Texas legalization of marijuana legal, but federal officials worry
Posted On August 3, 2021
By JOSH EINSTEIN and MICHAEL BIEKENJAMMER New Hampshire voters passed a law in April legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.
But federal authorities have warned that the legislation could fall under the purview of the Drug Enforcement Administration, which has no authority to regulate marijuana.
A spokesperson for the DEA, which oversees marijuana enforcement, told The Associated Press that it is not responsible for the legality of recreational marijuana sales.
The DEA declined to comment.
A few states are considering similar laws, but they are also not subject to the DEA’s jurisdiction, said David Schulman, a former assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Schulmann said the DEA would likely be watching closely for potential violations.
Schularman, now a partner at the law firm BakerHostetler in Boston, said that the DEA “does not have any enforcement authority over recreational marijuana.”
The DEA does have the power to revoke the licenses of those who sell marijuana, but it’s unclear how that would work in New Hampshire.
The state is considering imposing a civil penalty on anyone who sells marijuana in New England, where recreational pot sales are permitted.
The proposed bill also would create a commission to investigate how New Hampshire can regulate the industry more efficiently.
Scholars say the state has enough cash to be able to keep up with the demands of the industry.
New Hampshire ranks third in the nation in per capita annual marijuana consumption.
The drug is also considered by some to be a gateway drug, and people have been finding ways to get their hands on marijuana illegally.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal government’s prohibition of marijuana in some states.
The court ruled that states could regulate the production, distribution and use of marijuana as long as they didn’t discriminate against people with serious medical conditions.
The justices also said that states had the right to decide whether to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
Marijuana sales and use have been legalized in the U-S.
since Colorado and Washington began the process in 2012.
Recreational marijuana sales are legal in New York, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington state.
The U.K. is also considering legalizing recreational pot, but only if there are enough voters to pass the measure.