President Barack Obama may have evolved on same-sex marriage rights in the U.S., but that doesn't mean he's budging on his anti-drug stance concerning the legalization of marijuana.
In an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters for 20/20, Obama negated federal approval consideration for recreational pot use. He told Walters, “We’ve got bigger fish to fry. 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.”
Under federal law, marijuana usage is illegal, but both Colorado and Washington State supported the passage of marijuana laws in their 2012 state elections. This puts Obama and his administration in a bit of a pickle.
“This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law,” Obama said in the interview. “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?”
Obama added, “I want to discourage drug use.” He then went on to say that he would not support the federal legalization of marijuana “at this point.”
The second part of Walters' interview with Obama and the First Lady airs December 14 at 10pm ET.