Marijuana legalization in 2 states comes under microscope

The New York Times reports the Justice Department and senior White House officials are debating legal action against Colorado and Washington, which could undermine voter-approved initiatives. Meanwhile, a USA Today/Gallup Poll shows Americans are divided on decriminalization efforts but believe the federal government should not intervene after states vote to take that step.

The New York Times: Administration Weighs Legal Action Against States That Legalized Marijuana Use
Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states, according to several people familiar with the deliberations (Savage, 12/7).

USA Today: Poll: Feds Should Back Off When States Legalize Pot
Americans are divided over whether marijuana should be decriminalized -; 50% say no, 48% say yes -; but they overwhelmingly agree on this: When states vote to legalize pot, the feds should look the other way. In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, those surveyed say by almost 2-1, 63%-34%, that the federal government shouldn't take steps to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that legalize pot (Page, 12/6).

Reuters: Marijuana Goes Legal In Washington State Amid Mixed Messages
Hundreds of marijuana enthusiasts huddled near Seattle's famed Space Needle tower on Thursday night with pipes, bongs and hand-rolled joints to celebrate Washington's new status as the first state in the nation to legalize pot for adult recreational use. The public gathering at the downtown Seattle Center, like a smaller turnout at a nearby spot hours earlier, defied a key provision of the state's landmark marijuana law, which allows possession of small amounts of cannabis but forbids users from lighting up outside the privacy of their homes (Myers, 12/7).

The Associated Press: Wash. State Legalizes Marijuana – Questions And Answers
Marijuana became legal under Washington state law Thursday. So, bong hits and funny brownies for everybody? Not quite. Pot legalization in the Evergreen State has raised many questions, some that likely won't be answered for a while. Here's a quick primer (12/6)

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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