Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


The Feds to California Voters: Whether You Legalize Marijuana or Not, We're Still Going to Enforce It

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

The Obama Administration this week said they would "vigorously enforce" marijuana laws, even if voters approve Prop 19, which would legalize the drug for recreational use. "Let me state clearly that the Department of Justice strongly opposes Proposition 19. If passed, this legislation will greatly complicate federal drug enforcement efforts to the detriment of our citizens," Holder wrote in a letter to former chiefs of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, according to the LA Times.

Holder said federal Controlled Substances Act will be used against those who "grow, distribute or sell marijuana for recreational use," added the Times. The administration's current policy on medical marijuana, which is to cease raids on state-legal facilities, will likely stay as is.

The letter was released at a press conference with L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca, who said “Proposition 19 is not going to pass, even if it passes." While his department is not focused on people lighting up a join in the privacy of their home, Baca vowed to enforce most marijuana laws no matter what.