Pubdate: Fri, 29 Sep 2006
Source: Aspen Daily News (CO)
Copyright: 2006 Aspen Daily News
Author: Mason Tvert



Thank you for covering the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners
endorsement of Amendment 44, an initiative which would make the
possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults in
Colorado. It is great that your readers were informed about this
important development.

Assuming this will not be the last time you cover this issue, I just
wanted to clarify one point you made in the article. You said, "Even
if Amendment 44 passes, however, adult possession of marijuana would
be illegal under federal law."

While it is true that marijuana possession would technically remain
illegal under federal law if Amendment 44 passes, the federal
government does not arrest people for marijuana possession.

According to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who was formerly
a U.S. Attorney, the federal government does not handle marijuana
cases involving less than 100 plants. It is simply not worth investing
federal resources in marijuana possession cases, which would have to
be brought to federal court.

I hope you appreciate the importance of this distinction. When people
in favor of changing marijuana laws see a statement like, "Marijuana
possession will still be illegal under federal law," they may conclude
voting for Amendment 44 is useless. In fact, passage of Amendment 44
would eliminate any chance of arrest on the state or federal level.

Mason Tvert

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