Attorney General Eric Holder correctly predicts, in my view, that marijuana decriminalization is going to become more widespread in this country. He is obfuscating, however, when he says that "the question of how these drugs get scheduled and how they are ultimately treated is something for Congress to work on."
Actually, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 clearly gives the executive branch the authority to unilaterally reclassify marijuana under federal law without any further action by Congress.
It's a farce that marijuana is currently classified under Schedule I, which is supposed to be reserved for drugs with no accepted medical value and which have a high potential for abuse. The science is clear on this, and so are the politics: A growing majority of Americans supports legalizing marijuana outright and a supermajority supports legal medical use.
It's time to move marijuana out of Schedule I, and Eric Holder can get that process started today if he wants to. There is absolutely nothing preventing him from doing so before he leaves office.
Sincerely, Tom Angell
The writer is founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority (http://MarijuanaMajority.com).