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Congressmen ask Obama to respect state marijuana laws

11:21 PM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

As they get ready to leave Congress, Democrat Barney Frank and Republican Ron Paul are joining forces once again and urging President Obama to "respect the wishes of the voters of Colorado and Washington" who legalized marijuana.

The congressmen, who have pushed legislation that would legalize marijuana across the country, made their request in a letter to Obama Wednesday.

It's still illegal under federal law to smoke pot for recreational use, so Colorado and Washington officials are waiting to hear from the Obama administration on how to deal with the ballot initiatives that passed last week.

Frank and Paul said in their letter that Obama should show "respect for the right of states to set policies" and to respect the democratic rights of voters. They also say that "scarce federal resources" shouldn't be spent opposing the wishes of Colorado and Washington voters.

"We believe that respecting the wishes of the electorates of Colorado and Washington and allowing responsible state authorities to carry out those wishes will provide valuable information in an important national debate," the congressmen noted.

Frank, of Massachusetts, and Paul, of Texas, decided not to run for re-election and are retiring when the current term ends in January.

Obama did not address the marijuana issue in his first post-election news conference on Wednesday.

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