Just after Election Day 2012, when voters in Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and state Attorney General John Suthers asked US Attorney General Eric Holder for clarification on how the new pot laws would be handled on the federal level.
The Colorado brass wanted an official answer by January 10, 2013.
While that date has come and gone, this week Attorney General Holder stated that the Justice Department is nearly finished reviewing the initiatives and the federal response would come “relatively soon.”
According to Holder:
“We’re in the last stages of that review, and we’re trying to make a determination as to what the policy ramifications are going to be, what our international obligations are – there are a whole variety of things that go into this determination – but the people of [Colorado] and Washington deserve an answer, and you will have one soon.”
While some believe the federal government will take a stand on state legalized recreational marijuana – as it flouts federal law – others, including Mr. Suthers of Colorado, believe the feds will treat recreational pot along the lines of medical marijuana. Meaning that the federal government would allow – to an extent – states to enforce their own laws despite the conflict with federal law.
Colorado currently has a task force that has been examining various issues arising from the state’s recreational pot law. Recently the task force recommended allowing tourists over 21 years of age to purchase marijuana legally - the same right state citizens have.