Legal Pot: Obama Not Going After Users

Barack Obama says he has no intention of going after Washington state and Colorado for legalising recreational marijuana use.

In an interview with ABC aired on Friday, the president was asked whether he supported making pot legal.

He replied: "I wouldn't go that far."

But the president did say he would not pursue the issue in those states where voters legalised the non-medical use of marijuana in the November elections.

The ballot set up a possible showdown with the Justice Department, as marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

"We've got bigger fish to fry," Mr Obama said.

"It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal."

Marijuana officially became legal for private recreational use in Washington state and Colorado earlier this month.

A total of 18 other states allow marijuana for medical use.

The president wrote of his own high school pot-smoking days in his autobiography Dreams From My Father. 

"There are a bunch of things I did that I regret when I was a kid," Mr Obama told ABC on Friday.

"My attitude is, substance abuse generally is not good for our kids, not good for our society," he added. "I want to discourage drug use."