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Marijuana State Law Response Planned Soon, Holder Tells Panel

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March 6 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department will respond to the state laws passed to legalize marijuana “relatively soon,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.

“We are considering what the federal response to those new statutes will be,” Holder said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today. “We will have the ability to announce what our policy will be relatively soon.”

Voters in Washington and Colorado on Nov. 6 approved ballot proposals legalizing possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chairman of the committee, said that in light of federal budget cuts, there may be “more serious things” for the department to focus on than minor possession of marijuana.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Mattingly in Washington at pmattingly@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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