Historic legalization of recreational marijuana use in Nov. election

Historic legalization of recreational marijuana use in Nov. election

November 6, 2012, was a historic election for a number of reasons. Our nation’s first African-American president was re-elected, Maryland voted to uphold state law legalizing same-sex marriage, and two other states legalized marijuana use – recreational marijuana use.

But as Alan Duke reports for CNN, Colorado’s governor warned would-be recreational marijuana users not to “break out the Cheetos” just yet, as the federal DEA still cracks down on the drug that causes the munchies.

Marijuana is still classified as a controlled substance under federal law, meaning that possession charges still exist, even if the possession of marijuana is legal inside certain states’ borders.

The two states that legalized recreational marijuana use on Nov. 6 were Colorado and Washington.

This is a classic case of the legal and political concept of “federalism,” in which states that have exercised their sovereign authority to make law run up against the law of the federal government. Indeed, the DEA issued a press release reiterating that it will still continue to enforce the federal Controlled Substances Act.

As Duke reports, Colorado’s governor said, “The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will … This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”

Source: 2 states legalize pot, but ‘don’t break out the Cheetos’ yet

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