Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Cohen Statement on Former DEA Heads Asking President to Nullify Marijuana Laws in Colorado, Washington

March 5, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today issued a statement in response to eight former chiefs of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) asking President Obama to nullify Colorado and Washington state laws legalizing personal marijuana use:

“As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once observed, states are the laboratories of democracy. The federal government should concentrate on shutting down meth labs – not the laboratories of Democracy. The people of Colorado and Washington voted to implement these laws, and the federal government should respect their will. States have a right to determine their own possession laws.

“If the people of Colorado and Washington want to legalize small amounts of marijuana, that is their decision. It is arrogant of these former DEA chiefs to encourage the President to nullify these laws. The fact that these former DEA chiefs are so focused on marijuana possession is why we have lost the war on drugs.  The war should be on heroin, meth, crack, cocaine and unauthorized use of prescription drugs – not marijuana possession.”