So says President Obama to Barbara Walters.
President Obama says recreational users of marijuana in states that have legalized the substance should not be a “top priority” of federal law enforcement officials prosecuting the war on drugs.
“We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Obama said of pot users in Colorado and Washington during an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters.
“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,” he said, invoking the same approach taken toward users of medicinal marijuana in 18 states where it’s legal.
So after a month, the President comes out and says… absolutely nothing.
After all, feds going after users has never been a top priority, because they don’t have the resources to go after that many users. But this says absolutely nothing about distribution methods, or even the possibility of going after some users (it just wouldn’t be a “top priority”).
Now, politically, he could have stated this exact non-policy in several different ways, and they way he stated it is at least positive.
The other thing I kind of liked was one word used here:
“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 word is “yet.” That’s an interesting signal.