How Will The Feds React If Colorado Passes Marijuana Legalization Measure Amendment 64?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, October, 3rd 2012 by THCFinder
Washington and Oregon both have measures similar to Colorado’s Amendment 64 on the ballot this year. It is unknown how the federal government will respond if any or all of them pass. The feds could respect the decision of voters, they could try to block implementation of some parts of the law, or they could shut down dispensaries and arrest people involved in the wholesale and retail ends of the business.
While no one can say what the feds will do if 64 passes, they have not completely looked the other way on medical marijuana. In Colorado, the Department of Justice has forced at least 23 medical marijuana dispensaries to close or to move at least 1000 feet away from any educational facility. In California and Montana the DOJ has gone even further, targeting businesses regardless of their distance from schools.
One thing that is clear is that even if Amendment 64 passes, marijuana possession will remain illegal under federal law. Possessing even one joint of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1000 fine. A second possession conviction carries a mandatory sentence of 15 days.
It is in growing your own, though, where the difference between state and federal law will become stark if 64 passes. State law would allow someone to grow six plants and to possess all of the harvest. Federal law says even one plant is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Paul Roach, spokesperson for the DEA, said the DEA does not have a position on the amendment. If it passes, Roach said the DEA will continue to enforce federal drug laws. “We don’t see that changing,” he said.
Local spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Jeff Dorschner, said “We don’t know what will happen if it passes. There are a variety of options, none of which I can discuss.”
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