Spreading their tactic of intimidation, the federal government has warned the state of Colorado that pending legislation could put them in conflict with federal marijuana laws and leave them open to prosecution.
U.S. Attorney John Walsh sent a letter to Colorado’s Attorney General in response to a request for clarification on how the feds would react to HB 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.”
The notion that the Obama Justice Department has any respect for state law on the issue of medical marijuana is long gone. Despite every story’s obligatory mention of the 2009 DOJ memo directing a hands-off approach with those following state law, we all know that memo is more worthless than the non-hemp paper it’s printed on.
The federal vs. state battle continues to grow, and will only intensify when states begin passing recreational legalization laws. But as I’ve said before, just because one battle will lead to another doesn’t mean you don’t fight the first battle. In fact, the showdown with the feds is all the more reason to pass state legalization laws. The showdown must come at some point because federal laws need to change, so the sooner it comes, the better.