Washington State Legalized Pot Over Seven Months Ago. Now It Wants the Obama Administration to Respond.

White House Flickr FeedWhite House Flickr FeedIt's been 230 days since residents in Washington state and Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana, and the Obama administration still hasn't announced how it will respond. Congressional delegates from Washington aren't happy about that. 

Last week the delegation sent a letter to the Justice Department, in which they asked for a tolerant plan of action and reminded the Obama administration that its failure to respond is creating uncertainty for businesses and lawmakers. 

"We urge DOJ to announce its decided course of action as soon as possible, to provide legal certainty for our citizens, businesses, and lawmakers," the letter reads. "Both Washington and Colorado have already invested significant human and fiscal resources to establish the regulatory and taxations systems necessary to see the positive impact of our laws.

"Simultaneously, businesses looking to enter this new market and invest in and add jobs to our economies, are seeking the security that your decision would provide. Further delay will slow the potential for economic advancement and could lead to wasted resources, two outcomes that can be avoided with a prompt announcement by DOJ."

Democratic Rep. Adam Smith sent the letter; its signatories include Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, as well Democratic Reps. Suzan DelBene, Dennis Heck, Derek Kilmer, and Jim McDermott. (Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen and the three Republicans in the Washington delegation declined to sign the letter.)

"We hope that you will exercise your significant discretionary authority by choosing not to pursue preemption of these laws, or prosecute our residents and state employees acting in compliance with these laws," says the letter, which was also sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-NC).

Between the NSA scandal, the battle over immigration reform, and Obama's anticipated announcement about climate change tomorrow, the prospects for a comprehensive response to legal pot in Washington and Colorado seem more and more remote.  

Read the whole thing below.

Washington State Delegation's Letter to Eric Holder about Marijuana Legalization (June 2013)

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  • Almanian!||

    "We need you to respond!"

    "We can't."

    "Why?"

    "Because FUCK YOU! That's why."

    It's always the same with these assholes. The only upside anymore is the joy I get from the idiots who voted for The President because HOPEY McCHANGEBLACKGUY!

    Fuck you, retards - I'm enjoying the schadenfreude.

  • ||

    The only upside anymore is the joy I get from the idiots who voted for The President because HOPEY McCHANGEBLACKGUY!

    What joy? There's not a single one of them who isn't going to say "Boy, Obummer is really pissing me off here, but the Rethuglicans are still worse, so I'm still a TEAM player."

  • Hyperion||

    I don't get why they want a response from those jackasses.

    Here's your response:

    All illegal drugs are bad. We are the feds, so we will do what we want, when we want, because fuck you, that's why.

  • RBS||

    Yeah, the response they get might not be the one they want.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Jeez, you guys. Holder told you that a decision will be coming "soon" like 6 months ago. It's really hard to juggle all of his lies at once, so you'll just have to be patient.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...reminded the Obama administration that its failure to respond is creating uncertainty for businesses and lawmakers.

    The Obama administration's actions and inactions causing uncertainty? Well, luckily that's only in this one little policy area.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, we're really lucky he didn't screw with a large portion of the economy, like, oh medical costs.

  • sam the man||

    I kind of hope these guys don't get the OK. Not for any political reason, just because I want to be the first guy in the legal weed business.

  • Jayburd||

    The wheels of Justice turn slowly.

  • Jayburd||

    Unless properly greased.

  • kinnath||

    The boot on the throat will convey whatever message the feds deem necessary.

  • Sevo||

    He WANTS to end the war on drugs, but BUSH occupied that office and somehow, it just keeps him from doing so.
    But he MEANS well!

  • ||

    I've been reliably informed by the dem I spar with at my local watering hole that it's the fault of people like me.

    Democrats do want to do the right thing and end the drug war, but are afraid to take that stance because of the public backlash of evil narrow-minded conservatives. If there weren't so damned many law-and-order obsessive types, Obama would have ended the whole WoD years ago.

    The only thing I'll say in his defense is that this is Texas, where we preach small gov't...except when it comes to law'n'order. All crime requires a steel fist.

  • sgs||

    I hate that it's always my fault that everyone else is feckless and unprincipled.

  • Hyperion||

    Of course, that is total bullshit. The public support for legalizing weed is over 50%. There wouldn't be any backlash over that. And since when did the Dems start caring about what people think? They passed a fucking healthcare law that had close to 60% opposition nationwide.

  • Robert||

    And the "people like" you are like what? Does that Dem mean people who believe in the rule of law?

    In that, s/he just might be right. This might be an area where it's better to have things done with a wink and a nod than by effective and stated rules.

    People who disagree with us and have power over us need to be placated, and the best way to placate them is probably to fool them. Various holocausts might not have happened if, for instance, people had had a reliable way to hide their otherness.

  • sarcasmic||

    "When the phone don't ring, you know it's us." -DOJ

  • ||

    Both Washington and Colorado have already invested significant human and fiscal resources to establish the regulatory and taxations systems necessary to see the positive impact of our laws.

    Necessary regulations and taxes. Positive impacts of laws. lol

  • Brandybuck||

    Fuck you, Washington State! Who the fuck do you think you are? We do the demanding around here! Better get it straight or they'll be no more highway funds for you. Remember, federalism means that the Federal Government gets to make the rules.

  • Robert||

    The safest & smartest course for Justice is the one they've been on, i.e. say nothing. It's certainly what I'd do if I were trying to please 2 masters. Besides, they're lawyers!

  • Luddite||

    The honorific attached to Holder's name, while a formality, always makes me chuckle when I see it.

  • joebanana||

    How can somebody with no qualifications make laws. The question that needs to be addressed is, "Why is pot illegal in the first place"? The pretty well established facts are that it doesn't cause black men to rape white woman, it doesn't turn users into homocidal maniacs, it doesn't cause insanity, there has been no documented cases of death related to consumption, it doesn't cause violence, or make users violent, it's illegal status is based on lies, and misrepresentations, not clinical studies. It's NOT a drug, it's an herb, drugs are made from hazardous waste, petrolium products, and animal parts not allowed in food products. People have food alergies that cause more adverse conditions than pot. Basing criminal law on lies and misinformation, to increase incarceration rate is a criminal act.

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