Seattle's KING 5 News reports that states can now let people use marijuana, license people to grow it and even allow adults to stroll into stores and buy it — as long as the weed is kept away from kids, the black market and federal property.
After 75 years of federal prohibition, new legislation allows states the right to decide whether citizens may use, grow, sell, and buy marijuana. Last fall, Washington and Colorado voted to legalize the drug, and now, the Justice Department has given states the power to oversee both medical and recreational industries, along with adoption of regulatory plans. But in a memo to all U.S. attorney offices, Deputy Attorney General James Cole warned that policy must safeguard public health and safety, saying, "If state enforcement efforts are not sufficiently robust...the federal government may seek to challenge the regulatory structure itself."
"In a memo to all 94 U.S. attorneys' offices around the country, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the federal government expects that states and local governments authorizing "marijuana-related conduct" will implement strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems that address the threat those state laws could pose to public health and safety.