Demonstrators hold a sign depicting President Barack Obama smoking marijuana in Canberra, Australia, on Nov. 16, 2011.

DOJ: Marijuana Stores Can Open in Colorado and Washington

After lengthy delay, Justice Department gives states go-ahead for legalization plans.

Demonstrators hold a sign depicting President Barack Obama smoking marijuana in Canberra, Australia, on Nov. 16, 2011.
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"[M]y optimism is tempered by the fact that despite the Justice Department's 2009 announcement that it shouldn't be a priority to bust medical marijuana providers operating in accordance with state law, this administration went on to close down more state-legal marijuana businesses in one term than the Bush administration did in two terms," he added.

The long-awaited announcement was issued after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced Monday he would hold a Sept. 10 hearing on the conflict between federal and state marijuana law. Leahy supports state autonomy on marijuana policy.

"The next step is for Congress to act," Riffle said. "We need to fix our nation's broken marijuana laws and not just continue to work around them."

Read the memo:

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