Monday marked the legalization of some marijuana possession in Colorado. According to reports, the governor of Colorado acknowledged that the amendment that passed in November, legalizing marijuana possession of one ounce and up to six plants, was now part of the state constitution. Although marijuana was legalized in Colorado, federal law still prohibits the drug.
What the federal government may do to try to stop marijuana use in Colorado and Washington, which also legalized marijuana, remains to be seen. The Colorado government also has until February to come up with ideas on how to regulate the sale, use and cultivation of marijuana, which must then be passed by the state legislature. The federal government has so far been quiet except to say that existing laws regarding marijuana were still applicable.
Because the federal government has lacked action on this measure so far, it is unclear how they might choose to enforce the law or if the U.S. Government will sue the state of Colorado to block the amendment. If that happens, a lengthy legal battle will likely play out in federal court, and could take months to resolve.
If people are arrested for possession of marijuana under the new laws, they might be wise to speak with a criminal defense attorney. Since the use of marijuana is still illegal under federal law, there might be ways in which a person could be prosecuted. An attorney can help a person defend their rights and clear their name of wrongdoing.
Source: Associated Press, "Marijuana Legalization Low-Key By Design In Colorado," Kristen Wyatt, Dec. 11, 2012