20 Businesses Urge for Federal Enforcement on Pot Law
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo. The law allowing Coloradans 21 and over to posses and use marijuana is black and white, but organizations across the state say they're concerned with the gray areas that come with the new law.
Diane Schwenke, president of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, said, "It's not anymore a question of whether or not it's legal or illegal within the state of Colorado, it is how are the feds going to deal with it, how is the federal government going to deal with that."
A letter signed by 20 organizations in the state, including the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, was sent to the Attorney General, asking that the federal government enforce the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). The CSA states that federal law preempts state law when there is a positive conflict between the two jurisdictions.
Schwenke said, "It is an attempt for the rest of the business community to get some clarity in terms of how we are going to deal in this new environment where we have conflicting laws at the state and the federal level."
Schwenke also said shes concerned for local businesses, "In terms of federal contracts, in terms of federal employment laws and in a lot of areas where we deal with the federal government ... and now in the state of Colorado, it is legal."
The Palisade Chamber of Commerce is taking a different stance.
Director of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, Julianne Adams, said, "The town of Palisade's feeling is that we have to follow the law. The people of Colorado have spoken, they want the recreational marijuana, and it is now law."
Palisade has the only medical dispensary in town.
"We haven't had any problems at all in the town of Palisade with the dispensary. We have enjoyed a great business relationship with them, they've done a wonderful job here," Adams said.
Both Chambers agree this is only the beginning of working out the kinks with the new law.
"There's still going to be some things that need to be cleared up with legislation, but like I said, we are going to follow the law and as long as people follow the law we'll be ok," said Adams.
Those who sent the letter hope for a quick response from the Attorney General, and say right now they have far too many questions over answers.
It's important to note that the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce board decided to join in on the letter to the Attorney General. The decision is not necessarily the opinion of all the businesses who are a part of the chamber.