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Rep. Rohrabacher: Get The Feds Off Marijuana Meds Enforcement

May 13, 2014

WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, in a speech Friday to the House of Representatives, called on the federal government to align its policies consistently with the 26 states that have allowed marijuana to be prescribed by doctors for medical treatment. The California congressman, a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan long identified with conservative politics, said the consequences of “continuing a heavy-handed, emotion-based policy” pose a threat to Americans’ freedoms.

“Patients and providers currently run the risk,” said Rohrabacher, “of having a federal SWAT Team-like police force raid their home or their place of business because of consumption of a plant. The militarization of the police force in order to prevent grandma from smoking an herb that will ease her pain during her last days on this earth is the type of thing that ought to make every conservative shudder.

“The harassment from the Drug Enforcement Agency,” he continued, “is something this body [Congress] should not tolerate.  Businesspeople who are licensed and certified to provide doctor-recommended medicine within their own states have seen their businesses locked down, assets seized, and customers driven away.”

The Republican specifically demanded that taxpayer funds be denied the Justice Department in its efforts to treat medical marijuana as “something that ought to be scrubbed from our society.”

Rohrabacher announced that in the near future he and several of his colleagues will “introduce an amendment to the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill to bring an end to this disruptive, ill-advised, and wasteful policy that we have pursued for far too long.”

Citing conservative icons Milton Friedman, William F. Buckley, and Grover Norquist as influencing his intention to keep marijuana policy within the restrictions of the Tenth Amendment, which gives preference to state laws on matters not enumerated in the Constitution, Rohrabacher called on likeminded Republicans to follow.

“Conservatives in this body who regularly call for a decrease in the size and scope of the federal government, but who have historically opposed ceding any ground with regard to the Controlled Substances Act, ought to seriously consider voting for my amendment....

“In fact, if you’re on the wrong side of Milton Friedman, William F. Buckley, and Grover Norquist, you ought to reconsider whether your position is the conservative one.”

The federal Controlled Substances Act still lists marijuana and its derivatives as a Schedule I substance, in the same category as heroin and LSD. Recent polls suggest overwhelming majorities of Americans favor reforming federal marijuana policy.