UN weighs in as Feds urged to support new marijuana laws

Nov 20, 2012

The United Nations drug watchdog agency wants U.S. officials to challenge new marijuana legalization laws in Washington and Colorado. U.N. Narcotics Control Board head Raymond Yans says the approvals send "a wrong message to the rest of the nation and abroad."

At the same time, a group of retired cops, judges and prosecutors is asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to support the new laws making it legal for adults 21 and over to possess small amounts of marijuana.

The group, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), delivered a letter to the Justice Department yesterday.

LEAP Executive Driector Neill Franklin says President Obama has a lot of authority when it comes to the enforcement of federal drug laws, which classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, on par with heroin.

"He can take his ink pen and sign an Executive Order for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to remove marijuana from Schedule 1, and allow the states and the voters to do what they feel is best for their communities," Franklin said in a conference call with reporters.

The Justice Department says it is reviewing its options.

Yans told The Associated Press on Tuesday he hopes Attorney General Eric Holder "will take all the necessary measures" to ensure that marijuana possession and use remains illegal throughout the U.S.

The U.N. Narcotics Control Board has no enforcement ability.

Here's LEAP's pitch: