Calif. Gov. Brown: DOJ, Obama should 'respect' state marijuana laws

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said the federal government should let recently passed marijuana legalization laws stand in Colorado and Washington.

“It’s time for the Justice Department to recognize the sovereignty of the states,” Brown said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “I believe the president and the Department of Justice ought to respect the will of these states.”

Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use through ballot measures last week.

But marijuana is still outlawed at the federal level, which likely foretells a legal battle over implementing the state laws.

President Obama cracked down on medical marijuana producers after signaling during his 2008 campaign that he would permit that activity. Raids were frequent in California, where using marijuana for medical reasons has been permitted for years.

Against that background and the recently approved Colorado and Washington laws, Brown said the federal government “shouldn’t try to nullify reasonable state measures.”