Pubdate: Sat, 14 May 2016
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2016 The Orange County Register
Author: Christopher Cadelago, The Sacramento Bee


When Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher endorsed the California 
initiative to legalize recreational marijuana, the one-time 
speechwriter for former President Ronald Reagan railed against a 
justice system that spends billions "to try to take care of someone 
who wants to smoke weed in his backyard."

"How many women have been raped or people have been murdered by 
distracting our law enforcement?" Rohrabacher asked last week in San Francisco.

The Costa Mesa congressman's comment didn't sit well with Ventura 
Police Chief Ken Corney, president of the California Police Chiefs Association.

In a letter, Corney said the statements were misleading and 
inaccurate, noting that marijuana possession in California has been 
decriminalized since the Schwarzenegger administration. "Considering 
that the possession of nearly $300 worth of marijuana in California 
is a non-penal infraction, I am perplexed by your statement," he wrote.

"I have never heard of a sexual assault or murder occurring due to 
the fact that our officers were responding to an individual consuming 
marijuana on his or her personal property, and to make such an 
assertion is insulting to the brave men and women who risk their 
lives to keep Californians safe."

Corney said California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 
"currently spends zero dollars annually incarcerating persons found 
in simple possession of marijuana."

Rohrabacher said his comments pertained to the federal criminal justice system.

"I don't read the word 'California' in my quote," he said. "Anybody 
that complains that I am being 'misleading' and 'inaccurate' better 
be accurate in what they are saying. And they are not."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom