Colorado MMJ Bill Draws U.S. Attorney's Warning
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Colorado MMJ Bill Draws U.S. Attorney's Warning
Posted by CN Staff on April 27, 2011 at 06:36:25 PT
By Felisa Cardona, The Denver Post
Source: Denver Post
Denver -- The U.S. attorney for Colorado warned state lawmakers Tuesday that pending legislation adjusting rules for medical marijuana would conflict with federal law and could lead to federal prosecutions.U.S. Attorney John Walsh's letter was sent to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers in response to his request for clarification on how federal treatment of medical marijuana use may conflict with pending legislation now under consideration in House Bill 1043.
"The Department of Justice remains firmly committed to enforcing the federal law and the Controlled Substances Act in all states," Walsh wrote. "Thus, if the provisions of H.B. 1043 are enacted and become law, the Department will continue to carefully consider all appropriate civil and criminal legal remedies to prevent manufacture and distribution of marijuana and other associated violations."Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, a sponsor of the bill, said that in his mind the letter only further muddies the federal Department of Justice's stance on medical marijuana rather than providing clarification."We have had mixed messages from the federal government on this," Steadman said. "I think this casts a big shadow upon this industry in Colorado. It does cause some uncertainty and trepidation."Possession and sale of marijuana are illegal under federal law. But several states, including Colorado, allow the use of small amounts of marijuana for medical purposes. Feds' Two Key Concerns  Colorado's medical-marijuana industry has exploded in the past two years, partly because of the state constitutional amendment allowing marijuana for medical use, partly because of prior state court decisions allowing expanded use based on that amendment, and partly because of the Justice Department's previous declaration that targeting medical marijuana usage in states where it was legal would be a low priority for federal agents.As the number of marijuana dispensaries, and users, has surged across the state, the legislature has tried to provide some rules for the burgeoning industry. Snipped   Complete Article: Denver Post (CO)Author: Felisa Cardona, The Denver PostPublished: April 27, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Denver Post CorpWebsite: openforum denverpost.comCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana  Archives 
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