Is President Obama ‘Evolving’ On Medical Marijuana?

The Obama administration has been under consistent criticism for its ongoing raids and prosecutions of medical marijuana facilities and users. And it looks like the president is trying to do some damage control.

Politico reports on the recent press blitz on the issue. In an interview with Rolling Stone, President Obama “clarified” his position, telling publisher Jann Wenner that he can’t “nullify congressional law.”

What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana and the reason is, because it’s against federal law. I can’t nullify congressional law.

I can’t ask the Justice Department to say, ‘Ignore completely a federal law that’s on the books.’ What I can say is, ‘Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.’ As a consequence, there haven’t been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes, Obama said.

Clearly trying to appeal to the youth and recreational user vote, the president followed the Rolling Stone interview up with an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where he confirmed that Congress wouldn’t be “legalizing weed….anytime soon.”

The Department of Justice is continuing raids on compassionate use facilities, despite the fact that voters in those states have legalized medical use and small scale possession. This is after statements suggesting the Department of Justice was directing prosecutorial resources away from states where medicinal marijuana use is legal. President Obama’s statements are not so much a clarification as they are a confirmation that the raids will continue.

But like the president’s stance on gay marriage, we could be watching evolution at work. There’s more than one way to influence policy and change federal law, and when it comes to medicinal marijuana, we are just in the start of that process.

Related Stories:

Medical Marijuana Is Now Legal In Connecticut

Colorado Will Vote On Marijuana Legalization

Colorado Looks To Fully Decriminalize Marijuana

Photo from eggrole via flickr.


Micheal C.
Micheal C.2 years ago

Nice answers in replace of the question with real point of view and explaining about that. copper freakshow

Stanley Rampersad
Stanley Balgobin5 years ago

Legalize Marijuana now Obama. Make this a 2nd term priority, halt the "war on drugs" nonsense.
Freeze all off-shore bank accounts and confiscate the hidden money held abroad to avoid paying Taxes. Raise the tax rate on the wealthy on a sliding scale so billionaires pay 91% as they did in the 1950's. Next, bring in Universal HealthCare, FREE University education paid for by taxes on the Corporations, CEO's and Wall street crooks. Indict the 2 KOCHroaches and arrest the 12 Bush era War criminals, Cheyney, Rove, Rumsfeld. This is justice and equality under the law.

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Ernest Lichtenwalter

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Ernest Lichtenwalter

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wchi wink
.5 years ago

Don't forget that Obama is just a pion for the archons at the top of the pyramid, who control banks, industry, the media and of course our governments! They want to keep the war on drugs alive because they not only make money off of it, they can keep people imprisoned as well!
We need to get back to "we the people, for the people, by the people"!!!

wchi wink
.5 years ago

Medical Marijuana needs to be decriminalized the world over! This is absolutely ridiculous already! No sound arguments are supporting the war on drugs - it's got to stop!
So many people (like me with my severe back problems) use Cannabis therapeutically, it's unjust to keep it illegal! And believe me, the people who need it use it - the people who don't need it, usually don't use it!

Prentise Wylie
pre,tpse w5 years ago

Around 1975 to 1978 (I don't remember exactly which year) in Hawaii, a judge sentenced an elderly Hawaiian activist to random "drug" tests for illegally using marijuana to control her blood sugar so that she wouldn't have to inject insulin. His excuse for this abusive intrusion into and control of her life was that she wouldn't apologize for taking care of her health effectively and safely, even though it was illegal. This only one example of the millions of lives persecuted by people representing illegal substances and protecting legal ones, no matter how harmful and ineffective they may be.

Ben C.
Ben C.5 years ago

obammer is a drug war fanatic.... he is so full of chit it isnt funny...yes obammer can ask the dea to no prosecute medical marijuana...just like he asked em to send guns to Mexico....stop making excuses for him...he is a lir and a corp whore