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Rep. Rohrabacher: Pot Prohibition Has Bred 'Police State'

By    |   Monday, 27 Apr 2015 08:21 PM

Laws against marijuana are a license for police to trample on some of Americans' most basic personal liberties, says the Republican sponsor of a House bill that would bar the federal government from overruling states such as Colorado that now permit some recreational and medical marijuana use.

The federal prohibition against pot — and Washington's demand that states enforce it — has been "a catastrophe for the well-being of our country," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV  on Monday.

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"They have developed a police state in order to what?" said Rohrabacher. "In order to protect us from ourselves.

"Local police should be handling crimes, rapes, murders," he said. "We do not have the resources to spend our very limited law enforcement dollars on trying to prevent people from smoking weed in their backyard. That's ridiculous."

A longtime advocate of softer penalties
for pot, Rohrabacher last week reintroduced the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act he last put forward in 2013 — this time with five other Republicans and six Democrats as co-sponsors.

A similar bipartisan bill,
co-sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and presidential candidate, was introduced in March and would shield state-sanctioned medical marijuana use from federal prosecution.

But other 2016 presidential hopefuls,
including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have said they oppose decriminalizing marijuana use and would crack down on states that do.

Rohrabacher said marijuana law is more than a campaign issue.

"I consider this to be a moral and a legal issue, and a freedom issue as our Founding Fathers set it out in the Constitution," said Rohrabacher. "If it helps us politically, that just means that the American people agree with that — that we shouldn't be wasting limited dollars preventing our veterans who are having convulsions, or our children who are having these seizures, preventing them from utilizing the marijuana that's been shown to have some impact on some of these diseases."

Rohrabacher said the way to limit marijuana abuse and underage use is through education, not by putting the drug in the same law-enforcement category as crimes against people and property.

He said it's easier for teenagers in America today "to get marijuana than it is for them to get beer," and that "for us to be spending billions of dollars a year to help protect people from themselves is absolutely ridiculous, and is counter to what our Founding Fathers meant for the 10th Amendment to the Constitution."

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Laws against marijuana are a license for police to trample on some of Americans' most basic personal liberties, says the Republican sponsor of a House bill that would bar the federal government from overruling states that now permit some recreational and medical marijuana use
Dana Rohrabacher, marijuana, pot, laws, personal, liberty, federal, police, state
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2015-21-27
Monday, 27 Apr 2015 08:21 PM
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