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Marijuana Prosecution Not a High Priority, Says Obama 449

Hugh Pickens writes "VOA reports that 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. 'As it is, you know, the federal government has a lot to do when it comes to criminal prosecutions,' said Obama during a television interview with ABC's Barbara Walters. '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.' 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.'"
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Marijuana Prosecution Not a High Priority, Says Obama

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  • by MagusSlurpy ( 592575 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:18PM (#42301825) Homepage

    The government has never focused on recreational users. It's focused on the dealers. Recreational users are just targets of opportunity.

  • keep on hoping (Score:5, Informative)

    by Meniconi,Nando ( 666243 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:45PM (#42302041)
    Heard this declaration before, only to be followed by the highest amount of FBI raids on legal dispensaries since 1996.
  • Re:flip flop flip? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:51PM (#42302101)

    It's Obama trying to have it both ways....his modus operandi on everything but expanding Bush's Unitary Executive power grabs. There he's balls to the wall on telling the press or Congress [] to fuck off if they suggest the power of the presidency should be limited.

    Of course, talking out of both sides of your mouth is Obama mocked Hillary for during the '08 primaries, where she tried to have it both ways on giving drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. Sort of like how he mocked McCain [] for wanting to tax your health care benefits, only to strongly back excise taxes in his Health Insurance Profit Protection Act.

    If Republicans were slightly less corrupt and incompetent, they could have mopped the floor with Obama this year.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @01:59PM (#42302161)

    It means that cannabis users in Washington and Colorado will feel more at ease as they go about their legal pastime.

    And that's a good thing.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @02:17PM (#42302315)

    with over 90% of the country still holding on to "pot is teh badz, dur" laws

    Not any more. 56% of people are now in favour of legalising pot. That's why things are starting to change. It just won't happen overnight. []

  • by rocket rancher ( 447670 ) <> on Saturday December 15, 2012 @04:20PM (#42303097)
    ...indeed. Excellent post. I would supplement it by adding that the only reason that marijuana dealers are of any interest to the Feds at all is the reference to marijuana in Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, passed by Congress in 1970. The CSA is the sole source of the authority for the Feds to override local laws when it comes to marijuana use. Removing marijuana from Schedule One of the CSA would remove the conflict between federal and state authorities over the decriminalization of marijuana.
  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @05:08PM (#42303381) Journal
    I believe that very issue is under review right now, in fact. Schedule I drugs are considered to have no medical value. Schedule II drugs have medical value, but are so prone to abuse that the FDA believes they should be regulated. Schedule I is regulated at the national level. Schedule II is regulated at the state level. Twenty years of medical research has been presented to the FDA board showing that marijuana has legit medical uses and should, by all rights, be considered a Schedule II drug.

    I think that's another reason Obama is not being very specific on this issue - if the FDA makes it schedule II in the next few months, the Feds will basically have no reason to poke their nose into state business any more. Hence, making it a lower priority now, in case it needs to become a zero priority later.
  • by rikkards ( 98006 ) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @10:37PM (#42305087) Journal

    Banning anything is senseless, it never stops people, this has been seen with the war on drugs, terrorism, etc. Pretty much if a person is of legal age and chooses to do something as long as it doesn't impact someone else, why stop them? Granted you are going to have people become addicted and potentially get worse but that happens already.

    The money spent on busting recreational users could be used better in rehab, counseling/mental health fields (a lot of the hard users have underlying mental illness).

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith