By Mike Riggs for REASON
Despite the passage of ballot initiatives in Washington and Colorado legalizing recreational marijuana, “the Drug Enforcement Administration’s enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged,” a DEA spokesperson told Reason this morning.
“In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. The Department of Justice is reviewing the ballot initiatives and we have no additional comment at this time.”
The DOJ released a similarly opaque response to reporter CJ Ciaramella of the Washington Free Beacon. “The Department’s enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. We are reviewing the ballot initiatives and have no additional comment at this time.”
While there’s “no comment at this time,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole hinted last month at what the Obama administration’s response might be.
“Each case is going to rise and fall on its own unique facts,” Cole said in a 60 Minutes interview. “Any of that is still in violation of the Controlled Substances Act of the federal law. We’re not interested in bothering people who are sick and are using it in the recommendation of a doctor. We are concerned with people who are using it as a pretext to become large-scale drug dealers.”
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, an opponent of Amendment 64, had this to say late last night: “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 gold fish too quickly.”