War on Drugs

States Have the Power To Legalize Marijuana, Says Congressional Research Service

That whole federalism thing


The federal government may not have much choice but to continue its mellow attitude toward legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado.

New laws legalizing recreational marijuana use in Washington and Colorado probably fall under the states' "power to decide what is criminal and what is not," according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The report analyzes court precedent and lays out what the Justice Department and the Obama administration might do to enforce federal law now that several states have passed marijuana laws that contradict it.

The agency's conclusion:  The feds face an array of unappealing options.