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.