WILL FEDS ALLOW STATE POT LAWS?
Colorado and Other States That Have Enacted Medical Marijuana Laws Should Be Allowed to Proceed Without Federal Interference.
Now that Colorado is poised to begin regulating medical marijuana dispensaries, it makes sense to consider how the potential state law jibes with the long arm of federal law.
Though President Obama’s administration is taking a tolerant view toward the 14 states with medical pot laws, future administrations might decide to strictly enforce federal laws, which don’t recognize the drug as anything other than illegal.
Colorado’s Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, has co-sponsored a measure that says as long as the doctors who prescribe, patients who use, dispensaries that sell and growers that provide medical marijuana follow state laws, federal drug agents would not be allowed to arrest or charge them with drug crimes.
That’s an important exception to make because unless Gov. Bill Ritter surprises lawmakers with a veto, Colorado is on its way to sanctioning dispensaries and creating a vast new regulatory framework for the burgeoning new industry.