The United States himself alongside a long list of successful people openly admit regular pot use at one time or another in their lives?


While we tell our kids how it will ruin their futures, and then ensure so, by allowing our government to to jail  our children and give them permanent criminal records when they get caught with a little Marijuana? Especially if they are the wrong skin color or from the "wrong neighborhood". Which in turn, ruins their chances of employment for life.


  The Prohibition of Marijuana is the wrong message to send our children while we advertise and promote the much more dangerous use of alcohol like it's an all American pastime. 


  The worst thing about marijuana and our children is what happens to them when they get caught up in the criminal justice system due to it's prohibition. 


Protect  "The Children" and Our Neighborhoods Through The  Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Nationwide!


JimDavis
JimDavis

Really sets a great example when the U.S. Attorney General and President of the U.S. decide that it's OK for Colorado and Washington to essentially thumb their noses at the federal law.  Anything else you two don't like?  I guess you two know better than the rest of us what's relevant.  What a couple of arrogant a-holes.

KelleyDavis
KelleyDavis

Dear Lady Gaga.   Jeff Sessions has decided to advance his political agenda about Marijuana using your quote.  Seems only fare Jeff Sessions dose something nice for Lady Gaga to advance one of your political agendas.  Don't you agree? 

CharlesEdsonRogersJr.
CharlesEdsonRogersJr.

Lady Gaga a real scientific experiment.She is a huge poser.Jeff Sessions..get rid of this dinosaur.

breaker581
breaker581

 Senator Jeff Sessions, a hardcore social conservative, quoting Lady Gaga. Priceless.



breaker581
breaker581

Senator Jeff Sessions, a hardcore social conservative quoting Lady Gaga. Priceless.

K_Bryant
K_Bryant

I saw a program when the kids were little about how to talk to your kids about drugs at different ages. The idea was that, while they are very young, you tell them everything is poison and not to touch it unless Mom or Dad gives it to them. Once they get to age 10 or so you have to have a second talk with them, telling the truth about harms and risks. If you don't catch them before they discover the truth for themselves, you lose all credibility and they won't listen to you when it really counts. Credibility is important when you are trying to warn them about really harmful substances. I followed the advice and tried to be as honest as I could be about harms and risks. Of course D.A.R.E. came into the classrooms and blatantly lied to the kids, who all knew they were being lied to -- such a waste of taxpayer money. At least my kids knew I would be honest with them.

Irony
Irony

Yeah, I didn't smoke weed in high school, but I still knew where to get it from my friends. It was much easier to get your hands on than beer or cigarettes, and it being illegal was the reason. Dealers don't card.

Meanwhile I was from the generation of the "Just say no" campaign, and every kid knew that the adults were lying to us when they said how harmful weed was, which naturally made us disbelieve what they said about the harder drugs, even when they weren't lying.

When the only way you can support your position is through outright lying to children, maybe you should consider the possibility that your position is wrong.

bherron
bherron

When he needs to be, the man can predict the future, where was this insight when all those guns went over the border?....just a thought.

MollyCruz
MollyCruz

Marijuana has long been lumped with addictive drugs; which it is most definitely not; with the result that young people whose friends use marijuana and know it's not dangerous assume the others are equally harmless. Legalizing it makes it possible to evolve a protocol for its use that is sanctioned; protecting those who should not have access to it; establishing age limits as we have for alcohol; not that that has worked that well. Alcohol is so easily abused and the health problems with which it is associated are too many to list, as well as the social consequences of its abuse. I believe its use by many in Washington has shaped our Nation's foreign policy from one of moderate, reasonable and respectful thinking to the mentality of a bullying barroom brawler, who's response to any problem is "Ya Wanna step outside and settle this like a man?" 

MrObvious
MrObvious

Good

If science can't find pot smoking more dangerous than alcohol then there's no need to treat it as such. The only ones that gain anything from a continued war on pot are the cartels and the for profit prison industry. Everyone else lose.

Note - I don't smoke, drink or do any type of drug. I just don't believe in wasting so many resources on something less harmful than tobacco and alcohol. Makes absolutely no sense.

sacredh
sacredh

"Holder Says Legal Marijuana Won’t Make Kids Toke Up"

It's the job of the parents to make the kids toke up. Kids love video games. Getting high and playing video games with mom and dad is every child's dream. Don't make your children sad. Teach them how to roll.

DaveTheisen
DaveTheisen

Just say it – I want the tax dollars from marijuana sales. & politicians while you're at it: I'm buying your votes with Corp. donations, free Obama-Phones, food-stamps & taxing the youth (who don't vote) to fund the seniors. Just say it we're corrupt and (with some freebies) so are you.


sacredh
sacredh

"Sessions was skeptical. “Well, Lady Gaga says she’s addicted to it and it’s not harmless,” he said."

I'm addicted to cigarettes. Where is the cry to make them illegal? The tobacco industry pays a fortune to lobbyists to plead their case that they should be allowed to sell addicitive, lethal and cancer causing products to the public. The whining about pot would make sense if tobacco was illegal too.

kqhejv
kqhejv

Not surprisingly, Holder is out of touch with everything in the real world.

herbalmagick
herbalmagick

Marijuana could hardly be more available to minors than it is today.  87% of high school students report that they could obtain a bag of weed without any trouble at all, while beer or cigarettes would be harder to find.  Dealers don't "card".  Legitimate retailers do. 

DonaldGeorgeMacDonald
DonaldGeorgeMacDonald

For many years, until I retired, I did witness the tragic crimes, intense suffering, needless deaths and extreme violence related to the buying and selling and use and abuse of illegal drugs.

And I also know of the misery alcohol abuse causes and how tobacco use is the single cause of death worldwide.

But during my professional experience for many years in mental health, criminal justice and law enforcement, I found that our community devastation related to illegal drugs has resulted primarily because of cocaine and opiate buying and selling and using and abusing as well as by the impulsive desperation withdrawals cause.

The main problems existing amongst weed users are the high cost of purchase, finding who to safely purchase from, how to avoid arrest and the resulting inconvenience after improbable arrest.

Lebow-Ski
Lebow-Ski

The President just won My support for his third term in office.

Lebow-Ski
Lebow-Ski

I need to smoke that dude out man!

ForestFairbrother
ForestFairbrother

How can anybody call themselves a Republican and believe that the Federal Government has the authority to suppress States Rights? 

HeinekenPete
HeinekenPete

...hopefully this will help to break the log-jam the Food and Drug Administration & the DEA have created in stifling legitimate marijuana research by their stonewall insistence that pot remain as a Schedule 1 drug.

Afreedomfighter
Afreedomfighter

If You want to keep kids safe, FIRST keep them away from booze, tobacco and prescription drugs. Data direct from CDC dot gov show that no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose in all recorded medical history, while tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs directy cause over 350,000 deaths per year in the US.

US CDC Figures directly from the CDC dot gov web site on numbers of deaths per year in the USA :

*  Prescription Drugs: 237,485

*  Tobacco: 81,323

*  Alcohol: 39,199

*  Marijuana 0, none, not a single death in all medical history

Cited direct from CDC dot gov. Stop the lies and Legalize! 

DavidPenn
DavidPenn

@ eric holder , The thing is, even if kids do and should be able to have access, it would only do more to give the kids adults manipulate into believing they have certain freedoms and choices a level of trust that won't spin into a complete prison mindset. for example universities have conducted social experiments that show people of any age can be like a pawn directed to assume any kind of compulsive behavior if that behavior is restricted. the whole point here is don't allow a law to create a circumstance where one's power of self property is violated into the point of creating a problem to bitch wine and tax about, let alone imprison threaten rape or kill in your custody. it's simple, the basics of the Bill of Rights goes for every color, every nationality every age, any sexual orientation lifestyle and faith or beliefs. the fact that we don't exercise our foreign policy here in the United States with more haste than abroad is exactly what is wrong with the whole example to the world thing. Help me fix it.

BrianKellyBBizzle
BrianKellyBBizzle

The "War on Marijuana" has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful "War on Drugs" that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.


Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our tax dollars fighting a never ending "War on Marijuana", lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It's a no brainer.


The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?


Marijuana is much safer, and healthier to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?


Let's end this hypocrisy now!


The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less "crimes" because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.


Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that's approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!


Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

BillGriggs
BillGriggs

Kids already get marijuana.  According to federal drug use surveys more high school seniors smoke pot now than cigarettes, only now it comes from drug dealers who in many cases will offer them far worse than just marijuana.  They also report that it is as easy or easier for them to get pot than it is for them to get alcohol. They don't buy their alcohol from drug dealers though. If they're going to get it anyway, and many will, wouldn't it be better if they get the same way they get their beer, having older friends or relatives buy it for them?  

im4cchi2014
im4cchi2014

Lady Gaga? Come on prohinitionist, you're now even trying anymore.

willvanteunen
willvanteunen

@LibertyFirst1776  The reason for a drinking age is to prevent minors from purchasing and consuming alcohol without adequate supervision. It makes no sense in having that at 21 since your considered an adult at 18 in the US. In Ontario where I'm from it's legal for parents to provide alcohol to their children at any age in their home or a private place. This allows parents to control and educate their children about the harms of alcohol abuse. My parents let me have a beer or a glass of homemade grappa and orange juice when I was as young as 14 on special occasions and I had no desire to celebrate my 18th birthday (the legal age to purchase here) with a large binge drinking party. By that time my parents would already let me have a few beers with my friends (with their parents permission)


It doesn't make much sense to have laws in place that discourage use and education about a product at an arbitrary age and  the child is outside of the control of a caring loving parent.



JustinHale
JustinHale

Guess your not a fan of the Citizen government idea. Don't you understand that our Rights come from our creator ,Not the federal government. If you want the .gov to run your life fine by me,I'll continue to believe that the power in a "free" country comes from the individual to the .gov,if that makes me an arrogant a-hole so be it. I guess in your world anyone who goes up against the .gov is an arrogant a-hole.

knowgodknowwar
knowgodknowwar

@JimDavis The people of those states are the ones who thumbed their noses at the federal law! the people want what the people want, and no government can tell them otherwise!!

JustinHale
JustinHale

Corruption is 70+years of a failed policy based on lies.

Jinxx32
Jinxx32

@DaveTheisen What's an Obama-phone? You can't be speaking of the life line program which now allows 1 cell phone, because the life line Program was set up by Ronald Reagan and then later amended by Bush to include cell phones. So please, clarify what an Obama-Phone is please, because it's existence is in question.

jason024
jason024

Try to focus on the main issue...what good is it to outlaw a substance that clearly isnt as bad as cocaine or heroin while pretending that alcohol and tobacco are somehow better?

Let alone the fact that so many resources are wasted on investigating and incarcerating people for a drug like marijuana.

sacredh
sacredh

And seriously, Sessions is quoting Lady GaGa? What next? Ted Nugent recruiting for the Army?

JimmyLimo
JimmyLimo

@kqhejv Sorry Kq... but it's YOU and Sen. Sessions who are out of touch... When your best scientific evidence is a quote from LADY GAGA.... well, game, set and MATCH OVER !

envican
envican

@ForestFairbrother Republicans care more about legislating morality then they do about defending constitutional rights.

Sandydog5
Sandydog5

@im4cchi2014 The LadyGaga comment cracked my up.  I wonder, maybe Sessions is a little monster. lol

maxwood
maxwood

@sacredh -- I sense you're not satisfied with being addicted; you don't have to quit: switch to an e-cig, a vaporizer, or a Long-Stemmed One-Hitter (25-mg serving size replaces 700-mg $igarette).  The tobacco industry makes its fortune off the H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide $igarette format; the tobacco industry pays (esp. Republican) politicians to keep cannabis illegal because legalizing cannabis will legalize one-hitters and there goes their profit margin.

shredrockets
shredrockets

Tobacco company's will transition into the legal cannabis industry once they see how much money is to be made.

In fact if it was never made illegal and tobacco company's would of started selling cannabis cigs instead of tobacco one's. There would be a lot more people alive today and cancer free guaranteed.

And no cannabis is not addictive. Unlike alcohol and cigarettes.

linnex.miles
linnex.miles

@JeffJohnson1 @JimmyLimo @DavidPenn 

I am completely sober (for now), I had my coffee (which contains caffeine , which is also a drug), and this is my first read of the day. I have absolutely no idea what this joker is talking about!