NewsNation | November 07, 2012
>>> welcome back. the feds say they'll continue to enforce marijuana laws despite colorado and washington becoming the first states in the country to ever legalize the drug for recreational use. federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don't break out the cheetos or goldfish too quickly. joining me now is author of "this is your country con drugs," from "the huffington post ," ryan grim. you can have five on it. people will know what that means when you google it. you cannot break the law. it is against the law.
>> right. you know, the dea is fighting a rear guard action and putting a lot of pressure on the states and actually watching what they do is pretty instructive. you know, in 2010 , the dea asked eric holder and the justice department to come in to california and to campaign against proposition 19 which was on the ballot to legalize marijuana. holder did come out against it strongly and that helped defeat it just barely but it hept lped to defeat it. this year they did the same thing and holder declined. he just didn't did it. he said i'm not going to get involved in this. i think part is that holder sees which way the wind is blowing here. in fact, in colorado pot got 50,000 more voting than obama so, you know -- you don't want to be on the wrong side of this.
>> you do not. is it also a larger conversation about the war on drugs? i remember the commercial and the egg and all of that, this is your brain on drugs. is this an evolution and the information we now know and the difference in drugs, the types of drugs?
>> yeah. and you saw this in michigan where a lot of different towns and cities decriminalized. in massachusetts they passed a strong medical marijuana law. arkansas almost passed a medical marijuana law. arkansas. in california, voters reformed this three strikes and you're out law where a third kind of penny ante crimen prison for life and did away with that. definitely people are taking a new look at the criminal justice system . you know, both in the context of fairness and justice but also in a deficit context. you know, is this something that we want to be, you know, spending resources on at a time when we're complaining about record deficits?
>> absolutely. it's an interesting topic. we'll see what happens and this may be the beginning of a process that will be followed in other states.
>> could be.
>> thank you, ryan. great pleasure having you on. you had a long night. thank you for joining me.
>>> time now for the gut check. we talked with congressman van hollen about the extreme partisanship in washington . does the status quo control equal status quo governing? what does your gut tell you? the more things change the more things stay the same? will it break the partisan fever in washington ? go to facebook.com/newsnation to cast the vote. we'll look at what you have to