Rep. Tom McClintock is a conservative member of congress from California who truly dislikes marijuana. Yes, these types of people still exist, even in the 420-friendly Golden State. But even though he hates weed, McClintock actually has a heart. He says he can’t stand the unnecessary suffering and tragedies that federal cannabis prohibition has caused.
As a result, McClintock was one of just five Republican Congressmembers who voted in favor of ending the federal prohibition of cannabis last week. “I guess there's some that see it differently, but it is so clear to me that freedom works and we need more of it," McClintock said shortly after the House floor vote successfully passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act passed by 228 to 164.
At the same time, McClintock also clarified that pot is not his cup of tea. “I've never used it,” he said. “We raised our kids successfully never to go near the stuff. I don't recommend it, but we have got to come to grips with the fact that prohibition laws have created far more problems than they've solved.”
Blasting the War on Drugs, McClintock went on to say that prohibition laws have created a violent, underground economy. “[These laws] ruin the lives of millions of young people who have a cannabis possession conviction from college that follows them throughout their lives. It just does not work.”
To describe how ineffective prohibition regulations are, McClintock used the example of giving $20 to two high school students and telling one to buy pot and the other to buy booze. The one with the pot, he said, will always come back first.
“They all know where to get it. The dealers got no problem selling it to them," McClintock said. “The kid I send to go buy booze, he goes from one liquor store to another, gets carded, and gets kicked out. If you want to keep marijuana out of the hands of young people — and we should — the best way to do it is to legalize it and regulate it as we do elsewhere.”
Addressing the inconsistencies of his own party, McClintock said that Republicans should stand for freedom in every capacity. “That's where we've always stood, and the closer we come to those principals, the better we've done [and] the better the country has done. It's a decision that every person has to make for themselves. I've got enough trouble running my own life without trying to run everyone else's.”
“Radish farmers don't kill each other over territory,” said McClintock, regarding the violent economy prohibition creates. It’s a relief to know that there are some sane Republicans in Congress!