Colorado Governor Raises States’ Rights in Interview on Federal Anti-Pot Laws

Colorado Governor Raises States' Rights in Interview on Federal Anti-Pot Laws

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In a nationally broadcast interview on Feb. 26, 2017, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said his state has sovereignty on matters of marijuana, despite the federal government’s anti-pot laws and the new attorney general’s stance as a weed opponent.

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, was a guest on a segment of the Feb. 26, 2017, broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Chuck Todd, moderator of the interview program, asked, “What do you hear from your Republican colleagues, about whether [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions is going to basically enforce federal law and shut down recreational use marijuana businesses?”

“You know, at first, I opposed it. And most elected officials did,” Hickenlooper said. “But our voters passed it 55-45. It’s in our constitution. Right, I took a solemn oath to support our constitution…And at this rate, it’s a sovereignty, the states have a sovereignty just like the Indian tribes have a sovereignty, and just like the federal government does.”

“You don’t think it’s clear that the federal government could stop you? You don’t think it’s a clear-cut case?” Todd asked.

“Exactly. I don’t think it is,” Hickenlooper said. “And I think it’s, certainly, it’s never my choice to be in conflict with federal law. Let’s make that clear.”

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