Rand Paul Disagrees with Jeb Bush on Marijuana Policy

With the presidential nomination race season in full swing for the Republican Party, there is a lot of news coming out from the second debate held recently. According to a recent news article from CNN, Senator Rand Paul has been very critical of what he calls Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s “hypocrisy” involving marijuana legislation.

ballot-1440045.jpgSpecifically, that fact Bush has admitted to smoking marijuana while he was in high school, while he now supports archaic drug policies that Paul claims disproportionately place low-income people and minorities in prison for lengthy sentences, while white marijuana users, particular those in higher income brackets, do not often go to jail for the same conduct. When Bush smoked marijuana, according to his own admission, he was in a prestigious private boarding school in Massachusetts, and he did not end up going to jail.

Paul stressed the reason Bush did not get into trouble was because he was at a school for rich and elite people’s children, though he made a point to state he had no problem with Bush getting an expensive private education, but only a problem with the disproportionate effects of the anti-marijuana policies Bush supports.

Paul supports policies consistent with the Libertarian Party and its position that there should be smaller government, less government regulation, and laws that do not put people in jail for smoking marijuana. On the other hand, Bush again admitted to smoking marijuana, but said the answer it not laws that do not crack down on marijuana as it is a small part of a much larger drug problem, including the major heroin problems seen in New Hampshire. Bush said the government’s drug policy should be consistent with all drugs and treatment issues.

As our Orange County medical cannabis attorneys can explain, this is essentially a rehashing of the outdated argument that marijuana is a gateway drug and will lead to teens and young adults become addicted to so-called hard drugs. While this argument has been around for a long time, research does not back it up. Moreover, with some states, such as Colorado, legalizing marijuana for recreational use, there has been no evidence of people becoming addicted to heroin or other drugs as a result of legalization, nor has there been any increase in crime, which is another common reason opponents of legalization of marijuana cite.

Following this somewhat heated exchange during the live debate, reporters asked the Bush campaign if they had any other follow-up comments about the issue, and a spokesperson did not immediately respond.

While this makes an interesting argument to watch during a televised debate, as we have seen all too often, the majority of politicians are unwilling to do anything when they actually have a chance to pass new legislation. One of the most obvious things that could be done would be to remove marijuana from Schedule One of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The reason it is on this highest schedule is because, based upon political pressure, and not supported by any scientific evidence, Congress took the position that marijuana was highly dangerous, highly addictive, and had no valid medical uses.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

Rand Paul hits Jeb Bush on marijuana rich kid ‘hypocrisy’, September 17, 2015, KUTV, by Tal Kopan, CNN
More Blog Entries:

Blue Ribbon Commission Report Offers Road Map to Legal Marijuana, July 31, 2015, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog