Colorado and Washington are in the spotlight due to the states' newly enacted legalization of recreational marijuana. In a preliminary report released on Mar. 5, eight former Drug Enforcement Administration chiefs, go on record making statements directed to the federal government to act now in stopping the advancement of recreational marijuana legalization.
The group purports that the federal government should take action to nullify the laws in both states and impede any further advancement in other states following suit to legalize marijuana.
The former DEA leaders will reportedly issue joint statements today, accusing the Obama administration of failing to take action sooner and demand that he takes action immediately to sue and force the states of Colorado and Washington to rescind the legislation.
Former DEA chief Peter Bensinger told the Associated Press, "As time goes by it will be harder to stop the two states." Bensinger spoke of a possible domino effect in other states following suit to legalization. "This is a no-brainer," he said. "It is outrageous that a lawsuit hasn't been filed in federal court yet."
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement on Mar. 4, in response to the former DEA chiefs' criticism of failing to take action. "The Department of Justice is in the process of reviewing those initiatives," Holder said via the agency's spokeswoman.
The review of Colorado and Washington's initiatives commenced after the fall elections. The U.S. Attorney General can legally sue to block the states from issuing licenses to marijuana growers, processors and retail stores, on the grounds that allowing these processes conflicts with federal drug law.
Washington State is moving forward in creating a regulated marijuana system and working with a timetable date of Aug, 2013, to start issuing producer licenses.