Eighteen federal legislators are supporting a call for The Obama Administration to lay off recently passed marijuana legalization measures in Colorado and Washington. Colorado Congressman Diana DeGette plans on introducing a bill that would mirror a letter that her and 17 of her colleagues signed, asking the Justice Department to respect state’s rights.

“We are writing to urge federal law enforcement to consider carefully the recent decisions by the people of Colorado and Washington to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults,” the letter reads in part. “Under the new laws, each state will establish a comprehensive regulatory scheme governing the production, sale and personal use of marijuana. We believe that it would be a mistake for the federal government to focus enforcement action on individuals whose actions are in compliance with state law.”

As for the legislation backing the letter up, Rep. DeGette already has several co-sponsors, including marijuana law reform champion Jared Polis (D-CO) and unlikely ally Mike Coffman (R-CO). “I voted against Amendment 64,” Coffman said in a statement, “and I strongly oppose the legalization of marijuana, but I also have an obligation to respect the will of the voters given the passage of this initiative, and so I feel obligated to support this legislation.”

Marijuana legalization is one thing, but state’s rights is something that affects legislators on a more direct level. It is their duty to represent the people of their district, and of their state in the case of Senators. These are the people that voted them into office, not bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

Maybe the votes in WA and CO will be the straw that broke the back of the federal marijuana crackdown.

– Joe Klare

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