Hillary Clinton Would Let Colorado Keep Legal Marijuana

Clinton said the federal government should not interfere with Colorado's pot laws. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hillary Rodham Clinton says the federal government should not prevent states such as Colorado from legalizing marijuana.  

"I really believe it's important that states like Colorado lead the way, so that we can learn what works and what doesn't work," she told KUSA-TV in Colorado. "And I would certainly not want the federal government to interfere with the legal decision made by the people of Colorado, and enforced by your elected officials, as to how you should be conducting this business that you have approved. So, no, I want to give you the space and I want other states to learn from you, what works and what doesn't work." Clinton's remarks came a day after the first Democratic presidential debate on CNN, where she said she wasn't ready to endorse legal recreational marijuana but did support the use of medical marijuana, including more research.  

Obama's Going to Prison

Obama's going to prison for an HBO special. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama's going to prison to star in an HBO series. The president next week will head to a federal prison in Oklahoma as part of Vice special on criminal justice. "As part of the VICE special airing this fall on HBO, Obama and VICE founder Shane Smith, host of the special, will tour the facility and meet with prisoners, prison staff, and law enforcement officials," Vice News said.  

Obama has made changes to the criminal justice system — including lighter sentences for nonviolent drug offenders — a priority for the remaining months of his administration. He also is reportedly planning to ramp up commutations of drug sentences in the coming weeks.  

Obama Still Taking It Slow on Marijuana

Obama answers a question from a participant about decriminalizing marijuana during a town hall meeting with young leaders at the University of the West Indies in Kingston. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

Just when President Barack Obama started to sound more and more like a supporter of legalizing marijuana, he’s hit the pause button. Obama has made positive comments about legalizing — or at least decriminalizing — marijuana in interviews with David Simon , VICE News and a YouTube star. But he made it clear during a visit to Jamaica, of all places, that people shouldn't expect big changes in federal law soon.  

"There are two states in the United States that have embarked on an experiment to decriminalize or legalize marijuana — Colorado and Washington State. And we will see how that experiment works its way through the process," Obama said.  

Obama Backs Marijuana Decriminalization, With Caveats (Updated) (Video)

Obama sees "progress" in states decriminalizing marijuana — and says Congress could then reschedule the drug. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:35 p.m. | President Barack Obama appeared to come closer than ever to endorsing legal marijuana in an interview posted Monday by VICE News. Obama, asked about the popularity of legalizing marijuana among young people, appeared initially unenthusiastic.  

“Young people, I understand this is important to you, but you should be thinking about climate change, the economy, jobs, war and peace. Maybe way at the bottom you should be thinking about marijuana.”  

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)

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.  

Vanita Gupta, New DOJ Civil Rights Pick, Has Supported Marijuana Legalization (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:31 p.m. | The new nominee to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division — American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Vanita Gupta — has backed legalizing and taxing marijuana.  

Just last month in a CNN column, Gupta suggested states follow the lead of Colorado and Washington to legalize and tax marijuana, rather than imprisoning people for using it. "It's time for states to end the costly criminalization of marijuana and recalibrate sentencing laws so that the punishment actually fits the crime as opposed to a politician's re-election agenda," she said. "Public attitudes toward marijuana are rapidly evolving, and a Gallup poll last year found for the first time that a majority of Americans now favor legalization as a better course than criminalization. ...  

New Choice to Head DOJ Civil Rights Division Has Early Conservative Support

Gupta, left, and Vernon Jordan chat during a news conference announcing the winners in Reebok's 2004 Human Rights Awards in 2004. ( Andrew Kent/Getty Images File Photo)

Updated 4:38 p.m. | After the last administration pick to head the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division collapsed on the Senate floor, the Obama team has lined up some conservative backing for its new choice, American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Vanita Gupta.  

As the news of her appointment broke in The Washington Post,  DOJ spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted out favorable quotes about Gupta from Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and David Keene, the former president of the National Rifle Association.  

Obama to Congress: Hands Off D.C.'s Marijuana Policy

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., opposes an effort by the House GOP to nix the District's attempt to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House has a message for Congress — hands off the District of Columbia, including its new law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.  

Buried in a broadly worded veto threat of the Financial Services appropriations bill, the administration said Monday it "strongly opposes" language restricting the District's ability to spend its own money on a host of issues, including implementing marijuana policy and abortions.