Pro-pot group blunt on Malek

Cd'A state rep earns 'worst'rating from lobbyists

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Republican Idaho state Rep. Luke Malek, of Coeur d'Alene, has been named one of the country's "Worst State Legislators of 2013" by a marijuana policy organization.

Earlier this year, Malek was quoted in an Associated Press story saying medical marijuana is a "farcical predatory scheme" that gives healthy people easy access to pot.

"It's the most accurate way to describe what they're involved in," Malek said Friday.

The Marijuana Policy Project, based in Washington, D.C., is the largest organization dedicated exclusively to working on marijuana policy issues.

MPP is the largest in terms of members at 25,000, and staff at 25, and a budget this year of $4 million.

MPP said Malek placed second on the list for helping pass a resolution opposing the legalization of marijuana "for any purpose."

The legislators listed were singled out because of their legislative efforts to maintain or expand marijuana prohibition policies, as well as statements they made during the past legislative session.

"We think it's important that voters around the country understand where their legislators stand on these issues," MPP spokesman Mason Tvert, in Denver, told The Press.

In a news release from the organization, Tvert was quoted as saying, "Unfortunately, there are still many elected officials in this country who cannot let go of their antiquated beliefs about marijuana."

He said those named on the list were just the "most outrageous examples."

Malek said MPP is likely getting a lot of its funding from those who would profit from any relaxation of marijuana laws.

In the news release, the organization said nearly 75 percent of Idahoans support allowing "terminally and seriously ill patients to use and purchase marijuana for medical purposes," citing a 2011 Boise State University public policy survey.

A Pew Research Center poll conducted in March found three out of four Americans believe marijuana has legitimate medical benefits.

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