Conservative Congressman Says Yes to Marijuana

Conservative Congressman Says Yes to Marijuana
File photo by Timothy Norris/L.A. Weekly

He might not like Mexicans, but U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is just fine with marijuana.

In a case of strange bedfellows, the conservative Orange County Republican who's been tough on illegal immigration (saying, at a time of record-low Mexican border crossings, that "a tsunami of illegal aliens is sweeping into our country") is endorsing the main California effort to fully legalize pot.

That's right, Rohrabacher is down with the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, whose backers include big-D Democrat Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor.

The proposal, which is close to turning in the signatures required to make the November ballot, would make holding up to an ounce of weed legal for those 21 and older.

Rohrabacher became the second congressman, next to true-blue lefty Ted Lieu of L.A.'s South Bay, to endorse the initiative, organizers announced this afternoon.

"As a Republican who believes in individual freedom, limited government and state's rights, I believe that it's time for California to lead the nation and create a safe, legal system for the responsible adult use of marijuana," said Rohrabacher.

This ain't the first puff-puff-pass for the lawmaker.

He was behind legislation that withholds federal funding from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in situations where its agents want to enforce America's pot prohibition in states that have legalized cannabis.

And Rohrabacher has stood up for the rights of U.S. veterans to use medical marijuana.

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"I endorse the Adult Use of Marijuana Act for the November 2016 ballot," he said. "It is a necessary reform which will end the failed system of marijuana prohibition in our state, provide California law enforcement the resources it needs to redouble its focus on serious crimes while providing a policy blueprint for other states to follow."

AUMA is getting a good chunk of its financial support from Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker.

Other endorsements have come from the California NAACP, national NORML and the Drug Policy Alliance.

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