By Jason Sattler

Obama Won’t Go After State Marijuana Legalization: ‘We Have Bigger Fish To Fry’

December 14, 2012 7:53 am Category: Memo Pad, Politics 35 Comments A+ / A-
Obama Won’t Go After State Marijuana Legalization: ‘We Have Bigger Fish To Fry’

In an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, President Obama made his first statement on how his administration will react to ballot measures that legalized the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington.

“We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Obama said. “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal.”

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Given the administration’s surprisingly strident stance that’s led to cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries, which are also legal due to state ballot measures, many feared the attorney general might sue to establish the continued illegality of the drug.

“This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law,” Obama said. “I head up the executive branch; we’re supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we’re going to need to have is a conversation about, how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it’s legal?”

The president does have the ability to prioritize enforcement as he has with immigration, granting a semi-legal status to students who would be eligible for a path to citizenship under the DREAM Act, which passed the House and was blocked in the Senate by a filibuster.

“I want to discourage drug use,” the president added. He also said that he would not support federal legalization of marijuana “at this point.”

The country is split about evenly on the broad question of legalization but a recent poll showed that a vast majority of Americans believe that the federal government should not prevent Colorado and Washington from allowing recreational use of the drug.

If the states are to act as laboratories of democracy, we may soon find out if regulating marijuana as we do alcohol may be more effective than prosecuting users.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Obama Won’t Go After State Marijuana Legalization: ‘We Have Bigger Fish To Fry’ Reviewed by on . In an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, President Obama made his first statement on how his administration will react to ballot measures that legalized the In an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, President Obama made his first statement on how his administration will react to ballot measures that legalized the Rating:

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Comments

  • nobsartist

    The country is also split on republiCONs but the majority want President Obama to kick the shit out of the losers.

    • b0wdoin

      yeah you’re really showing them with ‘republiCONs’! but really, when did name calling ever solve any problems?

      • http://twitter.com/maxamilliongat Gerald Gauthier

        The second conservatives stop calling things, and people “Liberal” like its the new word for nigger, I’ll stop insulting them.

        ‘kay with you brohaim?

        • http://profiles.google.com/bobfoster Bob Foster

          It’s not ok with me. Responding to name-calling by calling names is pointless and boorish.

          • Ibsyboy

            Ha!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJIWONQOW4EAYMCA4QH2DDJMBU MARK

            My name is Mark! People call me Mark! Republicans call me bad names.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/BEKQKDHQCDR7CNBD46XHTJWT4Q James

            Why would anyone waste their time calling you a name. You are a useless waste of human flesh.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJIWONQOW4EAYMCA4QH2DDJMBU MARK

            ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      • Ibsyboy

        You are correct. Though the attempts have been made.

        Such as: Muslim, Socialist, Un-American, Welfare Child, Alien from Kenya, Unqualified, Worst President in History, Affirmative Action College student, Poor grades in College, a Racist. Etc.

        And we’re talking abut the President of the United States of America, the most power Country on Earth. A position worthy of the respect of the people of the USA. Being the first Negro made that tough on some folks, I know. But these names were broadcast on TV and Radio, by grownups who I assume are well educated and from good families.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HFYZP2APYPP7H6PWS2ZDQRWFEQ Hillbilly

          President Obama is bi racial which means he is 50% white and 5o% black so he does not fit the Negro profile, he has a unique profile of being bi racial. The color of a person’s skin is really the only thing that makes all of us look different. Turn everyone inside out and we couldn’t tell what our ethic backgrounds are. There are many people in this Country that should be ashamed of themselves because of the names they have called President Obama and the disrespect they have shown him and the office of President. Never in the history of this Country has a president been shown as much disrespect as President Obama has been shown by Republicans and their followers.

          • Ibsyboy

            Man, I can’t believe you used that old racist canard. Tell that to people who are half Negro whether the are judge as Negroes or Caucasian by White people see them. He qualifies as a Negro based on the simplest of White people’s filter, he had dark skin and looks more like Michael Jordan than John Boehner or Eric Cantor.

            Who ever came u with that 50% idea for Right Wing Racists, was tripping on some drug, or drunk. Trying telling some one down south where Negroes aren’t welcome that you are half white. They will laugh and treat you like a Negro anyway, 50%, 25%,
            15%. To racist you are a Negro. So blow that creepy idea out your butt.

            Barack is hated for his Negro half, not his white half.

            Why the racist comments from the GOP and the Right Wing if he is 50% white.

          • Ibsyboy

            That riposte was not meant for you. sorry.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/BEKQKDHQCDR7CNBD46XHTJWT4Q James

            Where were you when they attacked Bush.?

      • Ibsyboy

        You are so right. Could not agree with you more.

        But if you would be so kind as to explain the following:

        Muslim, Bi Sexual, Socialist, Kenyan Born, not an America, Welfare Mom, Affirmative Action College kid, charges tax payers for his vacations, 200 million a day for a trip to Asia, Wife charges tax payers for her wardrobe, he is the worst President in History, Anti American, a Racist, etc, etc.

        Those remarks are part of a concerted effort by the Right Wing to discredit this President because his father was a Negro. And Barack is a well educated, intelligent, liberal Negro.

  • jefftav

    Rightwing republicans that make up the system which prosecutes marijuana users have too much to lose. Don’t expect this fight to be over.

    • ballsd33p

      Hey where is bradley manning again?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AUSZC5O33CHJNLFLNA7WBLRMTA Ron

    Thank you Mr President….let the people decide in each state !

    • ballsd33p

      Yes, just like in California. Oops sorry short term memory kicked in again.

  • ballsd33p

    Can I bring up the fact that this Hypocrite in Chief smoked pot himself and got away with it. Now under his rule jails still fill up with black males in the same situation that are not lucky enough to avoid the cops. These males that now have a permanent mar on their record that will make them illegible to run for the same office this black male is in.

    Some one should tell this guy that running a country is not like running a Long John Silvers, at least when I want to get some fishsticks I dont get my ball fondeled by an obese High School drop out in a blue shirt.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLNJTZTBXHZHKPVYHUAVHRBZBU Tito Rigatoni

      Damn, you must be going to a classier Long John Silvers than the one I go to :-(

  • gmonsnt

    If you read between the lines of the statement, “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal.” This is basically what he said about medical marijuana, that he wasn’t going to waste resources going after sick people. What he did do is go after those that supply marijuana to sick people. His statement leads me to believe they will go after the suppliers (ie retailers) when they start popping up. Just as with medical cannabis, people will take these statements as meaning the administration will take a hands off approach, and for a while it will. People will get comfortable, bigger sellers and producers will emerge and that’s when they will start enforcing “federal laws.”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/2M6SXQJJ6MMKLGJXOI3YMHFOHA Knob Slobber

      He didn’t go after dispensaries, he went after dispensaries in clear violation of State law. California and Washington both saw a bunch of dispensaries get hammered, and it was the result of undercover work revealing they were just a front for black market exchange. If that weren’t true, why did they leave the vast majority of dispensaries/access points intact? Those that play by the rules remain open.

    • mwthink

      Exactly.
      It’s good words to hear, but I’m going to wait until his actions prove he isn’t changing a bit.

    • oldtack

      From article: “We have bigger fish to fry”

      Yes the Government does have “bigger fish to fry”. there are the Wars- the “fiscal cliff”, looming reduction in funds – etc”

      Good answer to some stupid Media talking head.

      He further made the Statement about the Federal Law. A State Law does not supersede a Federal Law.

      I would hope that both the Republicans and the Democrats have more acumen than to divert time and energy on vital operations to chase after State Laws.

      And the name calling? We all are American “adults” with different Political and Religious views but that doesn’t mean we can’t agree to disagree or discuss topics in a civil manner.

      Stick to the topic at hand.

      And YES, I know – I have been guilty of this same bad habit.

      It is time for intelligent discourse rather than inane name calling.

    • Ibsyboy

      Here’s my experience with recreational. I am not a gun owner nor enthusiast. I attended a target shoot on a large tract of land owned by a relative’s neighbor. I had never been to one before. It was attended by recreational users. I actually had a good time. I never shot a real weapon before. Carnival shooting gallery was my sole experience up to then.

      I got to shoot a fully automatic UZI, very impressive and amazingly stable and accurate. I could not believe how many targets I was able to hit. Beer cans, fire extinguishers, bottles, etc.
      The next gun was a GLOCK with an extended clip. That gun was like a bucking bronco, I could not hit anything. But firing it rapidly was exhilarating.

      There was a guy there with a 50 caliber sniper rifle. Wow, was that thing loud. One shot and the State troopers were there. I asked the owner where he got the 50 Cal. At a gun show for $2,500.00 cash. No paper work, paid and left the show and drove home.

      My question is, and I know part of the answer; it’s fun. But, why do people need full auto UZIs and AK 47s and 50 Cal Rifles and extended clips.. And auto shotguns that fire a large amount of rounds quickly.

      I don’t think the right to buy a gun should be prevented, but why are we not discussing the type of weapons Americans are amassing and able to buy and own..

      If there are paranoid romantics out there who see themselves battling the government like some foreign country where the people rise up against their Government. Here is the difference, those people are really repressed, scared by death, and denied freedoms of all sorts. And, the US Military is not going to be easy to defeat. Women and children will die along with the paranoid romantic with his or her gun in their hands.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/BEKQKDHQCDR7CNBD46XHTJWT4Q James

        I guess you were sleeping in your history class.What you just discribed was the American Revolution.

  • Travis

    Obama just said the exact same thing he said about medical marijuana, that it is a waste of resources to go after. He has increased the amount of crackdowns on dispensaries since George Bush. As far as I am concerned Obama is a hypocrite who if was caught under his own laws he would never have been president and possibly not a senator. What a joke.

  • turtlewoman1039

    Perhaps with Friday’s tragedy, in addition to the continuing economic problems in this country, this nation can find something better to do than focus on filling for-profit prisons with those whose only ‘crime’ was possession of some pot.

  • 13observer

    YES, just like not enforcing our federal immigration laws, …………………HE MUST SAY NO TO ENFORCING NEW GUN LAWS ALSO. Sorry, you don’t get to pick the laws we enforce!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ibsyboy

    What would be the point. If the pot industry is free to grow domestic pot, illegally imported of cartel pot will be eliminated. For two reasons: quality and price. If the cartel lowers their prices they will lower their costs and that equates to inferior product. Although Budweiser sells a boat load of BUD.

  • onedonewong

    Yea he’s have Holder doing a full court press in Arizona

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000246482997 Clara Bagley

    What is going to be done about these people that are killing folks for no reason and the first thing they say is they have a mental problem that’s a bunch of bull crap. That’s premedicated murder

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJIWONQOW4EAYMCA4QH2DDJMBU MARK

    U.S.drug policy has caused more problems than it has solved.Criminals make all the profit on drugs these days,while the federal law would make criminals out of casual pot smokers or those who use it medicinally.Think of the revenue that would be generated if pot were legal and taxed just like booze and tobacco.Right now,the crooks have it all- drugs,guns, and money.The un-holy trinity!

  • http://www.facebook.com/t.aburcher Thomas Burcher

    Democrats, and Republicans need to stop labeling each other. The Conservetives mention the word Liberal, like it’s poisoned snake venom. The Republicans are labeled as” Business Heads”.,
    and” Right Wing;” I wonder how many of the” Founding Fathers” had creative Liberal ideas?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cbarnhisel Claresa K Barnhisel

    well, could be worse………states’ rights according to our constitution “rule” we certainly do have bigger fish to fry one thing that should be noted the feds generally leave dispensaries alone here in the state of california if the business (es) have filed as a non profit and almost all of the other states where medical marijuana has been approved by voters require that within their state; all dispensaries and growers can legally operate ONLY as non profits with strict by-laws and required board members and licenses the best way to stay off the fed’s hit list is to file as a non profit and follow all of the rules – if you can bother to got through all of the riggamarole that a non profit requires – then, as a business you’ll be able to continue your operation without interference frm the federal government – good luck – as this overall endeavor to lighten up legal restraints on the use of marijuana is our best defense against gang related drug violence and the continuation of business as usual for the drug cartels

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