This issue is probably more divisive within the GOP right now than gay marriage is. Since Colorado, Washington, and now Alaska, have decriminalized pot use at the state level, it’s become a topic of conversation around the country. As of today, it is decriminalized in Washington, DC, as well, so the issue isn’t going away anytime soon. No doubt it will come up from time to time on the trail and perhaps during the upcoming debates.

Report from The Hill:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) accused Jeb Bush of hypocrisy after The Boston Globe reported the former Florida governor was a heavy marijuana smoker while at an elite prep school.

Bush opposed a Florida medical marijuana ballot initiative last year even though he partook liberally of the herb while in high school.

“You would think he’d have a little more understanding then,” Paul told The Hill while en route to a political event in Texas.

“He was even opposed to medical marijuana,” Paul said of Bush, a potential rival in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. “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, 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,” he said.

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

Bush told The Globe in a recent interview about his four years at Phillips Academy in Andover, one of the nation’s most prestigious prep schools, “I drank and I smoked marijuana when I was at Andover,” explaining the behavior was “pretty common.”

Paul has a point and he’s made drug policy a centerpiece of his campaign in many instances. This is clearly an issue where his libertarian views drive his political stance on the topic. Whether Bush responds to this attack remains to be seen.


  1. This has the potential to resonate beyond the strictly Libertarian voter. How much and for how long is a question but it puts another negative against Gov. Bush in the back of the minds of the voter.


    • Because of his stance on issues like this, Rand can and will expand the GOP voting bloc beyond the strongholds from Reagan’s famous three legged stool. Case in point, my wife comes from a family of Democratic Party officeholders but would seriously consider voting Republican if Rand Paul were on the ballot. Side note: She (and I) have also been very impressed with Carly Fiorina.

      • I think Fiorina is a dark horse VP candidate. She’s likely not going to win the nomination, but she may be an asset on ticket to someone like a Walker or Paul trying to soften their image a little bit.

        • I agree that putting a woman on the ticket might be a good idea, but as for “softening their image,” why would they pick MAUDE?

  2. This is the second time Rand Paul has exposed Jeb on this hypocrisy (and Bush has failed to respond again, since he can’t…).

    The question is — is it too early for Rand to try a KO punch on Jeb at this stage?
    The concern is that as time passes, this issue of Jeb’s hypocrisy may dwindle down.
    However, if Rand sticks to his guns — pounding at key moments that Jeb considers himself ‘special’, thus above the Law — he might effectively shut down the run of The Third Bush.

    With Romney folding, Christie getting self-eliminated, and a potential Bush demise — things are looking good for saving our Republic!

  3. I applaud Rand Paul- he is no wallflower. Paul should continue to make calculated strikes against Bush and other opponents all while laying out a bold vision for leading America. What I like about Paul is that he does not package and re-package the same tired ideas from the past. My nightmare scenario is walking into a voting booth in November 2016 and seeing Bush vs Clinton on the ballot (if this occurs I’m writing in James Stockdale). If voters, including me, don’t want to see John Ellis Bush’s name on the ballot in November 2016, they will have to provide monetary and time support to another candidate. Dress him up any way you want, but if Jeb Bush is elected what we will have is a more bookish version of his brother at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Call it “compassionate” conservatism or “reform” conservatism, Jeb Bush’s brand of politics will be very similar to George W. Bush’s – expand federal power, expand the power of the executive branch (further hurting a system of checks and balances), continue a costly war on drugs, and further a new-conservative foreign agenda based on interventionalism to help promote democracy around the world. What would this agenda equal? A higher national debt and further eroding of personal freedom.

  4. Recently, I was becoming sympathetic toward Rand Paul. Someone (person unknown) signed me up for Rand Paul’s Newsletters. To the news media Rand Paul appears open and knowledgeable about all government affairs. This quote was a winner for me: “Imagine Obama had governed from 2000 to 2008 exactly as Bush did. Would Republicans have given Obama and his party a free pass in carrying out the exact same agenda as Bush? It’s hard to imagine this being the case, given the grief Bill Clinton got from Republicans, even though his big government agenda was less ambitious than
    Bush’s. Yet, the last Republican president got very little criticism from his own party for most of his tenure”

    Read his Newletters and you find the dark side, the same format and same use of destructive misinformation that propels his father to this very day. Example: “Senator Rand Paul returns $480,000 to U.S. Treasury from Office Budget, has returned $1.8 million since taking office.”– headlineon Rand Paul news release, Feb. 20, 2015. Paul included the visual image of a giant check made out to “The U.S. taxpayer.” The simple fact is: Senators are allowed to use $3.24 million in a fiscal year for official personnel and office expense allowance (SOPOEA). Rand Paul never had this money in his possession nor was he able to sign a check on the US Treasury to obtain any of
    it. According to the Congressional Research Service most senators leave hundreds of thousands of dollars in their annual unused allowance Treasury account. Since this money has never left the US
    Treasury, it is not returnable in any form or fashion to the taxpayers.

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