Justice Department won't block state laws that legalize pot

McClatchy Washington BureauAugust 29, 2013 

US NEWS WASHSTATE-MARIJUANA 2 SE

Marijuana plants thrive in a Seattle, Washington, dispensary where pot is grown and distributed for medical needs.

MIKE SIEGEL — Seattle Times/MCT

— In a long-awaited ruling, the Justice Department today said it would not interfere with plans by the states of Washington and Colorado to begin selling and taxing marijuana for recreational use beginning next year.

The department made its announcement in a memo released to federal prosecutors.

Attorney General Eric Holder had been under intense pressure to respond to the passage of laws in both states legalizing the recreational use of pot, even as marijuana remains classified as an illegal drug under federal law.

Advocates of legalization cheered the move.

“Today’s announcement is a major and historic step toward ending marijuana prohibition,” said Morgan Fox, a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group in Washington, D.C.

(More to come)

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service