The New York Times reports that White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington in the wake of last month's legalization initiatives. The Obama administration declined to comment on the deliberations, but pointed to a press release the Justice Department issued on Dec. 5—the day before the initiative took effect in Washington—in the name of the US attorney in Seattle, Jenny A. Durkan.
Duarkan warned Washington residents that cannabis remains illegal under the US Controlled Substances Act: "The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington State. The Department's responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Neither States nor the Executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6 in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law."
Photo by Barbara Doduk