President Barack Obama sidestepped a question about medical marijuana legalization at a town hall event in Cannon Falls, Minnesota Monday.
“If you can’t legalize marijuana, why can’t you just legalize medical marijuana?” a woman asked the president.
“A lot of states are making decisions about medical marijuana,” Obama explained. “As a controlled substance, the issue is then that is it being prescribed by a doctor as opposed to… you know, well, I’ll leave it at that.”
While DEA raids on medical marijuana providers never came to a complete halt after the Obama administration declared in 2009 that it would not interfere with people operating in compliance with state medical marijuana laws, the pace did slacken. Yet the DEA’s medical marijuana raids not only have continued but are more frequent under Obama than they were under George W. Bush.
Watch this video from C-SPAN, broadcast Aug. 15, 2011.
“What I’m not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state [medical marijuana] laws.”
Barack Obama, Oregon Mail Tribune, March 22, 2008