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Legal Pot Foes: 10 Lawmakers Who Have Publicly Opposed Legalizing Pot

By    |   Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 06:11 PM

Nationwide polling shows that Americans are narrowly in favor of fully legal pot, and 75 percent told the Pew Center poll that they believed national legalization was inevitable. However, a vast majority of elected and appointed officials from both sides of the political aisle are opposed to legalizing pot for either medical or recreational use.

Here are 10 lawmakers that have publicly opposed legalizing pot on the state or national level:

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1. Gov. Chris Christie (R-New Jersey)

Christie famously derided marijuana and Colorado's “quality of life” because of “head shops popping up on every corner.” Christie has steadily opposed marijuana legalization in New Jersey, telling a local radio show caller, “You know it may come down the road when I’m gone. It’s not going to come while I’m here.”

2. Gov. Mike Pence (R-Indiana)

The Indiana governor requested increased prison times for possession of as little as one-third of an ounce of marijuana. He said that the bill would “send a message that the state is tough on drug dealers.”

3. Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Massachusetts)

The new governor strongly opposes a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to legalize recreational pot. “I'm going to oppose that and oppose it vigorously ... with a lot of help from a lot of other people in the addiction community,” he said after his election in an interview with Masslive.com.

4. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island)

The former representative fought against the Washington, D.C., cannabis legalization initiative that passed in November 2014. He is also on the board of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which he founded in 2013.

5. Attorney General Jon Bruning, Nebraska

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Bruning, along with his colleague in Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt, sued the state of Colorado in the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge Amendment 64 and the state's authority to legalize marijuana despite remaining federal controlled substances law.

6. Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado

Despite being required by Amendment 64 to administer the country's most permissive marijuana state, Gov. Hickenlooper was opposed to retail legalization. “Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don't break out the Cheetos or goldfish too quickly,” he famously said, after election day 2012, in regards to legal pot.

7. Michael Botticelli, director of Drug Control Policy

The nation's “Drug Czar” is prohibited by federal law from advocating for legal pot, and Botticelli has maintained that position.

8. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

The GOP presidential hopeful has attacked President Barack Obama for refusing to enforce federal drug laws in Colorado and Washington. “Anyone who is concerned about liberty should be concerned about the notion that this president over and over again has asserted the right to pick and choose what laws to follow,” Cruz said to Reason magazine regarding Obama and legal pot.

9. Rep. John Mica (R-Florida)

The chairman of the subcommittee on government operations held hearings on increasing federal penalties for operating trucks or other federally-regulated transportation while under the influence of marijuana.

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10. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California)

Feinstein, who is from the first state to legalize medical marijuana, has written that the U.S. is in violation of United Nations drug control treaties and losing its standing in the world every time a state legalizes marijuana, according to SFWeekly.

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Nationwide polling shows that Americans are narrowly in favor of fully legal pot, and 75 percent told the Pew Center poll that they believed national legalization was inevitable.
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2015-11-02
Thursday, 02 Apr 2015 06:11 PM
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