DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The federal courthouse in right-leaning Orange County, Calif., is named after former president and Republican Party icon Ronald Reagan. Countless drug cases prosecuted in that building can be traced back to an expanded war on drugs under the 40th president, who once called marijuana “probably the most dangerous drug.”
The Republican congressman who represents the land of Reagan, however, wants marijuana legalized. After winning reelection in a landslide last week despite that well-publicized position, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher returned to Capitol Hill on Thursday with a message for his party.
“To my fellow Republicans,” said Rohrabacher, a former Reagan press secretary and speech writer, “Wake up! . . . The American people are shifting on this issue.”
Flanked by lawmakers from Colorado, Oregon and the District of Columbia, where voters have chosen to legalize marijuana, Rohrabacher on Thursday made his most forceful case yet for Republicans to stand down on the issue.