Monday, November 12, 2012

Will Feds block legalized marijuana?

The Justice Department will likely prevent laws in Washington and Colorado, legalizing marijuana, from going into effect by announcing that federal law preempts the state initiatives. Although, the White House and the Justice Department have not yet made a final decision, according to the Washington Post.

Washington state and Colorado approved initiatives on Election Day to decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Oregon defeated a similar measure. Up to this point, the Justice Department and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy have been silent about the ballot initiatives.

In 2010, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that the administration opposed a pending California measure to legalize marijuana. That same year, the Justice Department sued Arizona to block its law cracking down on illegal immigrants because the administration said it violated federal statutes and was unconstitutional.

Marijuana distribution is the largest source of revenue for the Mexican cartels, according to law enforcement officials, according to the Post.

Lawrence Payne, DEA spokesman, told the Post that more marijuana is seized at the southwest border than any other illegal drug from Mexico. Last year, 1,962,285 kilos of marijuana were seized compared with 23 ,797 kilos of cocaine and 1,308 kilos of heroin.

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