Three months ago, voters in Colorado and Washington approved ballot initiatives aimed at legalizing the possession, production, and distribution of marijuana. A month later, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department would settle on a response to this historic development "relatively soon."How soon is that? I have been trying to get a response to that question from Justice Department spokeswoman Nanda Chitre for about a month, but she is not returning my calls. Meanwhile, the U.S. attorney's offices in Colorado and Washington decline to give any indication of how they will treat the state-licensed marijuana stores that are scheduled to open next year.This caginess may be a good sign, reflecting the Obama administration's awareness that interfering with these experiments in pharmacological tolerance would be politically perilous. Survey data released last week indicate that most Americans think marijuana should be legalized and states should be free to make that decision.In a survey, 53 percent of respondents said "the government should treat marijuana the same as alcohol." Respondents said the federal government should not arrest newly legal growers or sellers either. Some people believe the choice should be left to the states, as a consistent federalist would.
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