Obama Administration Weighs Legal Action Against States That Leg - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Obama Administration Weighs Legal Action Against States That Legalized Marijuana Use

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON - Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states, according to several people familiar with the deliberations, reports the New York Times.

"It's a sticky wicket for Obama," said Bruce Buchanan, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Austin, saying any aggressive move on such a high-profile question would be seen as "a slap in the face to his base right after they've just handed him a chance to realize his presidential dreams."

One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state. The department could then obtain a court ruling that federal law trumps the state one.

  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • LIVE NOW: President Obama Speaks at Laborfest 2014

    LIVE NOW: President Obama Speaks at Laborfest 2014

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:55:47 GMT
    WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden today are using Labor Day appearances to press the case for a federal increase in the minimum wage -- a top issue for Democrats. In Detroit, Biden told hundreds of union members that they deserve a "fair share" of any improvement in corporate profits.More >>
    WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden today are using Labor Day appearances to press the case for a federal increase in the minimum wage -- a top issue for Democrats. In Detroit, Biden told hundreds of union members that they deserve a "fair share" of any improvement in corporate profits.More >>
  • Lawmakers: Islamic State groups wants to hit US

    Lawmakers: Islamic State groups wants to hit US

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:07 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:07:17 GMT
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers are warning that the United States and Western Europe are likely to be future targets of Islamic State militants. They say President Barack Obama needs to take action. Without offering specifics on threats or suggestions on how to confront them, the leaders of intelligence committees in the Senate and House are sharing a dire warning about the Islamic State group.More >>
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers are warning that the United States and Western Europe are likely to be future targets of Islamic State militants. They say President Barack Obama needs to take action. Without offering specifics on threats or suggestions on how to confront them, the leaders of intelligence committees in the Senate and House are sharing a dire warning about the Islamic State group.
    More >>
  • VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:00:12 GMT
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>More >>
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.