Lawmakers in marijuana-friendly Colorado and Washington are demanding that the US government step up and provide them with a clearer understanding of the federal pot laws as they pertain to the state’s legal marijuana trade. They are calling for action on the part of the Obama Administration to establish policies that are more consistent when it comes to enforcing laws under the Controlled Substances Act.
In a letter to White House, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Attorney General Eric Holder, Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall of Colorado along with Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washington said the federal government’s approach to a state’s newfound retail pot market is un-American and not indicative of a supportive government.
“We believe the federal government should support Colorado and Washington’s effort to establish a successful regulatory framework in a way that achieves greater certainty for local officials, citizens, and business owners,” wrote the senators.
The senators voiced concerns over the government’s inconsistency when it comes to enforcing federal pot laws, and they argued that the fluctuating opinions of various federal agencies “may undermine our states’ ability to regulate the industry adequately.” It is for this reason the senators have suggested that the Obama Administration take charge of this confusing and detrimental situation and force all federal agencies to subscribe to a uniformed policy in regards to dealing with legal marijuana states.
Although the senators applauded recent efforts by the federal government to grant banking access to cash-only marijuana businesses, they said the sentiment of support was lost after the Bureau of Reclamation blocked the use of federal irrigation water for the cultivation of marijuana. “The potential for these differing approaches underscores the need for a consistent and uniform interpretation and application of federal marijuana-related laws across all departments and agencies,” wrote the senators.
In the midst of Colorado and Washington’s legalized recreational marijuana commerce, the federal government has said it will not interfere as long as the market is controlled. Yet, while the industry continues to flourish, it struggles in many areas where other legitimate commerce does not. This is because nobody knows when one of Uncle Sam’s cronies is going to come in and send everyone involved straight to federal prison.
It is the hope of the four senators to relieve the industry of this anxiety.