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Nine former administrators of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have written a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to oppose three state measures on the ballot this November that would legalize recreational marijuana.

The letter stated that not opposing the measures would indicate acceptance, Reuters reports. The former DEA officials said if the measures in Colorado, Washington and Oregon are passed, they will pose a direct conflict with federal law.

“To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives,” they said in the letter. Reuters notes that a spokeswoman for Holder declined to comment.

Former DEA Administrator Tom Constantine, who signed the letter, said he and the other officials wrote it so “voters would know in all fairness that no matter what they vote on in Colorado or wherever it is, that federal law still prevails.”

The former DEA officials sent a similar letter to Holder in 2010, asking him to oppose a California measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana. The measure was defeated, with 53.5 percent of voters opposing it, the article notes. Holder voiced his opposition to that measure before the vote. He said that U.S. officials would enforce federal laws against marijuana in the state if the measure passed.


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