The U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle on Wednesday (Dec. 5) issued a brief, grumpy and restrained warning on the day before Initiative 502 takes effect, making possession of small amounts of marijuana legal in Washington state, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported.
The message: Under federal law, it’s still illegal. But the statement lacked the saber rattling and threats usually contained in missives issued by the federal government’s anti-drug warriors and their taxpayer-fed bureaucracy.
“In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance,” said the statement. “Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on Dec. 6 in Washington state, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
“Members of the public are also advised to remember that it remains against federal law to bring any amount of marijuana onto federal property, including all federal buildings, national parks and forests, military installations and courthouses.”
Approximately 23% of Washington state is federal land, including three national parks, three national recreation areas, a national monument, a national historical park, a national volcanic area, half-a-dozen national forests, two major Air Force bases, and a nuclear submarine base.
As to Initiative 502, the feds were somewhat ambiguous about what they intend to do, stating:
“The Department of Justice is reviewing the initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington state. The Department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Neither states nor the Executive Branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress.”