NewsNation | December 07, 2012
>>> one day after washington state became the first state to legalize recreational use of marijuana, there's a chance the state's big weed experiment may all go to pot. that's because as "the new york times" reports the white house could be joining forces with the justice department to take action against washington and colorado, which also recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana. joining me from the white house , nbc news white house correspondent, kristen welker. sticky issue for the president. to what degree is the administration prepared to enforce federal law without alienating a significant number of people that just supported i his re-election?
>> reporter: good morning. a number of people that supported president obama , liberal democrats , may support the initiatives to legalize marijuana in colorado as well as washington. here's what's happening right now. the justice department is essentially reviewing these initiatives. they're reviewing it against the controlled substance act. this basically says that by federal law it is illegal to possess or sell marijuana, so that's what's going on behind the scenes , these conversations in early stages right now. i don't believe there's any action that's necessarily imminent. of course, we have to wait and see on that point. you're absolutely right. politically this could be challenging for president obama , but at this point in time they're really looking at all the options and basically making the case reminding people that, look, this is still illegal under federal law . craig.
>> what were the white house 's options here, kristen?
>> reporter: they have a couple options. one might be taking legal action against low-level offenders and then trying to make the case that ultimately federal law trumps state law . another option might be going straight at the state level and basically saying they don't have authority to regulation taxes and other initiatives when it comes to marijuana. craig.
>> we look ahead to the president's inauguration next month. politico tweeting a few hours ago that president obama will accept unlimited corporate donations for his inauguration in january. that's a departure from four years ago. what's behind the change?
>> reporter: it is a departure. the white house weighed in as well. we're not taking money from super-pacs or anything like that, but they don't want to tap back into their donors. they feel their donors are all tapped out after this election, which, of course, raised record amounts of money. that's why they look to corporate donations. they're pointing out this year the celebrations are going to be much more scaled back. there will be three inaugural balls, no big concert. so it's not the same huge celebration that we saw back in 2008 . of course, that's in part because of the economy and they want to be mindful of that. but that is what is really driving this change. they feel their supporters, donors are tapped out after this historically election campaign .