The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
November 8, 2023

  In May 2019, Nosh began as a humble restaurant co-op with just three people. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, while many businesses...

Holder to Colorado: We’re leaving Amendment 64 alone

Caleb Hendrich
Opinion Editor

There has been some good news for advocates of Amendment 64, namely that the Department of Justice under U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (at least for now), is not going to stand against it.

Amendment 64, introduced and passed by a majority of Colorado voters last November, changes the states’ approach to marijuana regulation in a fairly substantial way. Instead of treating it like heroin or cocaine, marijuana will instead be regulated in a similar manner to alcohol and tobacco.


The DOJ, in a memo sent to federal prosecutors across the state, effectively declares that they will leave the regulation of marijuana, both medical and recreational, to state and local governments. This will be the case so long as they don’t violate a number of provisions, such as not distributing marijuana to minors and ensuring that criminals don’t use the law as cover for trafficking other illegal drugs.

While there is still a substantial chance that the government can walk back this declaration, the fact that they are choosing to leave this issue up to the states is a fairly radical step in government policy.

While this will indeed be a cause for celebration in marijuana advocacy and libertarian groups statewide, it’s still important to note that this measure isn’t a vote of approval from the feds.

As of yet, there aren’t any bills being proposed to make Amendment 64-esque policies at the national level, nor does this mean that the DOJ is endorsing Amendment 64. All they’ve really said is that they aren’t going to deliberately hamper efforts to alter marijuana policy at the state level.

At best, they’re just going to sit back and observe to see how this all plays out. At worst, they’re probably rooting for its failure so that they can re-assert control.

The United States is still a very long way away from any sort of “victory” in the War on Drugs. We’re still a ways out from effectively finding ways to combat illicit drug production and distribution. We’re also still apparently having fairly substantial issues with combating drug use by teenagers.

While there is cause to celebrate, as any change away from the unilateral actions of the War on Drugs is a good change, it’s important to remain skeptical. Technically, Amendment 64 has yet to take effect, and it is unclear as to how effective it will be once it does in fact take effect.

The kinks have yet to be worked out, and the first iteration of the new regulations isn’t likely to be perfect on the first go; government is anything but perfect with regards to implementing laws, after all.

Quoted in the Denver Post, Kevin Sabet a former official from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, stated that “This isn’t the end of the story. This is the beginning.”


This is a good first step, but there’s a long way to go.

Opinion Editor Caleb Hendrich is a senior journalism and political science double major. He, in fact, does not smoke weed, not like that’d matter now. Letters and feedback can be sent to

View Comments (5)
More to Discover

Hey, thanks for visiting!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (5)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *