Both Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) have talked with either Attorney General Eric Holder or Deputy Attorney General James Cole within the past month, but have received no assurances of any progress, according to spokesmen for the governors.

A looming concern for the governors is that their states will spend a good deal of time and money in an effort to conform with the new laws — building a new tax and regulatory structure, incorporating the sale of marijuana into commerce laws and training law enforcement officers to test the THC levels of drivers — only to have the DOJ continue to prosecute criminal marijuana cases involving their voters.

“We don’t want to get so far down the road and then have the process stopped,” said Cory Curtis, a spokesman for Gregoire.

“If we’re stopped in the eleventh hour and we’ve already put in the money, which is several million dollars, we’d rather know on the front end. And for citizens, they should be able to know what the ground rules are,” Curtis said.