Tim Vandenack
Tim Vandenack
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Petermann would have voted for marijuana measure, thinks pot should be legal

He doesn’t favor use of the drug, but sees the matter as a liberty and states’ rights issue.

Posted on June 9, 2014 at 8:24 p.m.

Monday June 9, 2014

Libertarian U.S. House hopeful Jeff Petermann would have voted for a measure meant to keep the feds from preventing implementation of state laws allowing use of medical marijuana.

He also thinks pot should be legal.

“Anytime I can reduce federal power by restoring it to the states, I would,” he said in an email Monday, June 9. “As for marijuana use, I personally have never and would never use marijuana, however, I also feel that pot use is a state's rights issue. I also feel it shouldn't be illegal.”

Petermann’s statement stemmed from approval on May 30 by House lawmakers of an amendment meant to keep the U.S. Justice Department from meddling with states that allow use of marijuana for medical purposes. The measure, still subject to potential scrutiny from the U.S. Senate and President Obama, was part of a Justice Department appropriation’s bill, according to The Hill, and it passed 219 to 189.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican, voted against the measure. She wasn’t immediately available for comment on the issue Monday, but Petermann opined against her, painting her no vote as a vote against states’ rights.

“This law put power back in the states’ hands and stripped some of our bloated federal government’s power away from (the federal government), and your congresswoman, Jackie Walorski, voted against it,” Petermann said in a statement.

In a subsequent email, he said driving while high should be criminal. “Smoking pot in your basement as an adult,” by contrast, “is not hurting anyone but the user and therefore is a liberty issue,” he continued.

Walorski is seeking her second term in the 2nd District U.S. House seat. Joe Bock is the Democratic contender for the post.

Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack or visit him on Facebook.

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