Marijuana

Marco Rubio Is Inclined to Raid State-Licensed Marijuana Businesses

The presidential contender says "we need to enforce our federal laws" in states with legal pot.

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ABC News

Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell notes that Chris Christie was not the only Republican candidate who recently indicated that he would try to shut down state-licensed cannabusinesses if elected president. On the same day that talk radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Christie whether he would enforce the federal ban on marijuana against people growing and selling the drug in compliance with state law, he put the same question to Marco Rubio. The Florida senator's response was more ambiguous (or maybe just more confused) than the New Jersey governor's, but it suggested that Rubio would enforce pot prohibition more aggressively than Barack Obama has:

Hewitt: A lot of people are criticizing the President for not enforcing the immigration laws. He's also not enforcing the drug laws in Colorado and Washington State. If you're the president, will you enforce the federal drug laws and shut down the marijuana trade?

Rubio: Yes. Yes, I think, well, I think we need to enforce our federal laws. Now do states have a right to do what they want? They don't agree with it, but they have their rights. But they don't have a right to write federal policy as well….I don't believe we should be in the business of legalizing additional intoxicants in this country for the primary reason that when you legalize something, what you're sending a message to young people is it can't be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn't be legal.

In comparison with Christie, who said he would "crack down and not permit" state legalization of marijuana, Rubio seems to be a bit more concerned about the limits of federal authority, perhaps recognizing that most Republicans, including a substantial share of those who support prohibition, do not think the feds should impose that policy on states that reject it. He is correct that the states do not have the authority to rewrite federal policy, but that does not mean the Justice Department has to step in when states decide to treat marijuana merchants as legitimate businessmen instead of criminals.

For the most part, the DOJ in recent years has been using its broad enforcement discretion in a way that respects such policy choices. Contrary to Hewitt's gloss, that does not mean it is "not enforcing the drug laws in Colorado and Washington State." In addition to enforcing the rest of the Controlled Substances Act, U.S. attorneys are still pursuing marijuana cases in Colorado and Washington, just not in a way that shuts down the state-legal industry. Rubio apparently opposes that policy of prosecutorial forbearance. By contrast, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Rick Perry all have said that states should be free to legalize marijuana without interference by the federal government.

Issues of state autonomy aside, Rubio's resort to the same "wrong message" argument that Christie favors suggests he has not given the subject much thought. First of all, it is simply not true that people assume legal substances must be safer than illegal ones. In fact, more than two-thirds of Americans agree with Obama that alcohol, a legal drug, is more dangerous than marijuana, an illegal one. And given the big shifts in attitudes toward tobacco and in smoking prevalence during the last few decades, it is absurd to claim that people do not understand that legal substances can be deadly.

Even if it were true that legal availability implies a drug "can't be that bad," Rubio assumes that using violence against peaceful adults is justified to avoid sending "the wrong message" to teenagers about something they are not supposed to be doing in any case. That proposition is highly debatable, to say the least.

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  1. Now do states have a right to do what they want? They don’t agree with it, but they have their rights. But they don’t have a right to write federal policy as well….

    *sad trumpet*

  2. This guy is a moron and unfit to lead.

    1. They’re all morons unfit to lead. Otherwise they wouldn’t be politicians, they’d be working in the private sector doing something usefull.

  3. “…when you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is it can’t be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal.”

    Look to the State, for she is your loving Mother and will never guide you wrong.

    *vomits*

    1. so, then, by this logic the state should outlaw everything that is “bad”. Sounds about right for a Rubio/Cruz ticket.

      1. I’m not sure what is more maddening, the circular logic, the hint of the positive rights argument or the seeming obliviousness to the arbitrary nature of government picking and choosing which plants are legal to smoke.

    2. That was an aggressively stupid thing to say. The government is not and cannotbe the arbiter of what is good and bad, that way lies the bureaucratic micrmanagement of life that is yhe death of individual liberty. Rubio has come out for the small laws.

    3. It may be emetic, but it’s a widely-expressed sentiment, & probably true in most cases.

      1. Why do you think marijuana legaliz’n has gained so much ground? It’s because enough people have come to believe pot isn’t that bad. The reason it’s gained ground so rapidly in recent time is the heuristic that because some states are making it illegal, it couldn’t be that bad, & if it’s not that bad, it shouldn’t be illegal.

        1. Robert – Since when was the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ by the federal government even lawful Marco Rubio? There never has been a constitutional amendment called “Drug Prohibition” … as was the once asinine and dangerous criminal activities that developed and resulted from bootlegging after the passage of the constitutional amendment of “Alcohol Prohibition.”
          Thankfully and gratefully the Alcohol Prohibition was constitutionally overturned before anymore innocent people were caught up maimed and killed as they are now currently experiencing with the folly that is called the ‘War on Drug.”
          Only the several states and their people have the right to regulate drugs under the Constitution’s 10th Amendment.
          Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there any authority granted to the Federal government to regulate drugs … or many other things and issues that the federal government has unlawfully overstepped and usurped its constitutional boundaries.

  4. Poor Marco, he’s trying so hard to find an electorate of his own that he’s resorted to trolling for geezers and soccer moms.

    1. It’s his natural FL constituency.

      1. There are also legions of adult workers and marijuana merchants in Florida as well. Oh, they don’t vote?

  5. “I don’t believe we should be in the business of legalizing additional intoxicants in this country for the primary reason that when you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is it can’t be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal.”

    The Nanny State is strong with this one!

    1. ATXchappy – Since when was the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ by the federal government even lawful Marco Rubio? There never has been a constitutional amendment called “Drug Prohibition” … as was the once asinine and dangerous criminal activities that developed and resulted from bootlegging after the passage of the constitutional amendment of “Alcohol Prohibition.”
      Thankfully and gratefully the Alcohol Prohibition was constitutionally overturned before anymore innocent people were caught up maimed and killed as they are now currently experiencing with the folly that is called the ‘War on Drug.”
      Only the several states and their people have the right to regulate drugs under the Constitution’s 10th Amendment.
      Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there any authority granted to the Federal government to regulate drugs … or many other things and issues that the federal government has unlawfully overstepped and usurped its constitutional boundaries.

  6. Marco Rubio is literally the worst on nearly every position. Jesus I think Jeb might have more conservative bonifides than him.

    1. No, as bad as Rubio is he isn’t worse than Santorum

      1. He’s worse in the sense that he has a legimate shot and Santorums only shot would be if all of the candidates suddenly died and simultaneously every card carrying republican primary voter was also smited down by satan’s trident. Even then it would be hard for him to win.

    2. Why not find a libertarian type?

      And you Peanuts say you aren’t really Team Red?

      1. WTF are you talking about?

      2. Since the discussion is about a Republican candidate in the Republican primary. The only types are the Republicans that decide to run. If the discussion were about Libertarian candidates and their primary then you might have a point.

        Any you claim to be something other than a statist progressive troll?

        BTW, still waiting for you to destroy and embarrass me. If your reading skills were better than 8% of a toddlers I might be worried.

    3. I would respond to the Gabby Johnson but i honestly have no fucking idea what he just typed.

      1. Neither does he.

  7. No alt-text?

    The picture makes him look like he’s a moron. The interview makes him sound like one.

    1. Yeah, he kind of looks like a mongoloid in that picture. Which is fitting.

    2. Alt-text: “he has the mind of a child” which explains his concern for children

  8. this dumbass is polling even with Rand.

    1. And Jeb is in the lead!

      The Stupid Party never misses an opportunity to be stupid.

      1. It’s pretty meaningless now. Wait until things get going, then we’ll see. I doubt very seriously that Bush will get the nomination.

        1. Even if he doesn’t, other than Paul, who else from the Rogue’s Gallery would invalidate the Stupid Party’s penchant for being stupid?

    2. And Huckabee is just barely behind Paul, which is disturbing considering he hasn’t formally started running yet.

  9. “…Rubio assumes that using violence against peaceful adults is justified to avoid sending “the wrong message” to teenagers…”

    Well, that all depends on what kind of teenagers. I seem to remember a story about an island and some flies…they seemed to take to government-by-violence with aplomb.

  10. Fuck Marco Rubio.

    1. Not even with your dick attached to a 10′ pole

      1. How about with a running chainsaw?

  11. when you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is it can’t be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal.

    And you people always say we won’t reach Peak Derp. If that isn’t it well I just don’t even.

    1. Make no mistake: Peak Derp is a myth. The only infinite resource in the universe is stupidity. Just wait, soon enough some moron will say something even dumber, I guarantee it.

    2. Marty – Since when was the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ by the federal government even lawful Marco Rubio? There never has been a constitutional amendment called “Drug Prohibition” … as was the once asinine and dangerous criminal activities that developed and resulted from bootlegging after the passage of the constitutional amendment of “Alcohol Prohibition.”
      Thankfully and gratefully the Alcohol Prohibition was constitutionally overturned before anymore innocent people were caught up maimed and killed as they are now currently experiencing with the folly that is called the ‘War on Drug.”
      Only the several states and their people have the right to regulate drugs under the Constitution’s 10th Amendment.
      Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there any authority granted to the Federal government to regulate drugs … or many other things and issues that the federal government has unlawfully overstepped and usurped its constitutional boundaries.

  12. How can we show we’re serious about the drug war? Look, why don’t we just cut pot smokers’ noses off, or something?

  13. because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal.

    EVERYTHING NOT MANDATORY IS PROHIBITED

  14. OK, Rubio is dead to me. Between this, his idiotic rant against normalizing relations with Cuba and his desire to increase the Child Tax Credit (which should be eliminated entirely) to $3,500, I could never vote for him. Next!

  15. How is it these guys and their ilk manage to be on the wrong/evil side of every fucking issue?

  16. Voters are cracking down on Drug War pushing politicians.

  17. You have to ask who is paying him to say this?
    Is he in the pocket of the alcohol industry, the private prison industry, Big Pharma, Corrupt Law Enforcement addicted to federal drug war Dollars, or all of the above.
    At any rate, he needs to GTFO the planet.

  18. Since when was the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ by the federal government even lawful Marco Rubio? There never has been a constitutional amendment called “Drug Prohibition” … as was the once asinine and dangerous criminal activities that developed and resulted from bootlegging after the passage of the constitutional amendment of “Alcohol Prohibition.”
    Thankfully and gratefully the Alcohol Prohibition was constitutionally overturned before anymore innocent people were caught up maimed and killed as they are now currently experiencing with the folly that is called the ‘War on Drug.”
    Only the several states and their people have the right to regulate drugs under the Constitution’s 10th Amendment.
    Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there any authority granted to the Federal government to regulate drugs … or many other things and issues that the federal government has unlawfully overstepped and usurped its constitutional boundaries.

    1. Since most here actually agree with the basics of your point I’m not understanding why you felt the need to spam copy/paste the same thing over and over. Plus the fact that federal government is already doing what you say they can’t kinda makes your point worthless. Not to mention all the people you spam responded to are in favor of the fed having laws against drug use.

      1. *are not in favor

        ARRGHHHH

  19. Funny, he’s touting “states’ rights” on education reform & gay marriage, but not for drugs? I guess he thinks the Constitution is an “a la carte” offering.

  20. Wow, that’s some nonsense. Seriously, the only way kids will know something is bad is if it’s illegal?

    I’m pretty sure most people think cheating on your spouse is a bad thing. Haven’t heard calls for adulterers to be jailed.

    Also, hasn’t cigarette smoking decreased dramatically? Did we have to make a bunch of laws to accomplish that so that we’d know cigarette smoking is bad?

    This is such a logic fail that I don’t think I need to hear anything further from this Rubio guy.

    Next.

  21. NO, Marco, we aren’t having it. “Schedule I Cannabis” is a Damned lie. You want to enforce federal law, make it right:

    Cannabis SHALL be removed from CSA “Schedule I”, and placed in “CSA Subchapter I, Part A, ?802. Definitions, paragraph (6)”, appended to the list “distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco”, where it will STILL be the least-toxic in the category [by several orders of magnitude].

    In other words, completely EXEMPT from CSA scheduling.

    Anything short of that is unacceptable. Absolutely.

  22. This is not going to be a popular post, but Marco Rubio is right. There are federal laws against recreational marijuana use, and states are legalizing marijuana in violation of federal laws. The practical thing is to get rid of the federal laws instead of ignoring them. It is the job of the President to enforce the laws on the books.

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