The hashish business idolizes Dana Rohrabacher. And, in some ways, he’s made it troublesome to not revere him. He’s positioned himself as certainly one of the main political figures in the area by specializing in the reform of federal hashish legal guidelines—the solely space of politics the hashish business seemingly cares about. However, if this Administration’s taught us something it’s that racism, discrimination, and inequality are synonymous with American tradition—they usually all the time have been. America is a breeding floor for these variants of hate, and it’s due to the politicians in energy—together with Rohrabacher.
However the Midterms confirmed Putin’s favourite Congressman no mercy. The Rohrabacher reign has formally ended, and everybody ought to be thrilled—notably the hashish business. Positive, he’s accomplished some phenomenal issues for the hashish motion, like craft an modification that prohibits federal spending on medical dispensary raids. However once we take a look at the greater image of who Rohrabacher is and what he stands for, it’s troublesome to not understand his cannabis-related victories as a distraction from his Trump-infused agenda. Cannabis is actually the car by means of which Rohrabacher gleans help, and he does so particularly by means of the guise of compassion.
However how compassionate can an individual with inherently bigoted and discriminatory views be? Moreover, how is the hashish business alleged to free itself from the chains of legal stigma when considered one of its main figures is being investigated for collusion in the Russia scandal? Lastly, have you ever seen the varieties of people that help Rohrabacher in District-48? As somebody who’s lived there for the final decade— and had former co-workers assaulted by Neo-Nazis at a Trump rally in Huntington Seashore—I can attest to the proven fact that D-48 is a hatchery of violent neanderthals.
The truth is that regardless that Rohrabacher’s out of Congress, he’s not going away. He’s nonetheless going to be a outstanding determine in the hashish area. However as an alternative of being an lively authorities official, he’s been relegated to an Antonio Villaraigosa-type: a shady politician leveraging hashish for energy and private achieve. However this isn’t the finish for him: it’s the begin of a complete new period.
Rohrabacher and Putin Sitting in a Tree…
Till Tuesday night time, ol’ Rohrabacher was in Congress for almost 30 years. Seven years earlier than that he was Ronald Reagan’s speechwriter (let that sink in a second). So, he’s been eyebrows-deep in GOP ideology for the entirety of his profession. However it was throughout his tenure in the White Home (’81-’88) that the seeds have been sewn for Rohrabacher’s relations with Russia, regardless of Reagan’s disdain towards the Soviets.
After being elected to characterize District-42 in 1988, Rohrabacher fought alongside Afghani’s in the Afghan civil struggle for every week and “pulverized a Soviet position outside of Jalalabad with about 50 120mm rockets,” in the identify of defeating communism—not the Russians, he informed Pacific Commonplace in an interview. Rohrabacher has since grown to respect his former foes a lot that 20 years in the past, he received wasted with Vladimir Putin and drunkenly arm wrestled him over who gained the Chilly Struggle, Rohrabacher advised the LA Occasions.
But, we’re all someway confused as to how and why Rohrabacher is Putin’s favourite Congressman. And we’re all by some means baffled by his pro-Russia stance. We’re additionally one way or the other shocked that he’s beneath investigation in the Russia scandal. However should you’ve adopted Rohrabacher’s profession in any respect, you’d know that he’s just about all the time been in mattress with the Russians. Rohrabacher’s even maintained a long-standing relationship with Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Russian central financial institution. Torshin not solely tried to arrange a backdoor assembly between Trump and Putin throughout Trump’s marketing campaign, however Torishin additionally has deep ties with the NRA and is an advocate for American conservatism.
Then, final February, it was revealed in a doc that in 2013 Rohrabacher met with Paul Manafort, a long-time marketing consultant for a pro-Russia political celebration in Ukraine. Manafort was additionally Trump’s marketing campaign supervisor. The actual kicker is that Rick Gates, Trump’s marketing campaign deputy chairman, lied to the FBI about this assembly. Why lie if there’s nothing to cover?
In 2017, the New York Occasions additionally reported that the FBI warned Rohrabacher that Putin’s authorities was making an attempt to recruit him as an asset. Positive, perhaps there’s nothing technically improper with having relationships with unscrupulous figures. However you’re who you encompass your self with.
Being Anti-LGBTQ is Not Compassion
As beforehand said, it’s nice Rohrabacher had the political wit to finagle sufficient authorities couch-cushion-change to pen an modification defending medical hashish dispensaries from federal raids. However let’s be actual about this: that very same political wit is the similar trait that’s exploiting the hashish business.
For many who solely know Rohrabacher due to hashish, he may look like somebody who cares about the higher good of humanity. At talking engagements, he addresses the sick youngsters who want hashish and the wrestle mother and father face discovering and administering oil. Rohrabacher argues that folks have a human proper to entry the plant. He talks about the significance of Veterans getting access to hashish to protect their psychological well being and war-related illnesses—and he’s proper.
Final Might, nevertheless, Rohrabacher additionally advised a gaggle of actual property brokers that householders ought to be capable of refuse to promote their homes to individuals due to their sexual orientation.
“Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone [if] they don’t agree with their lifestyle,” Rohrabacher stated in assembly with a delegation from the Orange County Affiliation of Realtors, in response to the Orange County Register.
Rohrabacher’s feedback got here in response to a query requested about the Truthful and Equal Housing Act, a invoice that might ban housing discrimination based mostly on sexual orientation and gender id. He stated he wouldn’t help the invoice.
Allow us to not overlook that Prop. 215—the pioneering regulation enacted in ’96 authorizing the use of medical marijuana in California—was based partially as a result of hashish offered vital aid for gays affected by the debilitating results of AIDS. It’s basically twisted to spout-off about individuals deserving the proper to freely use hashish, however vehemently disapprove of queer and trans individuals—a gaggle that has a robust presence in the hashish area—accessing housing. Anybody who actually cared about the hashish group—the basis of the business—would have a deep respect for the LGBTQ group.
That’s, in fact, until your motivations are elsewhere.
The King of MAGA
Rohrabacher is a staunch Trump supporter. Like the president, Rohrabacher can also be fiercely towards immigration. When the world was clued in on what America was doing to migrant households earlier this yr, the ex-Congressman stated nothing. Rohrabacher did nothing. If he really disagreed, he would have made a press release– the method many different authorities officers did. As an alternative, all we’ve to reference are his previous remarks about standing with Trump on immigration points.
Oh, and right here’s what’s written on his web site. He “opposes all efforts to legalize the status of those currently in the United States illegally” and needs to safe the nation’s borders and maintain anybody who’s illegally in the nation from getting a job or receiving authorities advantages.
When Rolling Stone interviewed Rohrabacher after the separation of migrant households set the information cycle ablaze, he expressed his help of Trump. “I think that we look at him as our father—it is the family,” Rohrabacher informed Rolling Stone. “We like him. With all of his personality displays that make people mad at him on the outside, the Republicans are beginning to really like him for all of that.”
No matter your stance on immigration, completely separating youngsters from their households is inhumane. Full cease.
The Cannabis Industry Deserves Better
We’ve gone over so much right here. However we’ve actually solely laid out a sliver of the drawback. We didn’t even get into the reality he’s a local weather change denier. Anybody who denies local weather change have to be blind or senile contemplating our planet is quickly dying in entrance of us.
It’s troublesome to observe somebody with such hate-ridden views obtain overwhelming help from an business filled with empathetic, loving individuals. And though Rohrabacher’s not the solely questionable politician leveraging hashish for public help (and marketing campaign donations), he’s the one who’s arguably made the most waves. Nobody can deny that he’s carried out rather a lot for hashish. However that’s what makes the state of affairs so devastating: taking a look at the scope of who Rohrabacher is, the negatives far outweigh the constructive.
Federal prohibition of hashish can be lifted with or with out Rohrabacher at this level. The motion is unstoppable. However we’re dwelling in a rustic that permits hate–and he’s part of the drawback. For the love of all that’s inexperienced, we should cease supporting racist politicians who, though could be pro-cannabis, additionally push a catalog of archaic and ignorant dogmas.