Everyone is jumping all over Barbara Walters’s TV interview with Obama recently and interpreting his statement that “we’ve got bigger fish to fry” to mean that Colorado and Washington can safely proceed full steam ahead with their respective legal-marijuana regimes. However, I’m unsure whether Obama said anything we didn’t already know about the matter.
There’s never been much doubt that Coloradans will be able to smoke marijuana in their living room without fear of the DEA or FBI raiding their house. Still, it is less than clear whether the Department of Justice will go after commercial suppliers like growers or retailers. For example, Obama told Rolling Stone the following in April of this year:
It “is a murky area where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users, but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users. In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we’re telling them, ‘This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way.’ That’s not something we’re going to do.”
Until the Attorney General Eric Holder resolves the amalgam of conflicting laws, regulations and treaties, its caveat emptor for any person interested in blazing a trail in retail marijuana.