Obama Makes Remarks on New Marijuana Laws in Colorado and Washington
During the election cycle there was speculation. After voters in Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana use there were questions. Then came the stance by the federal government that marijuana is still a controlled substance under federal law. Now President Obama has spoken.
In an interview with Barbara Walters from ABC News President Obama made his feelings clear towards the new laws in Colorado and Washington. Obama has a public history of recreational marijuana use as a young adult. On that subject he says, "There are a bunch of things I did that I regret when I was a kid. My attitude is, substance abuse generally is not good for our kids, not good for our society."
Despite his personal feelings he said he wants to find compromise with the will of the people. Asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to look into the laws. There are concerns about abuse by youth, international treaties, as well as conflict of federal and state laws.
Obama told Barbara Walters that the federal government has "bigger fish to fry" adding, "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 says he doesn't support full on legalization, but seems to support changes to current federal law.
President Obama told Barbara Walters, "This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law. 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?"