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Legalized pot in Colorado troubles Mead

Sep 12, 2013 - By Ben Neary, The Associated Press

The governor is concerned about smuggling and increased consumption in Wyoming.

DENVER -- Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead's says he's concerned about increased trafficking in his state as Colorado prepares to allow the sale of recreational marijuana to the public.

Colorado released rules Monday covering licensing, tracking, packaging and advertising of recreational marijuana sales. Colorado officials, wary of federal sanctions, have emphasized the marijuana must be consumed in-state.

But Mead, a former federal prosecutor, said Wednesday that he remains concerned about drug smuggling into his state and increased impaired driving.

"Since I knew they were going this direction, I've expressed concerned about it, in terms of how it will impact Wyoming citizens and Wyoming law enforcement," said Mead, who previously served as U.S. Attorney for Wyoming. He said he hasn't reviewed the new Colorado rules.

Mead said he's talked to law enforcement in Wyoming and Colorado about recreational pot sales set to begin as soon as Jan. 1. Under the rules, Colorado residents over 21 can buy up to 1 ounce of marijuana while those who don't show Colorado identification can buy a quarter-ounce.

The U.S. Justice Department last month announced that Colorado and Washington can go their own way without federal interference as long as they implement enforcement systems intended to keep marijuana in-state and preventing drugged driving. The drug remains is illegal under federal law.

As a prosecutor, Mead said he saw traffic stops on interstate highways that led to some very large drug cases.
 

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