A Seattle city official has poured cold water on Copenhagen's idea of importing cannabis from the US.
One of the elements of the city's proposal to legalise cannabis on a three-year trial basis, which will be formally introduced at tomorrow's cannabis conference, is how to obtain cannabis as quickly and effectively as possible in order to combat the black market. One of the city's proposals is to explore the possibility of importing cannabis from the US states of Washington and Colorado, which both legalised cannabis for recreational use in November.
One of the key speakers tomorrow will be Seattle's city attorney, Pete Holmes, who was a sponsor of Washington's marijuana reform initiative, which voters passed by a margin of 56 to 44.
Made aware of Copenhagen's suggestion, The Seattle Times contacted Holmes' office and was told by spokeswoman Kimberly Mills that Washington state law would prohibit exporting cannabis to Denmark.
In explaining Copenhagen's proposal, the city's deputy mayor for social affairs, Mikkel Warming (Enhedslisten), acknowledged the difficulties of importing a substance that, while now legal in two of the 50 United States, is still a banned substance on the federal level.
“We realise of course that there are a lot of international conventions and regulations to deal with, but we think it is possible,” Warming told The Copenhagen Post. He pointed out, however, that Denmark is able to legally import heroin, despite it being an illegal substance, for use in municipal injection rooms.
But with Holmes' spokeswoman saying that the export of cannabis would be a breach of Washington state laws as well as federal, the suggestion seems less feasible.
Seattle-based media largely dismissed Copenhagen's proposal, with The Seattle Times writing that sending pot to Denmark "seems likely to bring [the federal authorities] down on locals like a squatting hippopotamus".
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in a blog posted entitled 'Fail: Danish city wants to import marijuana from Washington, Colorado', wrote that "this is just the kind of thing Washington and Colorado have vowed not to do … even if Copenhagen officials could figure out a way around the feds and international treaties and agreements."
The cannabis laws in Washington and Colorado remain in somewhat of a legal grey zone, as federal US officials have still not declared what the official reaction to the state laws will be.
President Barack Obama in December said that "what we're going to need to have is a conversation" on marijuana laws that now differ on the state and federal levels. Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, said last week before a Senate committee that his office is still "considering what the federal government's response to those new statutes will be".
The importation of cannabis was just one method of acquirement suggested by Copenhagen officials in their bid to once again try to get cannabis legalised on a trial-basis in the city. The advance materials for tomorrow's conference also suggest the establishment of local cannabis producers.
Tomorrow’s conference will also address where the cannabis would be sold under the trial programme, its potency and price point and just who would be able to purchase the cannabis.
The Copenhagen Post will be at tomorrow’s conference as well as a simultaneous rally held by proponents of legal cannabis.