President Obama Says Marijuana Users Not High Priority in Drug War - ABC News

Deja vu all over again? This sounds like what Obama said regarding medical marijuana--that there were bigger priorities for federal law enforcement than battling states' regulation of medical marijuana business, but then the Administration turned and devoted millions to fighting it with a brutality not seen in either the Bush or Clinton Administrations. Let's hope the President is "evolving" on this issue, as he did on gay marriage, before more lives are ruined by arrest, imprisonment and cannabis deprivation. If this is his attitude about wholesale legalization, will he call off the monstrous federal attorneys who work to eradicate safe access via dispensaries and drive marijuana distribution back into the shadows of criminality? Let's hope so! Marijuana Not High Obama Priority

Dec. 14, 2012President 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. Obama's comments on marijuana are his first following Colorado and Washington voters' approval of Nov. 7 ballot measures that legalize the recreational use and sale of pot in defiance of federal law.Marijuana, or cannabis, remains classified under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I narcotic whose cultivation, distribution, possession and use are criminal acts. It's in the same category as heroin, LSD and "Ecstasy," all deemed to have high potential for abuse. Obama told Walters he does not – "at this point" – support widespread legalization of marijuana. But he cited shifting public opinion and limited government resources as reasons to find a middle ground on punishing use 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 said he has asked Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to examine the legal questions surrounding conflicting state and federal laws on drugs."There are a number of issues that have to be considered, among them the impact that drug usage has on young people, [and] we have treaty obligations with nations outside the United States," Holder said Wednesday of the review underway.As a politician, Obama has always opposed legalizing marijuana and downplayed his personal history with the substance.

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