While the media has given widespread attention to the petitions to nowhere _ trying to overthrow the presidential election results _ a real states’ rights battle is brewing.
Veteran Denver U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette has introduced a bill that would require the federal government to let states decide what to do about marijuana.
"My constituents have spoken and I don't want the federal government denying money to Colorado or taking other punitive steps that would undermine the will of our citizens," DeGette, of Denver, said in a statement on her Website.
Two other Colorado representatives, Republican Independent.and Democrat Jared Polis, signed the bill, according to the Colorado
California Gov. Jerry Brown told the Huffington Post that the rights of states must be respected. "We are capable of self-government. We don't need some federal gendarme to come and tell us what to do. I believe in comity toward the states, that's a decent respect."
The legislation, coined "Respect States' and Citizens' Rights Act," comes on the heels of Colorado voters approving Amendment 64, which legalizes up to an ounce of marijuana for anyone over the age of 21.
Democrat DeGette, who succeeded long-serving Pat Schroder and will now be serving her 13th term, called the bill “Respect States” and Citizen’s Rights Act. She said the point is to exempt states that have legalized marijuana from enforcement of the federal laws against it.
“Today I am proud to join with colleagues from both sides of the aisle on the ‘Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act’ to protect states’ rights and immediately resolve any conflict with the federal government,” said Rep. DeGette. “In Colorado we’ve witnessed the aggressive policies of the federal government in their treatment of legal medicinal marijuana providers. My constituents have spoken and I don’t want the federal government denying money to Colorado or taking other punitive steps that would undermine the will of our citizens," she said.
"I strongly oppose the legalization of marijuana, but I also have an obligation to respect the will of the voters given the passage of this initiative, and so I feel obligated to support this legislation," Coffman, a Denver-area Congressman, said in a statement available on Degette’s Website.
DeGette said in a statement that after the Nov. 6 election, lawmakers expressed concern about the federal government's ability to override these voter-approved initiatives and the states' rights to exercise the will of their citizens.
Several highly populated counties, including Denver and Boulder, have dropped pending marijuana charges and told their law officers not to file any charges for amounts one ounce or under, which were legalized by 55 percent of the state in Amendment 64.
Some district attorneys in Washington state, which passed a similar measure, also have said they will stop arrests for possession of one ounce or less.
The media shamelessly, trying to keep the election alive, has given widespread coverage to petitions filed in many states, including states that gave Obama more than 50 percent support. The numbers involved, except in Texas and even there amount to about 0.2 percent of the registered voters, are so pitiful reporting on them as something real shows the intent is to find a good story.