Senate Judiciary Chair Wants Feds to Respect State Weed Laws

August 27, 2013 | Andy Cush

Though weed is now totally legal for recreational use in Washington in Colorado, that it’s still illegal federally has led to some complications. The Department of Justice hasn’t stated its official position on those who grow, sell, or use the plant in areas where it’s been legalized, the feds have shown they aren’t above making arrests for things that are perfectly legal on the state level.

Now, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is pressing the Obama administration to make a call. Leahy is calling for “Attorney General Eric Holder or his deputy to appear at a Sept. 10 hearing on Capitol Hill — and to be prepared to state the Obama administration’s policy on the issue,” NPR reports.

The senator, for his part, believes federal efforts could be put to better use elsewhere. “There’s only so many resources,” he said. “And to waste time on going after simple marijuana cases in states where it’s either been legalized, or legalized for medical uses, seems like a bad use of our limited law enforcement dollars.”