News / USA

Obama: Feds Won't Go After Marijuana Users in CO, WA

Man smokes marijuana just after midnight at the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington, Dec. 6, 2012.
Man smokes marijuana just after midnight at the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington, Dec. 6, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
U.S. President Obama says it does not make sense for federal authorities to seek prosecution of recreational marijuana users in states where such use is legal.
 
He spoke in a television interview with ABC's Barbara Walters airing Friday.
 
When asked if he supported legalizing marijuana, the president said he was not endorsing that.
 
"I wouldn't go that far, but what I think is that, at this point, Washington and Colorado, you've seen the voters speak on this issue," he said.
 
"As it is, you know, the federal government has a lot to do when it comes to criminal prosecutions," Obama added. "It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that, under state law, that's legal."
 
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The western states of Colorado and Washington legalized the recreational use of marijuana in ballot measures last month. Other U.S. states have approved the medicinal use of marijuana.
 
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has voiced support for finding alternative ways to solve the drug problem.
 
“We could have fighting and killing over cigarettes if we made it a felony to sell a cigarette to smoke," said Clinton in a new documentary, Breaking the Taboo. "So we legalized them. If all you try to do is find a police or military solution to the problem, a lot of people die and it doesn’t solve the problem.”
 
The former presidents of Brazil and Switzerland, Fernando Cardoso and Ruth Dreifuss, along with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, want to find different ways to solve the global drug problem, such as regulating the trade.
 
“I think a new approach, at least to try to open up, to break the taboo, is what the world should do," said President Santos in the documentary. He added, "There are many alternatives, including the possibility of legalizing drugs.”

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: charles
December 31, 2012 12:05 AM
People shouldn't take what Obama says to Barbara Walters as a policy statement. He's just chatting. The feds may, or may not, go after the implementation of the measures in WA and CO.

The feds have been going after medical pot dispensaries in CA after Holder said they wouldn't. There wasn't any actual executive order to prosecutors, or such a thing.


by: JM Wat from: Maryland
December 14, 2012 3:55 PM
Some drugs should be fully legalized and regulated, like marijuana or mushrooms. ALL drugs should be decriminalized. Meaning, even if it's not legal to use them, the punishment should NOT be jail time or anything on a permanent record, but something like a fine or mandatory rehabilitation. If heroin users went to rehab instead of prison, it'd cost half or a third as much per year, they'd be in there for only a fraction of the time, they'd have a greater chance of kicking the habit, AND they'd have a chance at gainful employment afterwards, which would lessen their likelihood of falling back into drugs. This is really common-sense stuff.

In Response

by: Luis Caldeira from: Portugal
December 16, 2012 7:16 AM
Well, that's the way it is in Portugal.. we may do almost everything wrong, but decriminalizing drugs was the best move Portugal did. We do like JM Wat is saying and class A drug usage tremendously decreased.


by: anonymous from: TN
December 14, 2012 3:39 PM
At least he's consistent, not enforcing immigration either!

In Response

by: omgOBAMA from: urmom
December 15, 2012 8:47 AM
Yes. He's not enforcing immigration laws by deporting more people than Bush.

retard foxnews watchers


by: SteveS from: California
December 14, 2012 2:23 PM
Just what laws does this Administration enforce?

In Response

by: republicans suck from: yestheydo
December 15, 2012 8:48 AM
I know, right. Obama is the worst socialist/fascist President ever. He can't even oppress people the right way.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid