As the calendar rolls over to the day where marijuana officially becomes legal in Colorado and Washington, officials are meeting behind closed doors to discuss whether or not legal action will be taken against those states. The Obama Administration may go after states that have laws enacting marijuana legalization, as it still remains a Schedule I controlled substance by federal law.
Of course, going after supporters of legal marijuana would be a dumb thing for President Obama to do, since the majority of those liberals that elected him support the legalization of pot. that would sort of be like if Romney had been elected by religious conservatives and the Christian population of the US, and then made it illegal to pray in public.
The Justice Department and senior White House officials are in talks that could determine what, if anything, federal officials are planning to do. There is already an unofficial policy of not prosecuting marijuana users, but going after high level distributors, which has led to a federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries. However, the federal government could decide to begin prosecuting individual users if it so chose, even if what they are doing is perfectly legal under state law, and even if they purchased the marijuana legally from state licensed stores.
Some federal officials spoke to the press anonymously, because they were not permitted to discuss the negotiations, but the word right now is that there has been no decision reached, and no decision is coming anytime soon. However, one of the things that officials cite as a concern is that if residents in Washington and Colorado get used to violating federal law with marijuana, what other federal laws will they flout?
This is of course, a particularly stupid argument, since those who were violating state law before it was legalized would continue whether it was illegal at the state or federal level, and those who didn't use it before it was legalized would continue to follow the law. But, federal officials that oppose marijuana in all forms are desperate for an excuse to fight marijuana legalization.
Photo: Torben Hanson on Flickr.com
Gabriel Legend covers current events for Gather News, and writes horror fiction. If you like an article from Gabriel please share it using the social media links below.Follow Gabriel Legend on Twitter (@GabeLegend).