(Nov. 21) – Assistant Majority Leader Dan Pabon welcomed today’s federal drug raids against marijuana grow operations and other businesses in the Denver metro area, saying they show that the federal authorities and the state of Colorado have a common interest in strict regulation of legalized recreational marijuana.

“Marijuana operations in Colorado have no room for error in how they conduct their business,” said Rep. Pabon (D-Denver), who was chairman of the legislative select committee that drafted the state robust regulations to implement Amendment 64 and sponsored one of the bipartisan bills that made them into law.

“Law enforcement at all levels can and should act where it is appropriate to do so, which includes moving against operators violating the robust regulations the legislature enacted last session,” Rep. Pabon said of the busts in Denver and other locations in the metro region. “The Justice Department has assured us that it would not intervene against marijuana businesses in Colorado unless it had evidence that its guidelines are being violated. Those guidelines are entirely consistent with our robust regulations.”

“Our highest priority is keeping marijuana out of the hands of kids and criminals,” Rep. Pabon said. “Neither the feds nor the state of Colorado will tolerate violators.”

By voting for Amendment 64 a year ago, Coloradans made marijuana use legal for adults in the state, and mandated the establishment of regulations controlling the marijuana industry beginning Jan. 1. Though federal law still treats marijuana as an illegal drug, the federal Justice Department announced in August that it would not target Colorado marijuana users or marijuana businesses unless they the violate an eight-point list of no-nos that include selling to minors, exporting out of state, involving criminal enterprises or trafficking in other drugs.

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