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Here's another case where elections matter.  In an interview with Barbara Walters this morning he said, "'It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view' to focus on drug use in states where it is now legal."

It's not the ringing endorsement of legality that people might like, but when you're asked if you would make pot legal and you answer, "I wouldn't go that far," that's a case where you can evolve more on the issue over the course of his term.  It's just a start, but it is indeed a start.  Keep pushing and let's see where this will go.

Source is an article in the Seattle Times.  http://seattletimes.com/...  Sorry I don't have more detail.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

    by thezzyzx on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:42:15 AM PST

  •  BS. (0+ / 0-)

    Just getting that on the record.

    "So what if a guy threw a shoe at me!"

    by FoodChillinMFr on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:56:06 AM PST

  •  Imagine a President Romney (0+ / 0-)
    "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,"
    I'm certain that Romney would be cooking up the smaller  fish.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:57:59 AM PST

  •  There will no doubt (3+ / 0-)

    be people citing that Obama has said this before but still went after medical pot facilities, but he gives a big clue in this interview.

    He says that what they have done is gone after dispenseries where there was a higher degree of arrests of people who were NOT medical users.

    In other words, the DOJ was directed to shut down dispenseries in areas where large unauthorized use occured.

    With that being said, now it is legal in two entire states, so all use is "authorized".

    I still have one eye open on this, but if that is his logic, then it would hold true that the DEA and DOJ would not prioritize Washington and Colorado (or any other state in the future).

    He also says this very very very important thing; "This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law"

    Did you get catch that modifier there?  YET

    95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

    by PRRedlin on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 06:59:24 AM PST

  •  Raw Story posting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sceptical observer

    Obama: ‘Bigger fish to fry’ than recreational pot users

    “We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Obama explained. “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.”

    But the president also said that he did not support marijuana legalization “at this point.”

    “This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law,” he 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?”

    Goddammit - you CHANGE the law-

    DADT????

    Anybody???

    Bueller?

    Marijuana NEVER should have been illegal.

    Being illegal SOLVED NOTHING.

    PROTECTED NOBODY (other than the oil and extractive industries that have not had to contend with competition from a natural plant)

    And the only way to get people to support this stupid shit is by lying to them day and night for 80-some years.

    Showing us that he is still as reefer mad as an elected official of a free country is supposed to be ....

    Obama said that he advised his daughters not to “make the same mistakes I made” with his heavy marijuana use growing up in Hawaii.
    Yeah... that heavy pot smoking ruined Obama's life.

    he'll never become president....

    Oh.... wait....

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:00:02 AM PST

    •  Don't get mad at the man (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hooper, Chas 981

      he's essentially telling congress to change the law, instead of saying that he will go after the people.

      95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

      by PRRedlin on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:02:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He can't be trusted. (0+ / 0-)

        Not to make decisions about a non-lethal plant.

        that's too complicated.

        He's more comfortable blowing shit up.

        But this is what responsible serious adults do.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 07:16:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why not be mad at him? (0+ / 0-)

        He has the authority to reschedule--and unschedule--any drug in the Controlled Substances Act by an executive finding and order.

        Even Holder knows this.

        His statement that that his hands are tied by congress is flat out dishonest.  

  •  Parse that quote carefully (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn

    There are two components to the law (in Washington at least) and Obama addresses them both. The first portion states that users won't be arrested for possessing small amounts of pot. Obama implies the feds won't bust them either.

    The second portion of the law allows for the regulated growing and sale of marijuana. The President doesn't comment directly on that, but I don't like his quote regarding "legalization" which is what this second portion represents.

    In typical Obama fashion, the parsing is key and I have a strong feeling the feds will fight Washington and Colorado when it comes to production. This is bad news as a regulated market for Marijuana would be a boon to my state.

  •  You're reading too much into that. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn

    He's not saying he'll leave them alone, he's just saying it's not a top priority.  Very, very different.

    I do things that aren't top priorities all the time, and if Obama DOJ does prosecute people in WA and CO, he won't be breaking any promises.

    So set your expectations accordingly and don't be surprised by future prosecutions.

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