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Cruz: Feds Should ‘Recognize’ State Decisions on Marijuana

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said marijuana legalization is “a legitimate question for the states to make a determination” and that it is “appropriate for the federal government to recognize that the citizens of [Washington and Colorado] have made that decision” on Thursday’s “Hugh Hewitt Show.”

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Cruz said that Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana is a “qualitatively different situation” than the president’s executive action on immigration “because in that instance — I’m a believer in federalism on a great many issues. I think it was some of the genius of the framers, is understanding that we have many different states, and the citizens of each state are going to have different values. And so as you know, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis referred to federalism and the many states as laboratories of democracy.”

He continued, “when it comes to a question of legalizing marijuana, I don’t support legalizing marijuana. If it were on the ballot in the state of Texas, I would vote no. But I also believe that’s a legitimate question for the states to make a determination. And the citizens of Colorado and Washington State have come to a different conclusion. They have decided they want to legalize it. I think it is appropriate for the federal government to recognize that the citizens of those states have made that decision, and one of the benefits of it, you know, using Brandeis’ terms of laboratories of democracy, is we can now watch and see what happens in Colorado and Washington State. There have been lots of theoretical arguments for a long time about the consequences of legalizing marijuana. We can now see. If those states suddenly see a dramatic increase in teen drug use, if they see a dramatic increase in crime, if they see significant harmful effects coming from it, I suspect other states are going to be far less eager to walk down that road.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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