Barry-O isn't going to go out of his way to intercept your weed. In an interview airing tonight the President told Barbara Walters that the federal government has "got bigger fish to fry" than to bother busting newly legal non-medical cannabis consumers in Colorado and Washington. He also hinted that, like with gay marriage, his opinion on legalization is evolving.
In the interview the President told Walters that he does not "at this point" support widespread legalization of weed. "But he cited shifting public opinion and limited government resources as reasons to find a middle ground on punishing use of the drug." And what do you know, just like gay marriage, national public opinion nationally is heading in the direction of legalized weed.
As for federal responses to local marijuana measures, don't expect any big busts any time soon: "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," Obama said, invoking the same approach taken toward users of medicinal marijuana in 18 states where it's legal.
"This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law," he went on. "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?"
To that end Obama has asked the Justice Department to re-examine the government's pot policy. So what happens now? Not much just yet. But anybody want to bet that after the midterms in two years the President, who we know form his memoir has toked quite a few joints in his time, comes to the "realization" that marijuana should maybe not be a Schedule I narcotic anymore?