Is Rep. Dana Rohrabacher a Legalizer?

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Does US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) favor drug legalization? He didn't directly say so, and putting words into people's mouths is a good way to wind up being wrong a lot of the time. Still, the following remarks, pointed out to me (again) by DPA's Grant Smith, seem more than a little suggestive of exactly that. From the Congressional Record, page H14135:
THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF PROHIBITION The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from California (Mr. ROHRABACHER) is recognized for 5 minutes. Mr. ROHRABACHER. Madam Speaker, December 5, 1933, December 5, 2007. So, tomorrow we mark the 75th anniversary of something, and most people will just pass it by and not be aware that tomorrow marks the end of America’s great and noble experiment. It is the 75th anniversary of the end of the national prohibition of alcoholic beverages. With the repeal of prohibition in 1933, that was 75 years ago tomorrow, the United States ended a social planning policy that created organized crime in America, crowded our jails with nonviolent prisoners, corrupted our police, increased urban violence, and destroyed the lives of thousands of victims of unadulterated and poisoned substances, substances which if they were permitted would have been subject to normal market protections of fraud and quality standards. However, during prohibition, these substances which were consumed by the American people often poisoned them and caused them to lose their lives. Philosopher Santayana told us that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Have we in Washington learned the lesson of prohibition that ended 75 years ago? Why did America reject the prohibition of alcoholic beverages? Well, when government attempts to control the peaceful behavior of its citizens, it often sets in motion forces that are more dangerous than the social evil that they are trying to control. Today’s war on drugs is perhaps an example. The war on drugs has resulted in a multimillion dollar network of violent organized crime. The war on drugs has created the deaths by drive-by shootings and turf wars among gangs in our cities. The war on drugs has overcrowded our prisons. More than half of Federal prison space is occupied by nonviolent drug users. The war on drugs has corrupted our police and crowded our courts. We apparently did not learn the lesson of the prohibition of alcoholic beverages. Today, on the campaign trail we hear new calls for prohibitions on cigarettes, on fatty foods, and even more money should be spent, yes, on the war on drugs. But, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, let us have the courage to learn from the mistakes of the past. Perhaps it would be better for us to focus our energies not on the supply side of drugs just as they were doing with the supply side of alcohol, but instead to focus our efforts on trying to help those people who are addicted to drugs; perhaps to try to help our young people, deter our young people from getting involved in drugs; perhaps to take a whole new approach on this, rather than this monstrous war on drugs that has done nothing but create havoc in our inner cities, making so many young people who have been arrested and their lives destroyed because they will never be able to get a decent job after one arrest being a teenager. So many people have been hurt by the war on drugs; yet we keep it because we want to supposedly help people. Well, I would suggest that this 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, which was the greatest failure of American social planning in the history of our country, let us try to commit ourselves to help ensure that our young people are dissuaded and deterred from the use of narcotics. Let us work with those who are, indeed, addicted to narcotics and help them free themselves from this habit. But let’s end this notion that we can try to control the use of narcotics in our country by simply controlling the supply. Simply controlling the supply will not work. We’ve got to look at the demand side, try to treat people humanely, and use the limited resources that we have in a much more constructive way, rather than just creating more police who are committed to drugs and interdiction and all the rest of the major expenses, court expenses and others that go into a war on drugs rather than an attempt to help people who are susceptible to the use of drugs. I call the attention of my fellow colleagues to this the 75th anniversary of the repeal of the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.
Good for Dana Rohrabacher! By the way, if you don't already know, we put something out marking the anniversary of repeal too.
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Excellent

Although I believe that it's only the 74th anniversary.

borden's picture

74

Yes, it is. We got that right in our own press release, fortunately.

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC
http://stopthedrugwar.org

Worth noting

Some readers might not know that Rep. Rohrabacher is the co-author of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment to end federal raids on medical marijuana patients, which comes up every year and gets defeated every year. Rohrabacher is quite a conservative guy. To his credit, he has taken a very consistent and principled stand on drug policy issues.

crack crank or change

Crack, crank or change

War on drugs, that’s why I’m writing this letter to give you and hopefully others my views, thoughts and opentions on this medicinal plant. Over the years as an observer and user. A little history about me I’m a male in my late forties, Went to public schools during the bussing integration mess/ riots, a story in its self. I graduated high school, had enough of school and went right to work, after being out of school for about five years I went to community college and I’ve never stopped since taking all kinds of classes (criminal justice, polical sciences) in all areas its like a hobby. I also love art, music and history. I’ve work full time and carry many responsibilities to this day. O.k. I first seen and smoked marijuana in the sixth grade through high school it made me feel good, creative and helped me cope with the stressful social issues of the public school systems at the times. Older kids were also doing this plus L.S.D. the only drugs known to me at the time. The Vietnam War had changed people’s ways of thinking. I knew and would party with older kids and vets. I looked up to these people. I didn’t really drink till I got out of high school. Ronald Regan became president, a great man and leader, but sad to say to this day to me and many others and more will agree after reading this letter he indirectly with out knowing one action would cause a catastrafee called crack. I also voted for him and still vote today I’m probably the 1 out of 20 my age that do. When he became president he declared a war on drugs having done or putting just roomers out about the spraying of chemicals on the plant called Parraquate (talk about chemical Ali). This was a man who in his early days smoked non filtered cigarettes drank whisky and did all this in front of cameras for commercial ads getting paid and working with a monkey. This changed the direction that illegal drugs will take for ever. Cocaine enters the drug scene easier to import distribute smaller in size and more money. I had stopped getting high and took to drinking after work with friends and it was legal and busted for drinking and driving was basically rare, plus cops, lawyers and judges were all doing it, I witnessed them first hand. After a while I would snort a line or to. But in then they started to cook it, crack, I heard about it but never really seen it, just powder cocaine form. Computer programmers liked crack at work because it kept them awake and concentrated on their work. I started to see people selling crack at corners, outside bars I would drink in. It was like every where you went or looked. I had heard of some of my friends from school getting hooked on it and there personal down falls from prison, loss of homes and families or worse death. One night at a bar a dealer ask if I wanted some, hey you will get a great high plus it was basically the only drug around and cheap. I tried it and it is a very addictive drug, it would make you fiend for more, pump your heart rate up and drains your pockets by the end of the evening your broke not so cheap. I never got in to it but would notice friends and others at the bars get really taken down, I asked a young girl why are you smoking this she said because of the high, I asked why not smoke some weed instead, I said that’s, what we did in my day and it did nothing like what crack does to you (it’s not addictive). She stated she had smoked it but its not really around, plus the smell, and it stays in your blood system for 30 days and in cocaine is only about 3 if your job does drug testing plus its easy to hide or swallow if need be, she was a nice girl from a nice family. That night when I left the bar I noticed as I was getting into my car she was performing oral sex on the local crack dealer in his car I’M sure to help pay for her habit. Girls of all ages would turn tricks for hits, I hated to see this happen to nice people, crack does make people do things they would not normally do, I would read in local papers about young people steeling and robbing also. What a terrible drug, now I watch and read about meth which is on the rise and easy to make from house hold goods which will create another whole new epidemic I’m sure, I’m even hearing of heroine on the rise again and kids are experimenting in quest for the perfect drug and high by internet recipes of pills, sprays and other stuff any thing and every thing to get high. In the sixties and seventies violence, murder and crime was very, very low compared to what it is today and life was happier and better in the good old days. Our system is pretty hypicrital through the years I have seen Judges, lawyers and cops drink at local bars and f.o.p. lodges and drive home. Some take pills (steroids, muscle relaxers, pain killers valiums etc.) drink and they get buzzed and feel good and know, no illegal urine tests to fail. During the years of my life I have gotten high, drank and done lines with people of all walks of life, that will surprise you some are thieves in and out of jail some are now in law enforcement, home security, governmental jobs, farmers, construction jobs, commercial jobs, retail stores, the armed services on most levels, lawyers , politicians, doctors and pilots, basically all walks of life they hold good jobs. and now some still get high some way and some don’t, But most I’ve met and have partied with or heard from others that talk are taxing paying hard working people and have good morals, very few people in this country can honestly say they didn’t inhale. I smoke a little weed ounce in a while now and again to relax me it also helps me be creative in my art and music, I’ve had some medical conditions also that it helps me with better than the pills the doctor gives me I don’t really drink that much any more than a beer ounce in a while. I still work and go to night school, college. So in my experience in life in and around marijuana it should be legalized like alcohol with restrictions, taxes, and then get tougher on the hard manufactured (meth, crack heroin etc.) stuff. Marijuana is not manufactured as some laws say. It is completely naturally grown in the ground with sunlight and water (just like a tomato or cucumber plant etc.) then hung and dried( talk about going green), less processing than a cigarette that has nicotine in it to keep some people addicted so big corporations can get rich and pay off polications. Congress seems to ignore the legalization of the plant, I guess when your an old fuddy duddy live in a glass house your not in touch with reality and social issues that most people see on the streets. If a man was to run for president with an agenda of legalization he would probably win by a land side, you will see voter registration increase and an out come of voter participation never seen before in the history of this country. Also marijuana doesn’t cause violence or hangovers such as alcohol. Through out history America has had a lot of great citizens indulged they say George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would grow this plant on the plantation for tea or medical purposes, Indians and during the 20’s to 40’s it was prescribed by doctors for lung problems athesma t.b etc. most people that grew up in the sixties and seventies got high even though they deny Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama was man enough to admit to doing cocaine, Nancy Pelosi summer breaks in Ocean city at a young age, Steny Hoyer and his all night partying, so drunk the next morning he could hardly walk in the seven eleven for coffee with out falling, and eyes red as blood, Yale, Berkley, U.C.L.A. and Harvard graduates, George Bush our president is said to have done lines and drank in the guard and after that for a period of time. Most of the president’s children have smoked right in the white house. We have a lot of celebrities that get high Willie Nelson (caught with a pound) George Clooney, Sean Penn, Jazz, rock and rap musicians, actors etc. the list goes on. People of all ages all the way up in there seventies. The real criminals are getting rich just like the days of probation, it did not work. Put your foot down vote, compromise, negotiate end the twenty year war, crack kills, unite not divide, Legalize not criminalize. As you can see it is the American way, from all houses in all states to even the almighty white house. So don’t forget how crack got here, Ronald Reagan’s (war on drugs), C.I.A conspirators and pay offs (Ollie North), Marion Berry, congress and lobbyist. So do you want Washington to stay noted as the District of Crack? Don’t create a worser drug than crack, Hypitcrical law maker’s cops, lawyers, judges, congress the list goes on and on, most people partied in school and colleges. Because some people had thought weed was so bad it cost tax payers billions and billions, and many a lives, so, just vote yes and end the mess. I ask why there has never been a survey box to check when we vote. we the people and lets see the real percentages to legalize. Papers and internet surveys, There’s just so much you get the idea, I’ll write one of the best selling books one day. And don’t forget the vets of this war if they want to catch a buzz when they get home let them they are hero’s who sacrificed there lives for are freedom, puff, puff, pass!

Anonymous

Thanks: peace, love and not war

CC/references: Washington post, history channel, H.B.O., Showtime, VHI (the drug years) New York times, L.A. Times Baltimore sun, Bloggers, you tube, Lets just send this every where and pass it down the line to all to read the truth.
One toke over the line
Spirit in the sky
Sow the seed and grow the weed.
Save the seed and pass the weed.
A friend with weed is a friend in deed.
A joint at times relives the mind.

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