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.
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.”

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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.

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