Rohrabacher Crawls Out from Under Rock to Call for Hemp Border Wall

Then-Rep. Rohrabacher and BudTrader.com CEO Brad McLaughlin (courtesy BudTrader.com)

In Dana Rohrabacher’s first tweet since Nov. 4–when he thanked President Donald Trump for tweeting support for the then-30-year-House incumbent and opposition to eventual 48th Congressional District winner Harley Rouda–the ex-Surfin’ Congressman calls for a border wall made out of hemp.

“Kudos to @StephenBannon @erikprince @realDonaldTrump: A HEMP-BASED CONCRETE BORDER WALL a win for USA security & taxpayers, farmers, veterans & environmentalists. Bold thinking! It’s affordable & will work,” Rohrabacher tweeted on Feb. 7.

You know who Trump and Bannon are, but Prince is the former Navy SEAL brother of Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. He interned in Rohrabacher’s Capitol Hill office in 1990 and, by the end of that decade, he founded the controversial Blackwater security firm. Prince held a fundraiser last year at his Middleburg, Virginia, home for Rohrabacher’s ultimately unsuccessful reelection campaign. Both Prince and Rohrabacher have popped up in Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

Rohrabacher ends his Feb. 7 Twitter message with, “See @bud_trader white paper” before linking to BudTrader.com CEO Brad McLaughlin’s Oct. 1 Facebook post with the plea, “Use Industrial Hemp Materials to Build a U.S./Mexico Border Wall Funded by: The Cannabis Industry/Federal Cannabis Tax.”

In a bit of logrolling (joint rolling?), and apparently unaware of Rohrabacher’s current job status, Encinitas-based BudTrader.com issued a press release Feb. 7 that begins, “In a Tweet posted today from his official Twitter account, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher urged President Trump to read and consider a plan created by the cannabis community for a southern border wall constructed from a hemp-based material, known as Hemp concrete. The plan also includes national cannabis legalization with a 3% federal tax that would fully fund the border wall, as well as a program to employ US Veterans in its construction.”

BudTrader.com, which is billed as “the largest cannabis social media platform in the world” with 2 million registered “cannabis enthusiasts,” cites in the press release a Politico story that reports Bannon and Prince, along with other key Republican operatives, are developing plans to build a Hempcrete wall along the U.S./Mexico border, but are still seeking private funding for the project.

“According to Congressman Rohrabacher, he spoke to Steve Bannon and he is going to read the Hemp Wall white paper that BudTrader and the Cannabis/Hemp Community wrote,” McLaughlin is quoted as saying in the press release, which adds the BudTrader CEO originally proposed the hemp wall concept to Rohrabacher in April 2018 and submitted his white paper to the congressman the following September.

Illustration by Felipe Flores

The white paper “Overview” begins: “Our proposal is to construct 1,954 miles of border wall separating the United States and Mexico using ‘hempcrete’ and other industrial hemp by-products as building materials grown by both the United States and Mexico’s legal cannabis/hemp industries. A major portion of the labor force hired to complete this project will be veterans of the U.S. Armed Services, with an aim to decrease the number of unemployed veterans by 10%. By constructing the border wall this way, we will save the U.S. government billions of dollars, while spurring both the United States the Mexican economies and by dealing a huge blow to the Mexican drug cartels. As a quid pro quo, we will ask that medical cannabis be legalized on a federal level so that all those who need it, especially veterans, have safe access to it.”

Under the subhead “Funding Solution,” a 3 percent federal tax on cannabis sales is proposed to help fund the hempcrete border wall and, in return, the U.S. government would legalize weed, grant clemency to non-violent cannabis offenders in federal prison and allow legal cannabis and hemp companies to have access to reliable banking services at FDIC banks.

However worthy that may ring in your ears, some of Rohrabacher’s Twitter followers had fun with the ex-congressman’s support of it.

Chris Karl wrote, “Great, Individual $7”—a reference to how Rohrabacher is identified in a Russia probe indictment—“I can’t wait to see justice catch up with you and your pooka shells.”

“Friendb” asked, “Are you still high?” while “we wondered why not?” wondered, “Where was this bold thinking when you were still in Congress?”

Speaking of that, “Patriotic American” suggested Rohrabacher update his Twitter bio, which still referred to him as being the “U.S. Congressman representing CA-48.” (No wonder the BudTrader.com press release writer is confused.)

Wes Harman simply sums it up in all caps: “RUSSIAN EMPLOYEE SAYS WHAT?!”

OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.

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