This is a great start and an encouraging sign that the federal government doesn’t intend to ramp up its focus on individual users. Though considering it is extremely rare for the federal government to handle possession cases (only a few percent of annual arrests are conducted by the federal government), and that this is the same stance he took on medical cannabis before raiding more dispensaries than his predecessor, his administration’s broader policy will be the one to watch and according to his Attorney General Holder that pronouncement may come soon.
Yglesias is more downbeat:
The actual question on the table isn't whether the federal government is going to be able to replace state and local law enforcement, the question is whether the federal government will do everything in its power to subvert the new frameworks in CO and WA. The president's statement to Walters is entirely consistent with a posture of maximum subversion.
Pete Guither's view:
So after a month, the President comes out and says … absolutely nothing. After all, feds going after users has never been a top priority, because they don’t have the resources to go after that many users. But this says absolutely nothing about distribution methods, or even the possibility of going after some users (it just wouldn’t be a “top priority”).
This is basically a non-response and probably shouldn't be taken as an indication of what federal policy is likely to be going forward.