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You might think the issue of marijuana legalization had been settled, at least as far as Coloradans were concerned. Turns out some people aren't so sure, and one of them is former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy.
As Governor John Hickenlooper prepares to speak today with United States Attorney General Eric Holder about how to proceed with implementing Amendment 64, which legalizes marijuana in Colorado, the measure's supporters say they want to see the governor stand up for the measure that passed by a 10-point margin.
America’s war on drugs got a lot more interesting Tuesday night as Colorado and Washington each voted to legalize marijuana use and possession by adults. Marijuana advocates promptly called the two measures “the beginning of the end” of marijuana prohibition in the United States.
Washington and Oregon both have measures similar to Colorado’s Amendment 64 on the ballot this year. It is unknown how the federal government will respond if any or all of them pass. The feds could respect the decision of voters, they could try to block implementation of some parts of the law, or they could shut down dispensaries and arrest people involved in the wholesale and retail ends of the business.
There is no question that keeping marijuana illegal comes at a price. There are no easy answers when it comes to how high that price is, though.
If Amendment 64 passes, it will become almost immediately legal under Colorado law for adults to possess, grow, consume and give away up to an ounce of marijuana. It may take more than a year, however, before adults can purchase marijuana legally in a store.
The federal war on state-legalized medical marijuana took another harsh turn this week when it was revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice is using civil lawsuits in an effort to seize any properties being used in medical marijuana businesses in California.
An amendment to the U.S. House Appropriations Bill that would have required the Department of Justice to stand down in pursuing cases against the medical marijuana industry failed Wednesday night on a mostly party line vote. Colorado's seven-member delegation split on the amendment, with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans voting against.
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