The Obama administration’s relative silence on moves to legalize recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington has left officials in those Western states unsure how to move forward without running afoul of the U.S. federal government.
But change is already afoot when it comes to how the two states and local authorities deal with marijuana.
Prosecutors in Washington state’s two most populous counties, encompassing Seattle and Tacoma, and in Colorado’s Boulder County are already dropping pot possession cases after state voters chose to legalize pot for recreational adult use.
Washington and Colorado became the first states in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana on November 6, putting both on a possible collision course with the federal government, which says pot remains an illegal narcotic under U.S. law. A similar move to legalize pot in Oregon failed.
Elsewhere, a pair of lawmakers in Maine and Rhode Island plan to introduce legislation to regulate and tax pot sales.