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Monday, November 26, 2012


Respect States' And Citizens' Rights Act

I want to talk about Amendment 64. Whether you are for or against the amendment is now no longer of concern for it is a part of Colorado’s Legislature. The pros and cons of the amendment are widely known and argued. I wish not to discuss these views but rather talk about an act that Colorado Representative Diana DeGette has introduced that, if passed, would exempt states from federal laws of which ban the sale, possession and use of small amounts of marijuana by adults. The bill is known as the “Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act” and it so far has support and sponsorship from both Liberal and Conservative representatives within the state of Colorado. Basically the act would nullify certain sections of the Controlled Substances Act for states that have passed their own laws pertaining to the governance of marijuana – which we know is only two states; Colorado and Washington.

I am not writing this to bash Amendment 64 or to praise it. My position on the issue is not for this discussion. I simply feel it to be an important issue to talk about – specifically in regards to my feelings that the Federal Government should respect a state’s laws and allow for implementation of said laws. Like it or not, the people have spoken. The majority of voters want marijuana to be treated like that of alcohol and I for one feel the Feds should not interfere. In any case, it will be fascinating to see what the Feds do about this unprecedented situation. According to a Huffington Post article, “In Colorado, the governor, the attorney general and both U.S. senators say they need guidance from the federal government before deciding how to proceed on implementation of the law.” It should not have to be this way. The Feds should tell Governor Hickenlooper that they will stay out the way and allow the law to be fully implemented. By interfering, the Federal Government will be denying great sums of money that would otherwise be injected into Colorado’s economy. In fact, the benefits to the economy are perhaps the chief reason the amendment passed in the first place. Look at it this way: 55 percent of voters voted in favor of the amendment – does that mean that all 55 percent partake in the use of marijuana? Of course not! There had to be other motivations at stake and I believe those motivations were economically driven. Coloradans want this law to be enacted and the Feds should stay out of it. There is simply too much money to be made and too many jobs to be created for the Federal Government to come in and shut it all down. There are certain Colorado Representatives that feel the same way I do. For instance Mike Coffman, the US Representative for Colorado’s 6th congressional district, had this to say about the proposed act. “I voted against Amendment 64 and I strongly oppose the legalization of marijuana, but I also have an obligation to respect the will of the voters, given the passage of this initiative, and so I feel obligated to support this legislation.” At this point it has little to do with whether one supports or opposes the law – it should rather be of concern in fighting for our state’s rights to implement their own laws without the interference of the Federal Government.   

Yet these sentiments are probably too idealistic. In reality, the Feds will most likely do their damndest to interfere with what should otherwise be a completely isolated agenda for the states of Colorado and Washington. Only time will tell. With that said, it will certainly be fun to sit back and watch how it all plays out.         

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