Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Friday, December 14, 2012

Obama Has Lots of Problems but Pot Smokers Ain't One

Posted by on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 8:29 AM

This is your president speaking...

In an interview with ABC News, President Obama told Barbara Walters that recreational pot smoking in states that have legalized the drug is not a major concern for his administration.
“We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Obama said of marijuana smokers in Colorado and Washington, the two states where recreational use is now legal.
“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,” he said.
Obama has not had the best record in matters concerning pot. However, unlike Clinton, he did inhale.


Comments (14) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Pope Peabrain 1
I'm still not used to having a president with common sense. It just comes from a lifetime of dealing with the dung left over by the likes of Nixon, et al.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 14, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Zebes 2
Choom Gang 2016
Posted by Zebes on December 14, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
So, his message to the pot-smokers in his base is "I think you should all be in jail, but you should support me anyway because I don't have enough resources to put most of you there".
Posted by chrisgreen on December 14, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
I don't believe him. He told the California dispensaries the same thing at the start of his first administration but the busts of the clubs continued, along with constant harassment, threats to the property owners, etc. It got so bad here in SF that some clubs just gave up a physical brick and mortar store and now provide their product by delivery only.
Posted by PaulBarwick on December 14, 2012 at 9:29 AM · Report this
I'm with @4--The President, if he didn't lie, was was very disingenuous on the MMJ issue. We'll see if the Feds in another year or so find some oblique means of obstructing the legalization and sale of weed which I expect to happen.
Posted by neo-realist on December 14, 2012 at 9:42 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 6
File this under "I will believe it when I see it" for reasons cited above.

Also, I think he has left himself ample wiggle-room for the DoJ to enjoin implementation of regulatory regimes for sale and distribution. And even if they don't do that, he seems to leave wide open the possibility that anyone who attempts to open up shop under state law would face federal distribution charges.

The feds don't have to go after recreational smokers to seriously interfere with state law, is what I'm saying.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on December 14, 2012 at 9:42 AM · Report this

There must be other reasons for shutting down these establishments other than the simple fact that they're selling cannabis products. lists seven or eight brick-and-mortar dispensaries in central SF (and way more than that across the bay bridge), so one has to wonder why all of these are still in business, if the level of harassment from the Feds is as bad as you claim.
Posted by COMTE on December 14, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
@3 To be kinda fair, enforcing and upholding the law is the president's actual official job. Not, mind you, to determine unilaterally what those laws are.

Write your congress rep and senator if you want the law changed. Quit bitching at the president about what the laws are, it's just intellectually lazy and ignorant.
Posted by K on December 14, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
seandr 9
He's basically saying, toke up, and by the way, I'm not a black Muslim hippy communist pothead.
Posted by seandr on December 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
DavidG 10
What @8 said. Enough with the cult of the presidency already. It just distracts from the real culprits - our elected representatives in Congress.
Posted by DavidG on December 14, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
@8: The scheduling status of marijuana is under the executive branch's control. Any I-502 related lawsuits filed by the federal government will be chosen or not chosen by the justice department who works for Obama. Every enforcement action will be carried out by the DEA, reporting to Obama.

I'm not ignorant and lazy, and I've made my opinions known to the relevant elected officials. There were some not too happy to get an earful from me and a closed checkbook this round based upon this issue.

Sure, the principle of the president enforcing congressional laws is a lofty one (I assume the same principle leads you to criticize him for abandoning his defense of DOMA, unlike me). Maybe he should say he is going to not prosecute intra-state marijuana activities until he has successfully eradicated marijuana in all the other states :-).
Posted by chrisgreen on December 14, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
Basically, he's just being honest that they can't get a conviction for individual possession or state/county/retail legal sales in the West any more.

But if you're in a gang and selling weed, don't be surprised if they do convict you.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 14, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
GhostDog 13
So, what I'm hearing is that he's said it's going to be lower priority for now.

I'm going to pull a prediction from the vast and great psychic abyss of "What Obama did the last time this type of thing came up." Please note that this is said in a super spooky voice.

When stores are opened he will go after them primarily based on factors such as size, proximity to schools, etc that make them more egregious. The really big and well known stores(such as Harborside) will get either harassed or busted as well as the ones that are breaking state law.

The DOJ will try to do some court wrangling about lesser aspects of the laws which will, at most, make it a little harder for them to exist so that way the Democrats can show that they aren't blood siblings with the filthy stoners.

Once everyone realizes that the world won't come to a sudden and complete end due to hordes of psychotic stoners roaming the countryside other states, depending on their electorate and temperament, will try to implement regulation of cannabis.

Or, in other words, so far this is going exactly like MMJ has under the Obama administration.

And yes, I know there was a terrible shooting in a school. Yes it is absolutely horrifying. I am currently still in shock from Clackmas. I'm posting about something I know about so I don't start crying at work because two close family members are out of work, the world has gone insane, and there isn't a damn thing I can do to fix it.

Feel free to flame away. I don't care at this point.
Posted by GhostDog on December 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
Seemed like Obama's DOJ focused on medical dispensaries that weren't complying with state law, even though some super compliant ones got caught up in the collateral damage. I would expect Obama to leave us alone if our retail stores are actually following I-502.
Posted by bekkdgo on December 14, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy