Ted Cruz on Drugs
Let's see what happens in Colorado with legalization
Source: Marijuana Policy Project on 2016 presidential hopefuls
, Nov 11, 2015
- Previously, the senator had criticized the Obama administration for not enforcing federal marijuana laws in Colorado & Washington after voters in those states adopted laws that regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. But more recently...
- "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've decided that 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. One of the benefits of it, is we can now watch & see what happens in Colorado & Washington State." Hugh Hewitt Show, April 16, 2015
- "I don't support drug legalization,
but I do support the Constitution. I think individual states can choose to adopt it. So if Texas had it on the ballot, I'd vote against it, but I respect the authority of states to follow different policies." Texas Tribune, March 24, 2015
Lower minimums and mandatory sentencing for drugs
As of February 2015, nearly half--49%--of [federal prison] inmates were sentenced for drug crimes. This has contributed to overcrowding. Federal prisons now house 39 percent more inmates than their capacity. It is far from clear whether this dramatic
increase in incarceration for drug crimes has had enough of an effect on property and violent crime rates to justify the human toll of more incarceration.
Given the undeniable costs and dubious benefits of mass, longterm incarceration of nonviolent
drug offenders, Congress should take steps to give judges more flexibility in sentencing those offenders. The Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015, which was introduced by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), and of which I am an original cosponsor,
is a significant stride in that direction. Among other things, the bill lowers minimum sentences, cutting them in half, to give judges more flexibility in determining the appropriate sentence based on the unique facts and circumstances of each case.
Source: Brennan Center for Justice essays, p. 33-4
, Apr 28, 2015
2014: federal enforcement; 2015: let states experiment
At CPAC last week, Ted Cruz responded to a question about marijuana legalization in Colorado by endorsing a federalist approach: "This is a great embodiment of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called 'the laboratories of democracy,'"
Cruz said. "If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that's their prerogative. I personally don't agree with it, but that's their right."
Those remarks contradict Cruz's previous position, when he criticized the
Obama administration for failing to aggressively enforce the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized the drug. In January 2014, he described the Justice Department's prosecutorial restraint, which is designed to respect state policy
choices, as an abuse of executive power.
Cruz's apparent turnaround reflects a political reality: Cruz's calibration is the easiest way to strike the balance between younger, more tolerant GOP voters and social conservatives.
Source: Forbes Magazine on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf.
, Mar 5, 2015
I disagree with states legalizing pot, but it's their right
Just a year ago, Ted Cruz criticized Pres. Obama for allowing Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Now, he's basically in favor of the same approach: "If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road,
that's their prerogative," he said a the CPAC Conference. "I personally don't agree with it, but that's their right."
The conference is a chance for potential presidential candidates to stake out ground for 2016 and marijuana could be prime turf.
Cruz has expressed openness to changing marijuana laws in the past. At a January 2014 event in Texas, he said there are "some reasonable arguments on that issue." But he also blasted the president for ignoring federal drug laws and allowing residents in
Colorado and Washington to carry out their marijuana policies. "Mind you these are criminal laws," Cruz said. "These are laws that say if you do 'X, Y, and Z' you will go to prison. The president announced, 'No, you won't.'"
Source: Fusion.net on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf.
, Feb 27, 2015
Let states be laboratories of democracy on marijuana
At the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, Sen. Cruz said he is opposed to the legalization of marijuana for adult use, but he believes states should have the right to establish their own marijuana policies: "I actually think this is a great
embodiment of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called the laboratories of democracy. If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that's their prerogative. I don't agree with it, but that's their right."
Source: MPP.org on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf.
, Feb 26, 2015
I foolishly smoked pot when young, but never since
Sen. Ted Cruz's team admitted the tea party Texan smoked marijuana when he was a teen -- but never since. And he's hardly the only top-ranking politico, Republican or Democrat, to confess to the drug use in recent days.
"Teenagers are often known for
their lack of judgment, and Sen. Cruz was no exception," one of Mr. Cruz's campaign spokesman told The Daily Mail. "When he was a teenager, he foolishly experimented with marijuana. It was a mistake, and he's never tried it since."
Source: Washington Times 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls
, Feb 4, 2015
Page last updated: Jul 09, 2016