SEATTLE — The big question after Washington and Colorado became the first states to vote to legalize and tax the sale of recreational marijuana is whether the federal government will let it happen without a fight.
The Justice Department is offering no enlightenment on that front.
The U.S. attorneys offices in Denver and Seattle have issued identical statements saying the feds will continue to enforce federal law, and that the DOJ is reviewing the ballot measures.
State laws can be ruled invalid when they "frustrate the purpose" of federal law, and the DOJ could sue to try to block the measures from taking effect on those grounds. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
Washington's initiative 502 legalizes possession of up to an ounce beginning Dec. 6, with sales at state-licensed stores at least a year away.