Former Attorney General Eric Holder Says He Tried to Reschedule Marijuana During the Obama Administration

Former Attorney General Eric Holder has become an outspoken critic of the Trump administration's handling of legal marijuana, although many point out it's not that much different than how the Obama administration handled the issue. But Holder is now saying that he wanted to handle legal cannabis a lot different while in office.

At an appearance in Iowa, Holder was asked about marijuana legalization. While he didn't go so far as to fully endorse recreational marijuana legalization, he did say, "we’re at a point where we should think seriously about legalization." Holder then responded to criticisms of the Obama administration's handling of legalization. He noted that he and other officials in the administration did not prosecute or pursue marijuana cases in states that legalized marijuana. He then said many people ask him why he didn't just decriminalize marijuana while Attorney General, and he said that move has to come from Congress.

In another interesting admission, Holder said he actually wanted the Obama administration to advocate for rescheduling marijuana so it would no longer be considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance, but he was overruled by other officials in the administration. Although he did not name who in the administration opposed rescheduling.

It's very noteworthy that Holder made these comments at an event in Iowa. Many believe Holder is considering running for president in 2020, and Iowa is one of the first state primaries. Candidates who do well in Iowa can gain momentum in future primaries. So Holder establishing his pro-marijuana views in a state that's important for the 2020 primaries should not be overlooked.

Of course, pretty much every Democratic candidate running for president supports legalizing marijuana, so this will hardly set him apart.

(h/t Des Moines Register)

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Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) isn't the most vocal cannabis advocate on the 2020 presidential campaign trail, but you shouldn't take that as a lack of support for marijuana legalization. Unlike many of the top contenders for the upcoming Democratic primaries, Ryan hasn't filed any of his own cannabis legalization bills.

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