Obama on Pot: 'We've Got Bigger Fish to Fry'

He says government won't prioritize going after users in WA, CO

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 14, 2012 10:28 AM CST

(Newser) – Can potheads in Washington and Colorado toke up without fear of the DEA? Maybe. ABC News released an excerpt from President Obama's interview with Barbara Walters today in which the president indicates that cracking down on marijuana use in states where it's legal isn't a "top priority" for him. Asked if pot should be legalized nationwide, he replied, "I wouldn't go that far. But what I think is that at this point, [in] Washington and Colorado, you've seen the voters speak on this issue."

Obama said it didn't make sense to prioritize going after users in those states: "We've got bigger fish to fry." But he added that "this is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law. I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws." He also noted that the US has anti-drug treaties with other nations. Asked about his own recreational drug use, as detailed in Dreams From My Father, he replied, "There are a bunch of things I did that I regret when I was a kid."

A screenshot from Barack Obama's interview with Barbara Walters.
A screenshot from Barack Obama's interview with Barbara Walters.   (ABC News)
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Barack Obama talks marijuana policy in this clip from his interview with Barbara Walters.   (ABC News)

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