Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Friday criticized President Barack Obama for not arresting people in Colorado who violated federal law by using marijuana.
“A whole lot of folks now are talking about legalizing pot. The brownies you had this morning, provided by the state of Colorado,” he jokingly said during his keynote speech at Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation.
“And you can make arguments on that issue,” Cruz continued. “You can make reasonable arguments on that issue. The president earlier this past year announced the Department of Justice is going to stop prosecuting certain drug crimes. Didn’t change the law.”
Voters in Colorado and Washington state approved a ballot measure to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2012, but federal law still prohibits the use of the drug. The Department of Justice announced in August of 2013 that it would not target for arrest adults who used marijuana in compliance with state laws.
Cruz said the Obama administration should continue imprisoning people for using marijuana until federal law is changed.
“You can go to Congress, you can get a conversation, you could get Democrats and Republicans who would say, ‘We ought to change our drug policy in some way,’ and you could have a real conversation, you could have hearings, you could look at the problem, you could discuss commonsense changes that maybe should happen or shouldn’t happen. This president didn’t do that. He just said, ‘The laws say one thing’ — and mind you these are criminal laws, these are laws that say if you do ‘X, Y, and Z’ you will go to prison. The president announced, ‘No, you won’t.'”
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[Image via Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]
‘This is simply indefensible’: Two former GOP lawmakers clash over Ukraine testimony
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "New Day," former GOP Reps. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Sean Duffy (R-WI) argued vehemently about the significance of the testimony from Ukraine envoy William Taylor against President Donald Trump.
"The dam is barely holding on. Because look, very persuasive," said Dent. "I don’t know how any Republican member can look at this thing or any member of Congress cannot be alarmed by this. The quid pro quo was stark. And the president is insisting on using, you know, official resources to dig up dirt on his opponent. This is simply indefensible."
"Charlie and I weren’t in the room yesterday for the hearing. And neither were you or your viewers," replied Duffy. "We had more Democrats rush to cameras and with their perspective give us their take on what happened ... I think in America we should open this process up, let every American see Bill Taylor."
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President Donald Trump has raged against the closed-door testimonies in his impeachment inquiry, but a Democratic lawmaker explained why that's necessary to preserve the integrity of an investigation into a possible criminal conspiracy.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that these hearings must be held in a room beneath the Capitol to protect classified information and quarantine witnesses from one another.
"It's three floors below the Capitol, no cameras inside, no phones allowed inside," Swalwell said. "Any classified notes stay inside, classified conversations stay inside. It's to protect the information, and in this case there was no special counsel, there was no special prosecutor."
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MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski hammered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for standing by while President Donald Trump corrupted the department he was confirmed by Congress to oversee.
The "Morning Joe" co-host said former Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor had delivered damning testimony in the impeachment inquiry against Trump, and Brzezinski and her panelists agreed the secretary of state must answer for his actions in the scheme to pressure a foreign ally to investigate Joe Biden.
"The level of detail that is in here speaks to his note-taking and his collection of documents because he knew something wasn't right," said co-host Willie Geist, "and he wanted to have a paper trail to explain in this very moment (Tuesday), but it does speak to, does it not, the sloppiness or the arrogance, or some combination of this, administration of this shadow foreign policy that they thought they could roll over Bill Taylor and he just wouldn't say anything."