MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy says he welcomes a decision by the Justice Department not to sue to stop the states of Colorado and Washington from allowing the recreational use of marijuana.
Leahy is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Democrat says he's been pressing for such guidance since last year after the states voted to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
Leahy also is going to hold a hearing of the Judiciary Committee next month on conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who released the department's guidelines Thursday, is expected to testify at the hearing.
Supporters of marijuana legalization say the Justice Department's action could set the stage for more states to legalize pot.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.