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President's Pot Comments Prompts Call for Policy

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
FILE - In this Jan. 24, 1972, file photo, a teenager relights the remainder of a marijuana joint. In 1972 a commission appointed by President Richard Nixon to study marijuana said it should be decriminalized and regulated. Nixon rejected that, but a dozen states in the 1970s went on to eliminate jail time as a punishment for pot arrests. On the occasion of  �Legalization Day,� Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, when Washington�s new law takes effect, AP takes a look back at the cultural and legal status of the �evil weed� in American history. (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 1972, file photo, a teenager relights the remainder of a marijuana joint. In 1972 a commission appointed by President Richard Nixon to study marijuana said it should be decriminalized and regulated. Nixon rejected that, but a dozen states in the 1970s went on to eliminate jail time as a punishment for pot arrests. On the occasion of �Legalization Day,� Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, when Washington�s new law takes effect, AP takes a look back at the cultural and legal status of the �evil weed� in American history. (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Medical marijuana advocates are taking some solace from President Obama's statement that prosecuting individual users in Colorado and Washington is not a priority, but they want assurances that federal crackdowns on big pot dispensaries will end in California and other states.

Local and state officials, meanwhile, called on the administration to clarify its enforcement policy in states with marijuana laws.

Obama said federal authorities would leave alone individual users in Colorado and Washington, states that legalized recreational marijuana use.

Still, federal officials said they will continue to try to shut down big commercial pot operations, whether they operate under state medical marijuana laws or not. The federal government is planning to soon release policies for dealing with marijuana in Colorado and Washington, where pot is now legal under state law.

AP-WF-12-15-12 0749GMT


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