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Ex-DEA heads: Feds should nullify state pot laws



Published: Tue, March 5, 2013 @ 10:30 a.m.

CHICAGO (AP) — Eight former Drug Enforcement Administration chiefs say the federal government needs to act now or it might lose the chance to nullify Colorado and Washington's laws legalizing recreational marijuana use.

The onetime DEA heads plan to issue joint statements today saying the Obama administration has reacted too slowly and should immediately sue to force the states to rescind the legislation.

The Associated Press received an advance copy of the statement Monday.

One of the former DEA administrators, Peter Bensinger, told the AP that the more time goes by, the harder it'll be to stop the two states. Marijuana is illegal under federal law.

Bensinger, who lives in the Chicago area, said the government must immediately sue the states or risk creating "a domino effect" in which other states follow suit.

"My fear is that the Justice Department will do what they are doing now: do nothing and say nothing," said Bensinger. "If they don't act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months."


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