On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told Governor Jay Inslee in a telephone call that the federal government would not challenge the state's new law that voters passed last November. Effectively, this means that D.C. will not call upon federal agents to arrest people who possess amounts of marijuana that are legal under state law - nor will they attempt to close down retail establishments who sell pot to consumers. Marijuana proponents in Washington have been waiting for this announcement for a long time, especially after Initiative 502 was signed into law. Colorado's governor was told the same thing by Holder concerning that state's legalization of pot.
Holder did say that the federal government was going to focus on several marijuana-related initiatives, including:
- preventing legally sold marijuana to be brought into states other than Washington or Colorado
- criminal enterprises funded by (and violence erupting as a result of) marijuana sales
- marijuana being sold to minors
- driving under the influence of marijuana
- growth and use of marijuana on federal property
Most marijuana backers will probably welcome the enforcement of Holder's initiatives, as long as the federal government fulfills its promise not to harass Washington residents who legally buy and sell pot. The revised rules for the implementation of I-502 are slated to be unveiled on Wednesday, with public comments on them being accepted in October.