State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Federal government vs state's rights on marijuana legalization

            In the November election, two states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Washington and Colorado are the first two states to have passed legislation of this type. While several states have legalized marijuana for medical uses, none have legalized it for recreational use. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, anyone is prohibited from growing, selling, or possessing marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Justice, and President Obama are all making sure that Washington and Colorado know that this law is still in place. The DEA still conducts raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.

            Opponents of President Obama have put him into a hard position. Libertarians and Republicans both agree on limiting the reach of the federal government. If Obama uses federal law to crack down on the states that have legalized marijuana, the Libertarians and Republicans will use this to point out the unnecessary overreach of the federal government. On the other hand, if Obama upholds the state's rights, then other opponents will use that to suggest he is "ignoring his constitutional duties to enforce the law."


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