Obama Administration Weighs Legal Action Against States That Leg - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:29:40 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
  • PHOTOS: Semi-truck rolls on its side in Post Falls

    PHOTOS: Semi-truck rolls on its side in Post Falls

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:45 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:45:02 GMT
    POST FALLS, Idaho -Idaho State Police were called to the area of Pleasant View Road off of I-90 on Thursday.>>
    POST FALLS, Idaho -Idaho State Police were called to the area of Pleasant View Road off of I-90 on Thursday. The truck was blocking multiple lanes of traffic, and it is unknown if anyone was hurt during the crash. However, a witness to the crash told KHQ it appeared that everyone was OK.>>
  • PHOTOS: Harvest 2014

    PHOTOS: Harvest 2014

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:18 PM EDT2014-08-22 01:18:43 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - One of the great parts about living in Spokane, is if you head out of town in any direction, you're going to run into some beautiful farm land. I grew up south of Spokane, near Plaza, and one of my favorite things to do was to sit on the porch at night and stare south towards Rosalia at all of the rolling hills of wheat, lentils, barley and peas. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - One of the great parts about living in Spokane, is if you head out of town in any direction, you're going to run into some beautiful farm land. I grew up south of Spokane, near Plaza, and one of my favorite things to do was to sit on the porch at night and stare south towards Rosalia at all of the rolling hills of wheat, lentils, barley and peas. >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Flash flooding & mudslides trap people in Okanogan County

    Flash flooding & mudslides trap people in Okanogan County

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:30 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:30:33 GMT
    Benson Creek FloodingBenson Creek Flooding
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash.- A Washington state trooper says floods and mud slides triggered by heavy rain on wildfire-burned terrain in north-central Washington have blocked portions of two highways, stranding some motorists.>>
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash.- A Washington state trooper says floods and mud slides triggered by heavy rain on wildfire-burned terrain in north-central Washington have blocked portions of two highways, stranding some motorists.>>
  • UPDATE: Stolen car returned to Gonzaga Prep student; thief remains at large

    UPDATE: Stolen car returned to Gonzaga Prep student; thief remains at large

    Friday, August 22 2014 2:22 AM EDT2014-08-22 06:22:59 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Last Thursday a Gonzaga Prep had her car stolen from the East Central Community Center. Madeline Antcliff had been volunteering at the community center as part of her graduation requirements. She says that last Thursday a woman came into the center and stole her purse..>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Last Thursday a Gonzaga Prep had her car stolen from the East Central Community Center. Madeline Antcliff had been volunteering at the community center as part of her graduation requirements. She says that last Thursday a woman came into the center and stole her purse..>>