Staff CMM - Friday, December 14, 2012
The passing of Amendment 64 in Colorado legalizing marijuana has raised concern with Colorado’s immediate neighbor to the north – Wyoming. Officials in Wyoming are putting law enforcement on the alert as things begin to change in Colorado. The main concern for the state is the illegal transportation of the drug over state lines. Although it will be legal to travel to Colorado to purchase marijuana, possession of the drug in Wyoming is still against the law. Officials have made it clear that anyone caught in possession of marijuana in Wyoming will be arrested, taken to jail and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Officials also stated that although Colorado has legalized the drug under Amendment 64, federal law still considers the substance illegal and the state of Wyoming will act accordingly.
Staff CMM - Friday, November 30, 2012
Although Colorado recently passed a bill to make marijuana possession legal to adults in small quantities, setting rules and regulations for the substance moving forward will be no easy task. Most lawmakers are estimating that depending on how the federal government will approach the new state law, it could take until July 1, 2013 to even adopt new regulations for marijuana stores and these new stores wouldn’t be looking at opening until January of 2014. Considering that it took a full year for departments to write and implement new procedures for medical marijuana in Colorado, it is a safe bet that the new marijuana store process will take at least that long. The goal for state lawmakers is to construct a set of rules and regulations that will be the least offensive to the federal government as possible in order to avoid a federal crackdown.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, November 28, 2012
With the onset of marijuana legalization in Colorado thanks to the passing of Amendment 64 in November, Governor Hickenlooper is just starting out on a series of discussions with various officials regarding both the impact on the state and the direction it will be heading as it moves forward. One of the primary concerns Governor Hickenlooper has is how the federal government will respond ot the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and whether the federal government will choose to execute power over the legalization. The main area of concern is that while the U.S. Justice Department officials have stated that the federal government will continue to consider marijuana possession illegal under federal law regardless of individual state laws, they have been vague regarding the specifics and it is that detail Governor Hickenlooper is making an attempt to gt clear answers to. A spokesman for the Governor stated recently that Hickenlooper will continue urgent efforts to get the federal government to state its position on the issue.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Recently, heads of the United Nations Drug Watchdog Agency expressed concern over the passing of the recent Washington and Colorado marijuana laws which decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over. The U.N. heads are urging federal officials in the U.S. to challenge the recent ballot measure, as they feel this measure sends out a very bad message to both other states in the U.S. as well as to other countries abroad, giving the impression that marijuana possession is acceptable in the U.S. A recent statement by Raymond Yans, the head of the International Narcotics Control Board, to the Associated Press, expr4essed hopes that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will take the necessary measures to ensure that marijuana possession and use continues to remain illegal throughout the U.S. Until officials come to a decision, both Washington and Colorado are holding off on regulating and taxing the drug pending word as to whether the Justice Department will assert federal authority over the recently passed drug laws.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Although the measure was passed on November 6, 2012 to legalize marijuana in Colorado in small quantities, the future of this law is still in question as is the impact it will have on the state. Officials in Mexico are expressing concerns regarding cartels and the pot that is sent from Mexico to the U.S. and Colorado illegally. It is speculated that the passing of this measure will encourage a heavier import of the drug, making work for law officials harder and potentially more dangerous than it already is. According to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, speculation that the pot measure will increase Colorado ‘pot tourism’ is unrealistic. Although the ease of obtaining the drug will initially attract people, it will be difficult to take the drug out of the state and although marijuana in Colorado is legal, it is still considered illegal under federal law. It is believed that federal officials will be keeping an even closer eye on the drug trafficking activity occurring in the state.
Staff CMM - Saturday, November 10, 2012
Although the vote last Tuesday was an overwhelming yes to legalize marijuana in Colorado, officials and head of the Colorado tourism board felt the initiative is raising more questions than anything else. A major concern is that the passing of the law will bring an influx of marijuana tourists – people who come to the state simply to purchase and use marijuana, thus increasing the possible trafficking of the drug. Another concern is that if this should happen, it will begin to deter others who had planned to visit Colorado, thus bringing down the image of the state. A further concern is the fact that marijuana laws in Colorado do not supersede federal laws. Since federal law still considers marijuana illegal, there is the question as to whether the recreational marijuana measure will actually take effect at all. The U.S. Department of Justice is still pending decision on possible lawsuits directed at the state as they determine the assertion of federal supremacy over drug law. Until the issue is cleared up, the most that recreational marijuana users can do is speculate about the future of marijuana in Colorado.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Finding some sort of common ground concerning medical marijuana in Colorado is becoming a harder task as new issues continue to come to light. The battle between what is considered legal by the state and what is considered legal under federal law is proving to be tougher than first anticipated. Recently, a dispute between marijuana grower Quincy Haeberle and Blue Sky Car Connection found its way to court where Arapahoe County District Judge Charles Pratt was forced to invalidate a $40,000 contract. Pratt stated that although Colorado has passed laws legalizing the drug, it is still considered illegal under federal law and as marijuana is considered illegal, federal law pre-empts state law, making the contract invalid.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, August 29, 2012
When the State of Colorado first passed a bill allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate, it is doubtful any would have been able to foresee the explosion the medical marijuana industry would experience as a result. Medical marijuana dispensaries began to pop up everywhere in a rush to join this new and growing industry. Several factors, however, have impeded progress, the largest and certainly the most imposing being the federal government. Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance in the eyes of the government and Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries have found themselves in a constant battle as to their rights. Earlier this year, the U.S. Attorney’s office sent two rounds of letters to dispensaries located within 1,000 feet of schools ordering them to shut down or face prosecution. This created quite an uproar in the marijuana community, but the government is holding fast to their law, sending ten more letters recently to dispensaries. The letters give the dispensaries until September 17th to close or face prosecution. With the large gap that exists between state and federal laws and rights, dispensaries are going to find it difficult to proceed and flourish, at least for the foreseeable future.
Staff CMM - Friday, August 10, 2012
When considering the recent federal ruling by the Supreme Court regarding the legality of marijuana possession, it is easy to see that along with the Presidential election in November, people can expect to see the marijuana debate explode. The Supreme Court ruled recently that marijuana, no matter if it is considered legal in a state, is still punishable under federal law. This means that regardless of whether states such as Colorado make marijuana legal for recreational use, federal agents will still have authority to prosecute those found in possession, whether it is a dispensary or an individual. Some representatives believe that if Colorado becomes the first state to make the substance legal under state law, this will draw attention from federal prosecutors to pursue legal action to a much stronger degree.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Problems continue to arise when it comes to the issue of medical marijuana legality in Colorado. With conflicting state and federal laws, officials are finding it difficult to sort out the proper legal stance when it comes to prosecution. The government position has been that marijuana is an illegal drug punishable under federal law. However, it has also been further clarified by David Ogden, a previous Deputy Attorney General of the United States in a memorandum sent to select U.S. Attorneys that they should not focus federal resources in their state on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medicinal use of marijuana. The issue that many have been running into is that the memo does not legalize marijuana nor does it protect users of the drug from federal prosecution. Exactly where the right or wrong areas are in this matter is still in question.