U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced what the federal government’s position will be in reaction to Colorado and Washington state legalizing recreational use of marijuana during the last election cycle.
The following statement is to be attributed to Attorney General John W. Suthers:
“The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) contacted Governor John Hickenlooper and me this morning to inform us of the position they are taking with regard to Colorado having legalized marijuana at the state level. The position taken by DOJ is very much along the lines I anticipated and I remain mystified as to why it took so long to articulate it. Clarification of the federal position, however, is nevertheless welcome. Colorado state government will continue to develop a regulatory scheme that is as effective as possible under the dictates of Amendment 64 with recognition that the federal government will take action if the state regulatory scheme does not deter activity that runs afoul of federal enforcement priorities.
The eight criteria set forth for future federal prosecutions of marijuana in Colorado will give state and local law enforcement officials a basis for discussion with federal law enforcement officials about prosecuting those who abuse Colorado’s marijuana regulatory system.”