Amendment 64: Business organizations ask feds to clamp down on Colorado marijuana measure
In the wake of the Amendment 64's passage, Democratic and Republican officials have proposed a bill that would exempt Colorado from federal laws prohibiting marijuana use. Now, a coalition of business organizations opposed to A64 are urging the feds to do the opposite: enforce federal law, even if it contradicts the policy supported by a majority of Colorado voters.
Since the success of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act -- which will amend the state constitution to allow adults 21 and over to possess an ounce or less of marijuana -- those who opposed the measure have had a wide range of responses. Some have expressed concerns about how legalization will affect drug-testing at companies while GOP officials, worried about a rise in underage smoking and harms to the economy, have said they are hopeful local municipalities will be able to regulate marijuana to curb the potentially negative impacts.
Supporters and opponents alike have turned to the federal government, asking for clarity on how it will resolve the contradictions that now exist between state and federal law.
Photo by Brandon Marshall Supporter of A64 on election day in Denver.
Now, a coalition of business groups opposed to legalization is not only asking for clarification, but is urging the federal government to enforce the Controlled Substances Act, which maintains that smoking marijuana is against the law.
The coalition is made up of twenty business organizations across the state, mainly chambers of commerce and economic development corporations. This group has put its message into letters, all on full view below, to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama, as well as Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers, asking them for their support.
The letter to Holder says, in part:
The Colorado business community, as represented by the signatory organizations noted below, seeks clarity from the Department of Justice with regard to your intentions to enforce federal law under your prosecutorial discretion.Continue for our interview with the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, one of the supporting groups.
The provisions of Amendment 64 are in direct conflict with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and other provisions of federal law. The CSA clearly states that federal law preempts state law when there is a positive conflict between the two juridictions....
Consequently, we encourage the enforcement of the CSA, to provide the certainty and clarity of law we seek.