Marijuana: John Hickenlooper stresses urgency in Amendment 64 call to Eric Holder
Establishing a retail system for the sale of marijuana for recreational use is an entirely different matter, however -- and since action on that score is targeted for late 2013 or early 2014, the filing of an injunction would likely need to wait until the Colorado legislature acted. But a threat could be made much sooner. With that in mind, Kamin expects the Justice Department to release a statement telling Colorado officials that if they put such rules and regs in place, U.S. officials will file suit at that point or begin making arrests based on the violation of federal drug laws.
In an effort to circumvent such a showdown, Democratic reps Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis are reportedly drafting legislation that would exempt Colorado from the feds' marijuana policy -- a development that would get yet another branch of government involved in the issue.
All of which underscores the urgency cited in Brown's statement. The next move is Holder's -- and presumably, we won't have to wait long before he makes it.
Clarification: The original version of this post stated that Governor Hickenlooper is expected to sign Amendment 64 within thirty days after the election. However, Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown e-mailed after publication to let us know the thirty-day clock doesn't actually start ticking until the election is officially certified on December 6. Thus, the signature is expected on or before January 5.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Amendment 64: Feds will threaten lawsuit or arrests to stop implementation, predicts DU prof."