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

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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.

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