Marco Rubio on Drugs
Republican Florida Senator
Murphy: Voted for related bills like rights of states to choose, access to banking for marijuana businesses, access for veterans. Supports legislation that protects businesses and individuals in states where marijuana has been legalized, including permission for Veterans Affairs to recommend marijuana treatment to veterans in states that allow its therapeutic use.
Rubio: Opposes legalization. Backs federal override of state laws. Might consider low-THC strains for limited medical conditions. Rubio supports first requiring an FDA process and proven medical benefits; will continue to oppose legalization or decriminalization; supports enforcement of federal laws over state laws.
RUBIO: Well, I've said that I'm open to medicinal uses of anything, and particularly marijuana. And if, in fact, it goes through the FDA process and you can come up with a proven medicinal benefit to that substance, I'm open to that. I'm not in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, and I never have been.
Q: Would you then use the federal government to supersede the laws of states that have legalized?
RUBIO: Well, federal government needs to enforce federal law.
Q: You would enforce the law?
RUBIO: Absolutely. I believe the federal government needs to enforce federal law.
In an interview, Rubio was asked whether he had ever smoked pot: "Here's the problem with that question in American politics: If you say that you did and suddenly there are people out there saying 'Well, it's not a big deal. Look at all these successful people who did it,'" Rubio said. "I don't want my kids to smoke marijuana. And I don't want other people's kids to smoke marijuana. I don't believe there's a responsible way to recreationally use marijuana."
He continued: "On the other side of it, if you tell people you didn't they won't believe you. The bottom line is, I don't think people should smoke marijuana." The senator has previously dodged the pot question, saying his own experience is "irrelevant" to drug policy.
"If you say that you did, then suddenly there are people out there saying, 'Well, it's not a big deal,'" Rubio said. "On the other side of it is if you tell people that you didn't, they won't believe you." Rubio explained that his decision not to answer the question goes back to an encounter he had after publishing his memoir, "American Son." In the book, Rubio reveals that he was not a disciplined student in his youth and had a 2.1 GPA in high school. "Someone came up to me and said, 'You My son said he doesn't have to get good grades in high school, because look at Marco Rubio, he didn't do well in high school,'" Rubio recalled, "and that impacted me."
Rubio, however, has previously left the door open on medical pot, which will come up for a vote in his home state this November. "You hear compelling stories of people who say the use of medical marijuana provides relief for the thing they are suffering," Rubio said in a January interview. "So I'd like to learn more about that aspect of it, the science of it."
I was stunned by the news. Like my parents, I had never suspected Orlando was involved in a criminal enterprise. His arrest and subsequent trial and imprisonment distressed the entire family, but [my sister] Barbara and my parents bore the brunt of the hardships it caused. Even decades later, my sister and mother would be forced to relive the shame of the ordeal.
The alleged leaders were a father-son team, Mario and Guillermo Tabraue. Deep in the stories about the big bust almost as if it were an afterthought, was a list of 4 men who had been arrested. One of these men was Orlando Cicilia. He was married to Marco's older sister, Barbara. The indictment paints Cicilia as a kind of a middle-man, making a huge number of trips in 1985 & 1986 to deliver cocaine.
The drug bust would remain an unexamined episode in the Rubio family's story until a news report by the Univision network aired in 2011. The senator, who speaks so frequently about his family, had not mentioned it publicly, nor had his political rivals publicly used it against him. Marco was only 16 at the time of the arrest, and there has never been an accusation that he was involved in his brother-in-law's criminal activity
The prosecution stepped down in June 1988 and was replaced by Dexter Lehtinen, who was married to the Havana-born Republican politician Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Dexter was a Democrat when they met, but switched to the Republican Party shortly before they married. Ros-Lehtinen would win an election the next year, becoming the 1st Hispanic woman elected to Congress. Later, she became the most senior Republican women in the US House of Representatives.
Cicilia received the 2nd longest sentence--35 years. It appears his sentence was later reduced to 20 or 25 years. The government seized his house after saying it could not find $15 million that he'd earned in the drug trade.
The tragedy of Sept. 11 has revealed that gangs are also a threat to our domestic security. The deep infiltration of gangs in our society is extremely attractive to terrorist organizations.
Florida should increase funding for additional law enforcement resources to combat gang activities. Florida should pattern its gang elimination program after the successful Gang Resistance Education And Training (GREAT) program. GREAT is a curriculum-based program aimed at teaching students skills to help them avoid gangs, violence, and drugs.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate races Nov. 2016:
AK: Murkowski(R) vs.Metcalfe(D) vs.Miller(L) vs.
AL: Shelby(R) vs.Crumpton(D) vs.
AR: Boozman(R) vs.Eldridge(D) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.
AZ: McCain(R) vs.Kirkpatrick(D) vs.Mealer(I) vs.
CA: Sanchez(D) vs.Harris(D) vs.
CO: Bennet(D) vs.Glenn(R) vs.
CT: Blumenthal(D) vs.Carter(R) vs.
FL: Rubio(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.
GA: Isakson(R) vs.Barksdale(D) vs.Buckley(L) vs.
HI: Schatz(D) vs.Carroll(R) vs.
IA: Grassley(R) vs.Judge(D) vs.
ID: Crapo(R) vs.Sturgill(D) vs.Pro-Life(C) vs.
IL: Kirk(R) vs.Duckworth(D) vs.
IN: Bayh(D) vs.Young(R) vs.
KY: Paul(R) vs.Gray(D) vs.
LA: Fleming(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Campbell(D) vs.Boustany(R) vs.Maness(R) vs.Cao(R) vs.Clements(L)
MD: Van Hollen(D) vs.Szeliga(R) vs.Flowers(G) vs.
MO: Blunt(R) vs.Kander(D)
NC: Burr(R) vs.Ross(D) vs.Haugh(L) vs.
ND: Hoeven(R) vs.Glassheim(D) vs.Marquette(L)
NH: Ayotte(R) vs.Hassan(D) vs.Rubens(R)
NV: Cortez-Masto(D) vs.Heck(R) vs.
NY: Schumer(D) vs.Long(R) vs.Merced(L)
OH: Portman(R) vs.Strickland(D) vs.
OK: Lankford(R) vs.Workman(D) vs.
OR: Wyden(D) vs.Callahan(R) vs.
PA: Toomey(R) vs.McGinty(D) vs.
SC: Scott(R) vs.Dixon(D)
SD: Thune(R) vs.Williams(D)
UT: Lee(R) vs.Snow(D) vs.
VT: Leahy(D) vs.Milne(R)
WA: Murray(D) vs.Vance(R)
WI: Johnson(R) vs.Feingold(D) vs.Anderson(L) vs.
Senate Votes (analysis)