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Marijuana Laws in Colorado and Washington Create Ambiguous Situations for Retailers

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Washington state and Colorado passed laws to legalize recreational marijuana, which will soon take effect.  However, federal law continues to make recreational marijuana illegal and there is much confusion on how the state laws will be able to move forward.  The Drug Enforcement Administration recently raided medical-marijuana dispensaries in Washington, which are also illegal under federal law.  Since the federal government is cracking down on this type of marijuana use, there is little doubt they will do the same for recreational marijuana retailers.  There are currently many people set to enter the market for recreational marijuana, planning to set up retail shops, but they are uncertain how the federal government's actions will affect their business.  The federal government has done little to clarify their expectations for how citizens should act on the new state laws, and whether they will preempt the legalization by continuing raids to shut down dispensaries.

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