NEW YORK (AP) — While many liberal policy goals have proved elusive during Barack Obama's presidency, there have been dramatic advances for two causes that once seemed quixotic — legalization of same-sex marriage and decriminalization of marijuana.
Neither is a cause embraced by Obama during his first term. Yet he's now a fervent supporter of marriage equality and says it's "important" that Colorado and Washington state be able to proceed with their pioneering laws that legalize marijuana.
There are now 19 states that allow gay marriage, and bans in the remaining states are being struck down by federal judges at a rapid pace. As for marijuana, voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia will consider ballot measures in November that would emulate Colorado and Washington by legalizing recreational use of pot.