Obama won't go after marijuana users in Washington - KPTV - FOX 12

Obama won't go after marijuana users in Washington

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WASHINGTON D.C. (KPTV) -

A spokesman says President Barack Obama believes there are "bigger fish to fry" when it comes to law enforcement priorities. He says that's why Obama is saying the federal government won't go after recreational marijuana use in Washington state and Colorado, where voters have legalized it.

In an interview with Barbara Walters airing today on ABC, Obama wouldn't support legalizing pot -- but he said the voters have spoken in Washington state and in Colorado.

He added that federal authorities have "a lot to do when it comes to criminal prosecutions," and that it doesn't make sense to target recreational drug use in states where that's been made legal under state law, even if it's still illegal under federal law.

Still, the Justice Department has said repeatedly that it is reviewing the legislation approved in the two states. Officials in the states are concerned that the federal government might sue over the issue.

The U.S. attorney for Colorado said earlier this week that the Justice Department's responsibility to enforce the federal Controlled Substances Act "remains unchanged" -- and that it's still illegal under federal law to grow, sell or possess any amount of marijuana.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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