Obama's pot comments leave more questions than answers

Dec 16, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – President Obama’s first comments about marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado leave more questions than answers. The President tells ABC news that federal agents have – quote – “bigger fish to fry” than recreational pot users.

In an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, President Obama says about marijuana enforcement: “It would not make sense for us after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal.” But that comment does not necessarily reflect a change in federal policy.

A spokeswoman for the U-S Attorney’s office in Seattle says federal prosecutors there focus on large complex criminal organizations, not smalltime users. In a statement, Governor-elect Jay Inslee called the President’s words “welcome news,” but said several questions remain. They include how federal authorities will respond to state authorized marijuana growers and sellers.

U-S Attorney General Eric Holder indicated earlier this week that the Justice Department will issue a policy “relatively soon” on the new pot legalization laws in Washington and Colorado.