Colorado pot law draws global attention

At the same time a national group of law enforcement officials are calling on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to respect states’ rights to legalize marijuana, a United Nations’ official is doing the opposite.

Seventy-three members of the national pro-legalize marijuana group, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said Holder should respect the decision voters in Colorado and Washington made to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The group, made up of hundreds of current and former police officers, prosecutors and judges, said what the two states did should be mirrored nationwide.

Former Denver police lieutenant Tony Ryan said the matter is a question of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees state’s rights.

“This was raised by the people, it was approved by the people with a higher percentage of votes than those who voted for President Obama in the state of Colorado, so I think it’s fairly determined that the people of this state have said, ‘We’ve had enough of this marijuana prohibition and we’d like to find a better way to regulate and control marijuana use,’” Ryan said.

Meanwhile, Raymond Yans, head of the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he’s urging Holder to “take all necessary measures” to ensure that marijuana use remains illegal in the United States.

Yans said passage of the measures in the two states sends the wrong message to the rest of the world.

Under Amendment 64, which more than 55 percent of the voters approved earlier this month, the Colorado Legislature is required to approve legislation to regulate marijuana much like alcohol is controlled.

That legislation, which has yet to be drafted, is to order the Colorado Department of Revenue to approve regulations governing retail stores. The department already regulates centers that sell medical marijuana, which Colorado voters approved in 2000.


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