Will feds ban pot sales in Wash., Colo.?

Nov. 8, 2012 at 2:58 PM
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SEATTLE, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- While Washington State residents will be able to possess small quantities of marijuana next month, it is unclear if they will be able to buy it.

A referendum that passed Tuesday legalized possession and use of marijuana for everyone 21 or older, effective Dec. 6, and authorized the state to license and tax dealers in December 2013. But the federal government has not said if or how it will enforce its own laws banning marijuana, which are now in conflict with state rules in Washington and Colorado, The Seattle Times reported.

The U.S. Justice Department has said only that it is studying the two successful initiatives. A similar measure failed in Oregon.

Three Michigan cities also voted to decriminalize use and possession: Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids, The Detroit News reported. The three are now in conflict with both federal and state laws, since Michigan has legalized marijuana only for medical reasons.

In 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder said federal agencies would go after licensed marijuana growers and sellers in any states that legalized recreational use.

The Washington ordinance continues to ban unlicensed marijuana growing except for patients using the drug for medicinal purposes.

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