30 Gitmo Inmates Approved For Release By Eric Holder

gitmo

via HuffPost

BERLIN — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says about 30 detainees have been cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay.

Holder met with reporters in Germany ahead of a speech appealing for Europe’s help to close the U.S. military detention facility.

The attorney general says the U.S. has not decided which detainees they want to send to specific countries, adding that those decisions are weeks away.

There are 241 prisoners at Guantanamo, and Holder has been visiting European leaders this week asking for help relocating detainees and shuttering the detention site over the next nine months.

Previewing his later speech, Holder said closing the detention facility is a shared responsibility for the U.S. and Europe.

AP’s earlier story is below. Continue reading

U.S. Gov’t to Yield Marijuana Jurisdiction to States, Stop Cali Raids

via SF Gate

San Francisco — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is sending strong signals that President Obama – who as a candidate said states should be allowed to make their own rules on medical marijuana – will end raids on pot dispensaries in California.marijuana-leaf

Asked at a Washington news conference Wednesday about Drug Enforcement Administration raids in California since Obama took office last month, Holder said the administration has changed its policy.

“What the president said during the campaign, you’ll be surprised to know, will be consistent with what we’ll be doing here in law enforcement,” he said. “What he said during the campaign is now American policy.”

Bill Piper, national affairs director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a marijuana advocacy group, said the statement is encouraging.

“I think it definitely signals that Obama is moving in a new direction, that it means what he said on the campaign trail that marijuana should be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue,” he said.

Piper said Obama has also indicated he will drop the federal government’s long-standing opposition to health officials’ needle-exchange programs for drug users.

During one campaign appearance, Obama recalled that his mother had died of cancer and said he saw no difference between doctor-prescribed morphine and marijuana as pain relievers. He told an interviewer in March that it was “entirely appropriate” for a state to legalize the medical use of marijuana “with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors.” Continue reading

Obama to Seek New Assault Weapons Ban

via ABC News

The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today. assault_holder_090225_mn1

“As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder told reporters.

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

“I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.” Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.

Mexican government officials have complained that the availability of sophisticated guns from the United States have emboldened drug traffickers to fight over access routes into the U.S. Continue reading