President Obama has given the clearest sign yet that the federal government has no intention of challenging those states which voted on Nov. 7 to legalize the recreational use and sale of marijuana.
Speaking to ABC News’ Barbara Walters, the president said that the prosecution of recreational marijuana users in states that have legalized the substance won’t be a ‘top priority’ for federal law enforcement officials in the war on drugs.
‘We’ve got bigger fish to fry,’ said the president, who was speaking about cannabis for the first time since Colorado and Washington voted to legalize it.
‘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 told Walters in a 20/20 interview which airs Friday night.
Although the sale and use of marijuana is in defiance of federal law, the president’s comments are the strongest suggestion yet that he plans to adopt a ‘hands-off’ approach, similar to that taken toward users of medicinal marijuana in the 18 states where it is legal.