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Governor Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island and Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington have petitioned the federal government to change the schedule of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, a move they claim will remove the conflict between federal drug laws and state laws that allow the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. Colorado will file its own request before the end of the year.
Even as proponents of legalizing marijuana in Colorado meet this evening to debate the best way to accomplish that, former U.S. Attorney John McKay is one of a handful of people leading an effort to legalize marijuana in Washington State. Spurred in part by Governor Christine Gregoire's veto of much of that state's medical marijuana laws, McKay and others say the time is ripe for full legalization in Washington.
Could Colorado State employees who work in the regulatory end of the medical marijuana business be prosecuted for their role in what the federal government increasingly seems to view as an illegal enterprise? According to Department of Justice attorneys in Washington State, it is not outside the realm of possibility.