United Nations official calls on United States government to fight Colorado marijuana law

VIENNA - The head of the United Nation's drug watchdog agency is urging U.S. federal officials to challenge ballot measures in Colorado and Washington that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over.

Raymond Yans said the approvals send "a wrong message to the rest of the nation and it sends a wrong message abroad."

Yans heads the International Narcotics Control Board. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday he hopes Attorney General Eric Holder "will take all the necessary measures" to ensure that marijuana possession and use remains illegal throughout the U.S.

Colorado's Amendment 64 will allow adults over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It also would allow people to grow as many as six marijuana plants in private, secure areas.

Colorado congresswoman Diana DeGette is introducing new federal legislation that would allow states to pass their own laws on controlled substances.

"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," said DeGette (D-Colorado).

The INCB has no enforcement ability.

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