Rohrabacher wants federal pot laws to mirror states'

Citing concerns about resources wasted on the enforcement of an inconsistent patchwork of marijuana regulation, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) plans to introduce a bill that would require the federal government to mirror individual states' pot laws, a spokeswoman for the congressman said.

"It's state-centric," said Communications Director Tara Setmayer.

The crux of the legislation, she said, would still allow the Drug Enforcement Administration to enforce some states' total prohibitions of marijuana, but would stop raids on dispensaries operating according to local law — raids that Rohrabacher considers "overreaches of the federal government."

The move would be consistent with Rohrabacher's longstanding positions on marijuana, Setmayer said.

Rohrabacher also co-sponsored a bill introduced last week that would federally reclassify marijuana for medical use. Right now, pot is a Schedule I drug, meaning that the DEA categorizes it among the most dangerous, highly addictive of controlled substances, which are not allowed for medical use.

H.R. 689, or the "States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act," would also make it easier for researchers to access marijuana.

"Nineteen jurisdictions have passed laws recognizing the importance of providing access to medical marijuana for the hundreds of thousands of patients who rely on it," bill author Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) wrote in a statement. "It is time for the federal government to respect these decisions, and stop inhibiting safe access."

Rohrabacher's legislation is still in the works, but Setmayer said she expects it to be announced in the next couple of weeks. Rohrabacher was unavailable for comment, as he is out of the country, she said.

—Jill Cowan

Twitter: @jillcowan

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