Federal Officials Likely to Block Colorado, Washington Pot Legalization


The U.S. government is likely to block marijuana legalization initiatives approved by voters in Colorado and Washington, declaring that federal law preempts them, the Washington Post reports. The Justice Department and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy have been mute about the ballot initiatives.

One administration official suggested that the administration's silence was a deliberate strategy to avoid antagonizing liberal voters in Colorado, a crucial swing state.”It was a battleground state,” said the official. administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk publicly. Federal drug policy director Gil Kerlikowske has cited studies finding that “marijuana potency has almost tripled over the last 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health.” The president's 2012 National Drug Control Strategy says “the legalization of drugs will not be considered.”

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