Former DEA chiefs put pressure on president to sue state over pot

OLYMPIA -- A handful of former DEA chiefs have stepped up to put more pressure on the president and his administration to override the law in Washington state legalizing pot.

On Tuesday, a group of eight former DEA chiefs released a letter asking the U.S. Attorney to sue the state over its decision to proceed with legal, recreational use of pot.

"This is an issue that needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed now," said former DEA administrator Peter Besinger.

Marijuana is still illegal federally. Besinger said he is worried about the effect it could have on our state.

"If you make it available for recreational use, they`re going to use it so this is a big big challenge for Washington," Besinger said. "This is going to be a disaster if this is allowed to be implemented."

Bensinger is accusing U.S. Attorney Eric Holder of dragging his feet on the issue.

Holder hasn't  yet said what he'll do about Washington's pot law, but if he decides to sue, he'll get a fight. Washington State Attorney General bob Ferguson said his staff is already planning for a court battle.

"We hope to avoid a costly, legal battle, but we're ready in the state of Washington if it comes to that," Ferguson said.

Dante Jones, who owns Green Ambrosia in Ballard, said he's still moving forward to change his medical marijuana dispensary into a full service pot retailer when the state's rules go into effect next year.

"I'm in some ways excited because they (the former DEA chiefs) are realizing that the war on drugs that they've been fighting and hoisting on us for the the last 30-40 years, is finally at an end and marijuana is about to be taken out of it."