Politics & Policy

Rand Is Right: Jeb’s Position on Weed Is Wrong

"Hypocrisy" doesn't even begin to cover it.

Last week Senator Rand Paul called presidential hopeful Jeb Bush a “hypocrite” for opposing medical marijuana despite having smoked weed himself in the past.

“You would think he’d have a little more understanding then,” Paul told the Hill. “This is a guy who now admits he smoked marijuana but he wants to put people in jail who do.”

“I think that’s the real hypocrisy,”  he continued, “is that people on our side, which include a lot of people who made mistakes growing up, admit their mistakes but now still want to put people in jail for that.”

Last year, the former Florida governor spoke out against a ballot initiative that would have allowed medical marijuana in the state because it would have interfered with its reputation as “a family-friendly destination for tourism, and a desirable place to raise a family or retire.”

Um. I don’t think retirees would decide to stop moving to a state because it decided to offer more options for dealing with health issues. After all, the ballot measure Jeb opposed wasn’t proposing full decriminalization, but simply allowing sick Floridians to use marijuana as medication if they and their doctors decided that was best for them. Can you really say you support small government and also say that the government should be making these kinds of personal decisions for individuals?

Of course, Rand’s criticism went beyond Jeb’s opposition to medical marijuana and also suggested that no one should be sent to jail for smoking weed. But guess what? He’s right about this, too.

After all, the states with the toughest marijuana laws probably seem the least “family friendly” to households where arrests for weed offenses are the reason a father is in prison or a son can’t achieve his full potential.

“Had he been caught at Andover, he’d have never been governor, he’d probably never have a chance to run for the presidency,” Paul said.

Bingo. And if Jeb Bush disagrees, I challenge him to pay a visit to those people locked up for marijuana offenses and tell them that — even though he smoked too – they need to be behind bars because it’s good for Florida’s #brand.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.

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