Washington, D.C. – Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) chairman and CEO Gen. Arthur T. Dean released the following statement in response to the Department of Justice decision to not challenge laws that legalize marijuana use in Colorado and Washington:
“The Department of Justice announced that it will not sue to block the implementation of laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize marijuana, despite the fact that these laws are in conflict with federal law. CADCA and its more than 5,000 community coalitions across the country have been anticipating a response from the Administration that would reaffirm the federal law and slow down this freight train. Instead, this decision sends a message to our citizens, youth, communities, states, and the international community at large that the enforcement of federal law related to marijuana is not a priority.
“The fact remains that smoked marijuana is not medicine, it has damaging effects on the developing adolescent brain, and can be addictive, as evidenced by the fact that 1 in 6 youth who use it will become addicted.
“Our country is facing a growing crisis as 20 states and the District of Columbia have circumvented the FDA approval process and voted to allow smoked marijuana for a wide range of ‘medical purposes’ and two states have voted to allow the legalization of marijuana for personal use. Each of these state laws is in conflict with federal law. Globally, this results in our country being out of compliance with important international treaties we have both signed and championed.
“The nation looks to our Justice Department to uphold and enforce federal laws. CADCA is disappointed in the Justice Department’s decision to abdicate its legal right in this instance. We remain gravely concerned that we as a nation are turning a blind eye to the serious public health and public safety threats associated with widespread marijuana use.”
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