Obama: Federal Marijuana Prohibition Untenable

Washington, DC: President Barack Obama says that passage of state laws legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana calls into question the future of federal prohibition.

Speaking in a taped interview with Bill Maher prior to the election, Obama said, “[T]his referenda, to some degree it’s gonna call [into] question [federal marijuana prohibition], because if in fact it passed in all these states, you now have about a fifth of the country that’s operating under one set of laws, and four-fifths in another.”

He added, “The Justice Department, DEA, FBI, for them to try to straddle and figure out how they’re supposed to enforce laws in some places and not in others. … [T]hat is not gonna be tenable.”

Voters in eight states passed statewide ballot initiatives on Tuesday regulating the use and distribution of marijuana.

For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director.