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Government and Politics
In 2012, Washington and Colorado voters made history when they approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana. Washington Initiative 502 “authorizes the state liquor board to regulate and tax marijuana for persons twenty-one years of age or older.”Since the vote in Washington, the Liquor Board has written a complex set of rules for the state’s new, legal recreational cannabis marketplace. The agency has also set limits on the amount of marijuana that can be grown. And the Board has begun to license growers, processors and retailers.For now, the Obama administration has signaled it will not interfere with Washington and Colorado’s legal pot experiment, unless there is evidence that legal pot is “leaking” to other states or children are getting access to the legal product. The feds are also watching to see if criminal organizations exploit the legal market.The first marijuana retail stores in Washington opened in July 2014.Recreational marijuana is also set to become legal in Oregon on July 1, 2015 after voters approved Measure 91 in November 2014.

Holder: 'Good Communication' About Marijuana, But No Policy Yet

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US Senate

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says he's had what he calls "good communication" with the governors of Washington and Colorado about their states' new marijuana legalization laws. But in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Holder declined to say how his agency will resolve the conflict with federal law.

"We are in the administration at this point considering what the federal government's response to those new statutes will be. I expect that we will have an ability to announce what our policy will be relatively soon."

The chair of the committee, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, had some advice for Holder.

"This is simply an editorial comment. But if you're going to have be, because of budget cuts, prioritizing matters I would suggest that there are more serious things than minor possession of marijuana. But that's a personal view.”

Earlier this week, a United Nations-based drug agency and nine former DEA chiefs pushed for the feds to block the state pot laws.

On the Web:

Video: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing - C-SPAN
Text: Attorney General Holder's prepared testimony - US Senate