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‘States’ Rights! States’ Rights!’: These Pro-Marijuana Conservatives Make the Case for Legalizing Pot

Posted by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 7:38 AM
  • 17 Replies


DENVER (TheBlaze/AP) — It’s not all hippies backing November’s marijuana legalization votes in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

Appealing to Western individualism and a mistrust of federal government, activists have lined up some prominent conservatives, from one-time presidential hopefuls Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul to Republican-turned-Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

“This is truly a nonpartisan issue,” said Mark Slaugh, a volunteer for the Colorado initiative who is based in Colorado Springs, which has more Republicans than anywhere else in the state.

“States’ rights! States’ rights!” Slaugh cried as he handed out flyers about the state’s pot measure outside a rally last month by Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Quite a few passing Republicans took the flyer.

“It’s fiscally prudent. It would be taxed, regulated, monitored. It makes a lot of sense to Republicans,” he said.

Most Republicans still oppose legalization. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney vows to enforce federal law. When Ryan told a Colorado Springs TV station in September that medical marijuana was “up to Coloradans to decide,” his campaign quickly backtracked and said he agreed with Romney.

When activists make their appeal, it goes like this: States should dictate drug law. Decades of federal prohibition have failed where personal responsibility and old-fashioned parenting will succeed. Politicians back East have no business dictating what the states do.

Pro Marijuana Conservatives Push for Pot Legalization: Right or Wrong?

Photo Credit: FILE

“What is the law against marijuana if it isn’t the Nanny State telling you what you can do and what you can’t do to your body and with your body?” asked Tancredo, a former Republican congressman from suburban Denver who briefly ran for president in 2008 and endorsed the measure on the steps of the state capitol. He compared federal law to New York City’s ban on sugary sodas.

Tancredo launched a radio ad this week in which he compares marijuana prohibition to alcohol prohibition as a “failed government program” that, in this case, “steers Colorado money to criminals in Mexico.”

“Proponents of big government have duped us into supporting a similar prohibition of marijuana — even though it can be used safely and responsibly by adults,” Tancredo said.

Pot supporters have lined up other surprising allies this year, even as many Democrats oppose the measures. Conservative stalwart Pat Robertson, for example, said marijuana should be legal.

In Washington state, Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Michael Baumgartner is running a longshot bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, who opposes it.

“It’s taking a different approach to a very expensive drug war, and potentially a better approach,” he said.

In Oregon, at least one Republican state Senate candidate backs legalization. Cliff Hutchison reasoned that legalizing pot would “cut wasteful government spending on corrections and reduce drug gang violence.”

Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, is fiscally conservative but supports such liberal causes as legalizing marijuana, immigration reform and abortion rights. He’s said that if elected he would pardon all non-violent prisoners convicted of marijuana-related offenses in federal court.

Pro Marijuana Conservatives Push for Pot Legalization: Right or Wrong?

Photo Credit: FILE

Pro-pot conservatives have counterparts on the other side – Democrats who say pot shouldn’t be legal without a doctor’s recommendation. Democratic governors in Colorado and Washington oppose legalization. Oregon’s Democratic governor has not taken a stand.

President Barack Obama’s administration has shut down medical marijuana dispensaries in California and Colorado.

Republican Colorado state Sen. Steve King is a frequent critic of Colorado’s medical marijuana law. Conservatives abhor government, but they also fear legalization would increase children’s drug use, he said. “It’s pretty easy to come in and say, `Let’s decrease government.’ And I’m all for that. This just isn’t the place to start,” King said.

“We have a next generation to protect,” he said.

What do you think — should marijuana be legalized? Take the poll, below:


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/states-rights-states-rights-these-pro-marijuana-conservatives-make-the-case-for-legalizing-pot-poll/

by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 7:38 AM
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Replies (1-10):
randi1978
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 7:59 AM
1 mom liked this

For one, it's not a drug and it's the most commonly used item for relaxation and recreational use (outside of beer, which is more harmful, I should add).  The federal government and more "conservative" states make way too much money keeping it illegal.  But look at how crowded jails and prisons are.

My state is one of the ones tossing around full legalization.  It is currently considered low priority "crime".  You get a ticket and maybe a small fine.  CPS can't take your kids (you can even admit to smoking it and as long as you don't do it in front of the kids, they don't care).  It's legal for medical use as well.

Legalization will not make more accessible to kids anymore than it already is.  Alcohol has strict age restrictions and kids still manage to get ahold of it.  It won't turn the nation into a bunch of Cheech and Chongs.  There are irresponsible smokers just as there are irresponsible drinkers.  I know quite a few smokers and considering what they do for a living and how they present themselves, you would have never known they toked up in the evenings.

It needs to be legal, taxed and regulated.  I'm on the fence about leaving it up to the states since some asshole states still see it no different than heroin, but it certainly would be a start.  Tax it, regulate, put an age restriction onto it and make the penalties for driving under the influence or giving to minors more severe.

meriana
by Platinum Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 8:41 AM
1 mom liked this

I would not have a problem with it being legal for medical purposes and sold thru a pharmacy although I think they'd still have problems with dr.s prescribing it just because a patient wants it. Overall legalization, to me is not a good idea. They talk about regulation but there's really no way to regulate it.  They didn't seem able to regulate the dispensaries. Yes, they regulate tobacco but to my knowledge tobacco cannot be grown in one's basement or closet, MJ can be and is. So tax it....right...those that don't want to pay the high tax are either going to grow their own or go to their dealer who doesn't charge them tax. As for the money spent because it's illegal, how much are they going to be spending trying to keep people from growing their own and if people grow their own, where are all the funds from taxing it? Nonexistant.

moonglow482004
by Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 11:04 AM
1 mom liked this

The World needs Hemp. It's history has many very important facts. Did you know that these things were all made with HEMP....... Ships sails, Clothing, Oil for the wagon wheel as grease, as well as the wagon covering of cloth look into it. You will BE AMAZED!!!!

moonglow482004
by Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I AM PRO-HEMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Carpy, what is your take on this issue? I don't think I've caught any posts by you regarding this.
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meriana
by Platinum Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting moonglow482004:

The World needs Hemp. It's history has many very important facts. Did you know that these things were all made with HEMP....... Ships sails, Clothing, Oil for the wagon wheel as grease, as well as the wagon covering of cloth look into it. You will BE AMAZED!!!!

Hemp does have many, many uses but from what I understand, Hemp, while related to MJ, is a different plant.

timeforprogress
by Silver Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Same species different genetic variety.  The plants typically used for hemp production are a cannabis sativa variety with very low levels of THC.  So you can't get high off of them.  Though there is no reason that you couldn't grow a cannabis sativa with higher THC levels, and use the flowers for fun and the fibers for industrial use. 

Don't ask me why I know all this. 

Quoting meriana:


Quoting moonglow482004:

The World needs Hemp. It's history has many very important facts. Did you know that these things were all made with HEMP....... Ships sails, Clothing, Oil for the wagon wheel as grease, as well as the wagon covering of cloth look into it. You will BE AMAZED!!!!

Hemp does have many, many uses but from what I understand, Hemp, while related to MJ, is a different plant.


etsmom
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I don't smoke pot mostly because it is illegal, but because it doesn't make me feel well. However, I have no issue with allowing for states to decide. I don't care if it's legal.  My grandmother was taking something pot derived to help her with her appetite when she was sick with cancer. It was a good thing then.

PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Yes, pot AND cocaine should be legalized and taxed.  It would make money for the states (like gambling) and may stem the blood running in Mexico and in the US due to drug lords.

lga1965
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 6:13 PM

 http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States. It is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves derived from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. The main active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short.

http://www.acde.org/common/Marijana.htm

http://kidshealth.org/kid/grow/drugs_alcohol/know_drugs_marijuana.html

http://www.drugs.com/marijuana.html

Quoting randi1978:

For one, it's not a drug and it's the most commonly used item for relaxation and recreational use (outside of beer, which is more harmful, I should add).  The federal government and more "conservative" states make way too much money keeping it illegal.  But look at how crowded jails and prisons are.

My state is one of the ones tossing around full legalization.  It is currently considered low priority "crime".  You get a ticket and maybe a small fine.  CPS can't take your kids (you can even admit to smoking it and as long as you don't do it in front of the kids, they don't care).  It's legal for medical use as well.

Legalization will not make more accessible to kids anymore than it already is.  Alcohol has strict age restrictions and kids still manage to get ahold of it.  It won't turn the nation into a bunch of Cheech and Chongs.  There are irresponsible smokers just as there are irresponsible drinkers.  I know quite a few smokers and considering what they do for a living and how they present themselves, you would have never known they toked up in the evenings.

It needs to be legal, taxed and regulated.  I'm on the fence about leaving it up to the states since some asshole states still see it no different than heroin, but it certainly would be a start.  Tax it, regulate, put an age restriction onto it and make the penalties for driving under the influence or giving to minors more severe.

 

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