Is Obama About to Evolve on Marijuana?

Holder told CNN he was "cautiously optimistic" about the Colorado and Washington's legalization of marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Holder told CNN he was "cautiously optimistic" about the Colorado and Washington's legalization of marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted October 22, 2014 at 5:11pm

Updated 5:26 p.m. | No, President Barack Obama isn’t about to evolve his stance on marijuana. At least not today, according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest at Wednesday’s briefing.  

CQ Roll Call asked him about two recent developments — Attorney General Eric Holder telling CNN that he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, and the hiring of ACLU lawyer Vanita Gupta, an advocate of legalizing marijuana and leading drug war critic, to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.  

“Should we take these as signals that the president is himself continuing to evolve on this issue?” Earnest was asked.  

“No,” Earnest said. “I don’t have any update in terms of the president’s position on this issue. It sounds like the attorney general might be expressing his own point of view based on his own observation … of the implementation of those laws in those states that you identified. But I don’t have a position — a change in position from the president’s perspective to share with you.”  

As of now, the position on the White House’s web site remains this:  

“The Administration steadfastly opposes legalization of marijuana and other drugs because legalization would increase the availability and use of illicit drugs, and pose significant health and safety risks to all Americans, particularly young people.”  

Related:

Vanita Gupta, New DOJ Civil Rights Pick, Supports Marijuana Legalization 


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