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>>

  • Man Shot In The Leg After Argument, Police Looking For Gunman

    Man Shot In The Leg After Argument, Police Looking For Gunman

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:59 AM EDT2014-04-24 09:59:01 GMT
    A man is recovering after he was shot in the leg near Brown and Riverside in Spokane earlier Thursday morning. The shooting was called out at 1:45 a.m. Detectives say the shooting followed an argument a bar called the Lion's Lair.More >>
    A man is recovering after he was shot in the leg near Brown and Riverside in Spokane earlier Thursday morning. The shooting was called out at 1:45 a.m. Detectives say the shooting followed an argument a bar called the Lion's Lair.
    More >>
  • Court Documents: Man Comes At Boy With Running Chainsaw As Form Of Punishment

    Court Documents: Man Comes At Boy With Running Chainsaw As Form Of Punishment

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:46 AM EDT2014-04-24 06:46:13 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Tuesday morning investigators, including a SWAT team executed search warrants on two homes believed to be involved in a string of recent burglaries.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Tuesday morning investigators, including a SWAT team executed search warrants on two homes believed to be involved in a string of recent burglaries. In all, 9 people were detained and Wednesday we learned two men were arrested. 41-year-old Robert Pearson and 40-year-old Dennis Blessing are now facing charges including trafficking in stolen property.More >>
  • Jury Finds Arteaga Guilty Of Murder

    Jury Finds Arteaga Guilty Of Murder

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:14:03 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It took a jury only a little more than two hours on Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty for the murder of Kim Schmidt. The prosecution said Arteaga was very jealous that his relationship was ending with Schmidt and she was moving on.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It took a jury only a little more than two hours on Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty for the murder of Kim Schmidt. The prosecution said Arteaga was very jealous that his relationship was ending with Schmidt and she was moving on. They say that's part of the reason why he decided to kill her at the beginning of 2012. The defense disagreed saying that Arteaga was not there when she died and they think she may have even died of suicideMore >>
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.