The White House said Wednesday that President Barack Obama had no intention of altering the government’s policy towards marijuana.
At a daily press briefing, CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin asked Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest if the Obama administration had any plans to reschedule marijuana. The drug is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, while cocaine and methamphetamine are classified as less harmful Schedule II substances.
“The administration’s position on this has been clear and consistent for some time now that while the prosecution of drug traffickers remains an important priority, the president and the administration believe that targeting individual marijuana users, especially those with serious illnesses and their caregivers, is not the best allocation for federal law enforcement resources,” Earnest replied.
In 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder directed federal prosecutors to not go after medical marijuana patients. Holder said prosecuting medical marijuana patients was a not good use of resources, but marijuana dispensaries were still fair game. Under the Obama administration, more than 200 medical marijuana facilities have been raided, even though they are legal under state laws.
At the press briefing, Earnest also indicated that the Obama administration has no intention of making it easier to research the medical benefits of marijuana.
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