Gregoire Says Feds Undecided About Blocking Law
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Gregoire Says Feds Undecided About Blocking Law
Posted by CN Staff on November 13, 2012 at 17:03:57 PT
By Chris Grygiel, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Washington -- Gov. Chris Gregoire says the federal government still hasn’t decided whether to take action to block new laws legalizing marijuana in her state and Colorado. Gregoire met with Deputy Attorney General James Cole in Washington, D.C on Tuesday. She told Cole she would prefer to know “sooner rather than later,” because Washington state is in the process of getting ready to decriminalize pot, which is still illegal under federal law.
“I told them,‘Make no mistake, that absent an injunction of some sort, it’s our intent to implement decriminalization,”’ Gregoire told The Associated Press. “I don’t want to spend a lot of money implementing this if you are going to attempt to block it.” Initiative 502 passed last week with 55 percent of the vote in the state. It decriminalizes the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana beginning Dec. 6. The state would license the growing, processing and labeling of marijuana, but state officials have a year to come up with those rules before sales can begin. Colorado also passed a measure legalizing the drug. Federal lawyers are reviewing the two new state laws, trying to determine what their response will be, Gregoire said. “It’s not a simple analysis for them,” she said. “There’s a difference between our two initiatives, and they want to look at that. They clearly want to know how things are going to flow, how regulations develop, how enforcement would be taken, taxes would be gathered.” She said she pressed Cole as to whether the ultimate federal response would treat both Washington and Colorado the same way, and Justice Department officials indicated to her that that was their intent. In Washington, home-growing marijuana for recreational reasons remains barred, as does the public display or use of pot. The measure also establishes a standard blood test limit for driving under the influence, and Gregoire says the head of the Washington State Patrol has to begin training officers to enforce that portion of the measure. “He can’t wait, he’s got to start doing this,” Gregoire said. Gregoire said she promised to keep the Justice Department fully informed as to the progress the state is making in implementing the new marijuana law. Colorado’s governor and attorney general spoke by phone Friday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, with no signal whether the U.S. Justice Department would sue to block the marijuana measure. If Colorado’s marijuana ballot measure is not blocked, it would take effect by Jan. 5, the deadline for the governor to add the amendment to the state constitution. The measure allows adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and six marijuana plants, though public use of the drug and driving while intoxicated are prohibited. Colorado’s new law also directs lawmakers to write regulations on how pot can be sold, with commercial sales possible by 2014.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Chris Grygiel, The Associated PressPublished:  November 13, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Associated PressCannabisNews   -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on November 14, 2012 at 09:13:35 PT
so far, so good
Frankly, I'm surprised by this! I expected zero ambivalence from the feds on this after the election.Can't wait to watch this unfold! C'mon, everybody knows about the Choom Gang now guys! And remember, the feds didn't just take a beating on cannabis - they lost even worse on gay marriage! Maryland is a southern state, it's unbelievable to me that gay marriage passed there.  The 2012 election was a big wake up call to the elite that new wedge issues must be developed, these two have no juice anymore.The feds know if they delay cannabis now, they'll just get served up more 10-point losses over the next several years. In fact, opinion is not staying the same, it's clearly accelerating against them.  That is probably the key factor, that's what they teach you in MBA school - pay attention to the "delta" or rate of change.I wouldn't be surprised now to see state-level legalization allowed. In fact, it might come in handy to whip up the right-wingers into a froth in 2016.
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on November 13, 2012 at 18:43:47 PT:
They're juggling buckets of nitro in a minefield
And they have only themselves to blame for this. To go against the expressed political will of the people of those States is to attempt to nullify the very principles upon which the Feds claim to govern. It's that simple. Do that, and there's no more reason to play by the rules as they presently exist. And the government loses the last bit of legitimacy. Just as there is no such thing as being 'a little bit pregnant', there is no such thing as being a little bit free. It's not subject to incrementation; it's the whole enchilada, or nothing.So, the States of WA and CO have voiced the manifest will of the people. They have served notice: They will no longer be 'a little bit free'...and neither shall the rest of us! To stand against that is to drop those nitro-laden buckets on those mines. And this time, the only ones who'll suffer will be the prohibs carrying them.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 13, 2012 at 17:06:05 PT
Keeping My Fingers Cross
I do hope they are wise about this. Happy people can get very unhappy quickly.
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