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Ted Cruz on Drugs

 

  
 


Let's see what happens in Colorado with legalization

Source: Marijuana Policy Project on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 11, 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

Other candidates on Drugs: Ted Cruz on other issues:
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Page last updated: Jan 25, 2016