Pat Leahy (D) has approached the ONDCP about marijuana legalization in the wake of Colorado and Washington state he wants to know where the administration stands on the laws before the committee takes up the question.
“How does the Office of National Drug Control Policy intend to prioritize Federal resources, and what recommendations are you making to the Department of Justice and other federal agencies in light of the choice by citizens of Colorado and Washington to legalize personal use of small amounts of marijuana?” Leahy asked Kerlikowske.
“What assurance can and will the administration give to state officials involved in licensing of marijuana retailers that they will not face Federal criminal penalties for carrying out the duties assigned to them under state law?”
The answer, he suggested, may be that Congress must exercise one of its “legislative options,” like amending the law “to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law.”
The states pursuing legalization are putting pressure on the federal government. Leahy is asking for the Obama Administration to provide feedback about what they intend to do with regards towards states - The People - voting to legalize.
Gallup (as conservative as they are) has found a large majorityAmericans Want The Federal Government Out of State Marijuana Laws, 64% of them, actually: there IS more and more support for Obama to start bending a little. If not bend, at least clarify the administration's intentions so people can get to work.
Leahy ended his correspondence with U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske indicating he plans to hold hearings into the Obama Administration's 'marijuana strategy' sometime in the coming year.
Perhaps we'll get some clarification.
I think this is huge.