Inside Opinion

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Tag: eric holder

June
11th

What’s holding up that marijuana decision at Justice?

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Is there something about marijuana that leaves Attorney General Eric Holder speechless?

It’s been more than seven months since Washington voters approved a system of regulated, licensed pot sales. But under federal law, everything about marijuana — growing, distributing and selling — is illegal.

Not since the civil rights era has there been such a stark conflict between federal and state laws.

But Holder remains mum on that conflict. State officials are reduced to trying to decipher a handful of opaque statements from the Justice Department.

Washington’s Liquor Control Board is charged with writing rules for the new industry, but its members can only go so far without knowing what Justice will do. Will it move to enforce federal law? Adopt a wink-and-a-nod toleration policy, as Holder did with “medical” marijuana? Try to legally finesse the issue with some kind of a waiver?

Local legalization is a legal dilemma, to be sure, but Justice is full of bright people who get paid a lot of money to untangle legal dilemmas. Holder has thousands of attorneys at his command; it’s hard to believe he couldn’t move faster if he wanted to.

We didn’t like Initiative 502, primarily because we’re worried that it would expand marijuana use among adolescents. But genuinely controlled legalization would be a big improvement on the status quo if it could shut down today’s black market, which readily supplies pot to any interested teenager.

Lest memories fade, we’ll note that Holder and his boss, Barack Obama, also bear heavy responsibility for the existing marijuana bazaar in Western Washington.
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May
23rd

Administration must respect media’s government watchdog role

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

In his speech Thursday on national security, President Barack Obama said the right things about the media’s role as government watchdogs. Now the question is whether his administration’s actions will connect to his words.

Obama said that a free press is essential for our democracy: “I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable. Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs.”

You’d never guess it from his detached tone, but he was referring to two abusive leak investigations undertaken

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