Marco Rubio Wants to Roll Back State Progress on Marijuana Legalization

By McCarton Ackerman 08/11/15

Senator Rubio has slid back to seventh place in the Republican primary race.

 Marco Rubio
His lips are sealed on his own past weed use. Photo via

When it comes to Republican views on marijuana, Sen. Marco Rubio isn’t ruffling any feathers within the party as he bids to become their nomination for President.

During an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, he addressed a viewer question on states legalizing marijuana and said he was against it in all forms. Rubio even went so far as to say that he would enforce federal law against the states that have currently legalized it.

“I’m not in favor of legalizing marijuana. I’m not. I never have been,” he said. “I believe the federal government needs to enforce federal law.” However, Rubio did say that he was open to medical marijuana as long as it demonstrated true medicinal benefits and went through the FDA approval process.

Rubio’s comments on marijuana are identical to the views he has been championing for years. He told the Hugh Hewitt Radio show last April that states “don’t have a right to write federal policy as well ... I don’t believe we should be in the business of legalizing additional intoxicants in this country. When you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is [that] it can’t be that bad."

But perhaps unsurprisingly, Rubio has declined to say whether he has ever smoked pot himself.

“When I was 16, I made dumb decisions as is. I didn’t need the help of marijuana or alcohol to further that,” he said last year during an education forum in Miami, Fla. “At this point, it’s irrelevant. The bottom line is [that] it’s a substance that alters your mind.”

Given his current poll numbers, it doesn’t appear as though Rubio will get the opportunity to follow through on his promise. The latest polls indicate that he has slid back to seventh place in the race, with 5.2% of the vote. A member of Rubio’s team shrugged off those stats via email and said that “we aren't paying any attention (literally zero) to the horserace numbers. They are going to be all over the map.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.