Feds can’t smoke pot, even in states where it’s legal

A few items that caught our attention on Thursday:

 (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
(AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

You can smoke marijuana in some states, unless you’re a fed: The Justice Department is turning a blind eye to pot, but the federal government still prohibits its workforce from using the drug, even though 20 states and Washington, D.C. allow the use of medical marijuana and Colorado and Washington state allow it for recreational use, according to a Government Executive report.

White House says sequester no longer applies to part of Obamacare: The Obama administration has decided that the sequester’s mandatory spending cuts no longer apply to Obamacare’s subsidies for low-income people to help cover their out-of-pocket costs, after the financial assistance took a 7-percent reduction last year, according to a National Journal report.

Holder urges reduced sentencing for low-level drug offenders: Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has called for reduced sentences for defendants in most of the nation’s drug cases as part of his effort to reduce the growing U.S. prison population and reserve stiff penalties for the high-level traffickers, according to a Washington Post report.

White House budget request would give DHS consolidation a boost: The administration budget request asks for additional funding for an effort to consolidate the Department of Homeland Security in southeast D.C. , proposing $250 million for the project in 2015 after congressional budget cuts slowed the plans, according to a Federal Times article.

Disgruntled HHS official vehemently criticizes government in resignation letter: The director of a Health and Human Services agency detailed his grievances in a pointed resignation letter that criticizes the federal bureaucracy as “profoundly dysfunctional” and leaving him “offended as an American taxpayer,” according to an In the Loop article.

Farmers wary of EPA rules on water: The Environmental Protection Agency is set to issue regulations that would require farmers to obtain permits for work that has long been exempt from restrictions, but opponents describe the rules as a power grab that could stifle economic growth and intrude on property rights, according to a New York Times report.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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