By Kurtis Lee
The Denver Post
Posted: 11/16/2012 01:49:55 PM MST
U. S. Rep. Diana Degette (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)
In an effort to ensure new voter-approved amendments that legalize limited use of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington are not overrun by the federal government, Democratic U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette introduced bipartisan legislation Friday that aims to curtail such a scenario.
“My constituents have spoken and I don’t want the federal government denying money to Colorado or taking other punitive steps that would undermine the will of our citizens,” DeGette, of Denver, said in a statement.
The legislation, coined “Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act,” comes on the heels of Colorado voters approving Amendment 64, which legalizes up to an ounce of marijuana for anyone over the age of 21.
The bill seeks to exempt states where voters have legalized pot from the federal Controlled Substances Act provision on marijuana.
Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, a staunch opponent of Amendment 64, supports the bill.