Colo., Wash. Face Showdown With Feds Over Legal Pot
New state measures fly in face of federal law
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 8, 2012 5:54 AM CST
A medical marijuana plant is shown at the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – Colorado and Washington state are now chill with citizens having a little pot—but the drug is still very much illegal in Uncle Sam's eyes, leaving states to chart a difficult path. When it comes to medical marijuana, the feds have tended to crack down on large operations and leave small, personal growers alone; that track record may offer a model for enforcement under the new laws. For its part, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency says its stance "remains unchanged," the New York Times notes. But “I don’t see DEA agents sweeping in ... and enforcing drug laws that were previously enforced by local agencies,” says a former Seattle police chief. "It would be extremely poor politics. The will of the people has been expressed.”

The new law could bring in $180 million in taxes and savings over three years, says a Colorado group: "We want to be a model for the rest of the country on how to do this right." Washington advocates similarly say pot shops could bring in $500 million to $600 million in taxes annually. But thorny issues remain, including how to establish bank accounts for a business that's federally banned, the Wall Street Journal notes. "This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through," says Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who the Denver Post reports has been in touch with US Attorney General Eric Holder regarding federal policy. "That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don't break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly."

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Showing 3 of 64 comments
SHANNB
Nov 8, 2012 10:09 PM CST
Legal or not people smoke weed, anyway!! The only thing that will change is that people will smoke weed more openly!! Drinking 15 beers= slurred speech, decrease in motor skills, impaired vision, and eventually a nasty hangover and a possible DUI, or worse a car crash! Smoking a joint = laughter, intelligent thinking, more laughter, hunger, and eventually, a nap!! No harm to anyone!! Hopefully this state law will become nationwide and everyone can chill the f*ck out!!!
myflap.blow
Nov 8, 2012 5:25 PM CST
Obama said he would respect state mandates. It's now time to find out balls certain. Just remember, the real reason barry is still in power is because the actual powers to be are happy with everything exactly how it is now. My prediction is this will go back and forth for four years as they try to back-burner it as much as possible. Meanwhile the raids will go on and all the WOD money will continue to flow into all the wrong pockets. Either that, or Barack finally lets us on to his Jedi mind trick- that he now has repubs in a position like Bush had us in 04- "They reelected me so they must like what I'm doing, so you HAVE to go along with it now." Course, Bush blazed off in a different direction and look at where we are now. I mean, well, just look at America since reagan. None of their trickle-down, business-friendly, de-regulating, tax cuts for the rich, ignoring infrastructure, empire building, war mongering, cutting of welfare/education/health/services/police/fire/everything, grossly off balance trade-agreements, thumb-nosing gay rights/pot/privacy/freedom/etc etc etc! NONE of that stupid-ass shit worked! (except for THEIR own pocketbooks) It's time for REAL HONEST TRUE change, and I for one wholeheartedly welcome it. For better or worse. FUCK THE ANCIENTS! It's our world now.
gomer99
Nov 8, 2012 2:51 PM CST
Two (and a half) great outcomes here: 1. End the insane WOD bullshit, that costs waaaaaay too much and is a waste of time. 2. The return of the original meaning of Federalism. 2.5: We will hear even Liberals saying: "States' Rights".