-2 votes

Petition would protect Colorado marijuana law

WASHINGTON — More than 36,000 people have signed a petition to the White House that seeks protection for Colorado from federal drug laws so the state can craft a regulatory structure for a recreational-marijuana industry.

Marijuana is now legal in Colorado after 54.8 percent of voters approved the drug for recreational purposes in the early November election. It was a decisive victory: More Coloradans voted for the legalization of marijuana than voted for President Barack Obama, who won the state by 5 percentage points.

Voters in the state of Washington also passed a similar measure.

The petition, along with pending legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that seeks protection from federal interference, and letters from Gov. John Hickenlooper and state Attorney General John Suthers to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, are part of a larger effort to provide clarity for how Colorado should proceed in regulating something that is against federal law.

"It's a legal gray area," said liberal syndicated columnist David Sirota, who lives in Denver and started the White House petition. "It (the petition) is a legitimate political path to get this done as opposed to just talking about it."


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