SEATTLE - Officials and pot advocates looking for any sign of whether the Obama administration will sue to block legal pot laws in Washington state and Colorado or stand idly by as they are implemented got one from the president himself.
But it did little to clear the air.
While they welcomed President Barack Obama's comments that catching pot users was a low priority for his administration, they said it didn't answer a bigger question: Will federal prosecutors and drug agents also look the other way?
This Nov. 8, file photo shows marijuana plants flourishing under the lights at a grow house in Denver. President Barack Obama says he won't go after Washington state and Colorado for legalizing marijuana. In a Barbara Walters interview airing Friday on ABC, Obama is asked whether he supports making pot legal. He says, 'I wouldn't go that far.'
Pot advocates say they are leery since previous statements from the administration that it wouldn't go after individual medical marijuana users was followed by crackdowns on dispensaries and others who grew and sold the pot.
"There's some signal of hope," said Alison Holcomb, who led Washington's legalization drive, but added that it will take more than the president to clarify the issues around legal pot. "We ultimately need a legislative resolution."
In an interview with Barbara Walters scheduled to air on ABC on Friday, Obama said that going after "recreational users" would not be a "top priority" in the two states, where voters legalized pot use in November.
In his comments, the president didn't specifically address how the federal government would respond to state officials in Washington and Colorado, who are beginning work on regulations for commercial pot sales.