US Mayors Tell Feds to Back Off Marijuana Laws

Taking a stand against the federal government’s meddling marijuana enforcement, the United States Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling on the feds to back off. In that resolution, the mayors from across the country told the federal government to respect the wishes of the states and the citizens to enact marijuana laws as they see fit.

Aurora Colorado Mayor Steve Hogan

Aurora, Colorado Mayor Steve Hogan

“The bipartisan resolution we passed today simply asks the federal government to give us time to implement these new policies properly and without interference,” said Aurora, Colorado Mayor Steve Hogan of his state’s recent marijuana legalization legislation. “Cities and states across the country are enacting forward-thinking reforms to failed marijuana prohibition policies, and for the federal government to stand in the way is wasteful and contrary to the wishes of the American people.”

The Mayors were critical of the current administration, who has shut down more medical marijuana providers in a single term than George W. Bush did in twice that, doing so in seeming self-defiance of campaign pledges of now-President Barack Obama who said he would not use DOJ resources to “try to circumvent state laws on this issue.”

“A strong and growing majority of Americans want states to be able to set their own marijuana laws without federal harassment,” explained Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority, who spearheaded the effort to pass the Mayors’ resolution. “Local officials are enacting policies that serve to protect the health and safety of their communities better than the failed policy of prohibition has, and they deserve the respect they are asking for from the Obama administration.”

The resolution was co-sponsored by 18 mayors from across the country, including some from  major cities like Mayors Bob Filner of San Diego, Mike McGinn of Seattle, and Jean Quan of Oakland.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy of San Leandro, Ca. put it aptly when he said, “The prohibition on marijuana has been ineffective and counterproductive. Voters in states and cities that wish to break the stranglehold of organized crime over the distribution and sale of marijuana in their communities by legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana should have the option of doing so.”

With local, state, and some federal lawmakers in their face, you would think the Justice Department would have no choice but to listen and back off marijuana prohibition. But, they continue to put up a fight. Fortunately, those who are opposed to the War on Marijuana are similarly willing to put up a fight, and outnumber the DOJ by a long shot.

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Renter is a freelance writer and editor who writes about criminal justice issues.

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