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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.
When Colorado U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, quizzed Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele Leonhart last week, it seems like he may have been trying to make a simple point--that marijuana is not as bad for a person as heroin or methamphetamine.
Declaring that marijuana has no known medical value, The DEA's new regional chief Barbra Roach has also let it be known that she would find a place to live that does not allow medical marijuana businesses. It is not surprising that in Colorado, where voters have approved medical marijuana, some find her comments to be more than a little offensive.
In a case that has implications for Colorado and other medical marijuana states, Montana legislator Diane Sands has come under investigation by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, but she doesn't know why. She suspects the investigation is related to her advocacy of liberalized marijuana laws.
A few days after the Drug Enforcement Administration ruled that marijuana has no medicinal use, and a month or so after a prestigious international commission concluded the drug war was a colossal failure, The Denver Post documented the ongoing drug war with a story about Mexican tour bus operators busted for bringing tens of millions of dollars of pot to Denver. That same day, July 11, Time Magazine led its weekly print issue with this quote, "The carnage will end only when drugs are legalized."
Colorado's medical marijuana chronicles went federal this weekend when the state's top drug cop, DEA special agent Jeff Sweetin, seemed to directly defy the Attorney General and the Obama administration by raiding a Highlands Ranch home a day after owner Chris Bartkowicz spoke to KUSA-TV 9News about his major basement marijuana grow operation. Bartkowicz showed 9News his medical-marijuana license and the documentation for the people to whom he serves as a caregiver. He said he was "living the dream." Sweetin and his agents were apparently embarrassed.