Legalized Marijuana: State Attorneys General Look to Washington, DC
|Attorney General Eric Holder|
The USAG made the promise at a national conference of Attorneys General in response to a question posed to him by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. Holder indicated that the DOJ was working on formulating the policy response and that it was complicated.
Although marijuana has been legalized in two states, and is legal for medical purposes in a third of the states and the District of Colombia, it remains classified as an illegal "controlled substance" under federal law. Thus, businesses within states that have legalized pot are wary of going too far down the road with the development of industry infrastructure if the DEA can, at any time, come crashing in and shut them down.
Although marijuana has been a key component in the federal government's 3-decade long "war-on-drugs", the popularity of marijuana among the mainstream citizenry, and its success at the polls, has given the feds pause. Last fall's successful outright legalization initiatives has brought the matter to a head. Conflicts between federal and state laws must be resolved in our federalist system of governance.
We here at the Law Blogger expect some sort of marijuana-equivalent of the "don't ask; don't tell" policy. For the industry, this will be like getting served a bowl of luke warm soup.