Paul Finds Unlikely Support From Marijuana Advocates

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA :Among the top contributors to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign are the usual suspects — a financial management firm, a real estate developer, a manufacturer of hand tools.

But Paul also is getting significant support from an unlikely source for a conservative Republican — the marijuana industry.

The Marijuana Policy Project gave Paul’s campaign $5,000 — the legal limit that a political committee can give a candidate, according to campaign finance records.

The National Cannabis Industry Association gave $5,000. Its executive director and federal lobbyist added another $2,000, according to a tally by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan group that tracks campaign spending.

Jeb Bush Just Made A Series Of False Comments On Marijuana

MASSACHUSETTS: Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush says that he supports the decriminalization of marijuana, but says that he remains opposed to federal legalization, citing a series of myths about weed.

In an interview with a Boston radio station on Friday, Bush made a slight shift in his position on marijuana — previously, he had declined to voice support fordecriminalization — but also stated that marijuana was a gateway drug that leads people to seek more dangerous drugs, which studies show is untrue. The episode aired at 8 a.m. EST Friday, but the episode is not currently available online.

“It’s one thing to say we should have decriminalization of marijuana. I support that,” Bush told WBZ NewsRadio. But he went on to say that “marijuana is a gateway drug just as opiates are a gateway drug.”

 

Sarah Palin On Legalized Marijuana: “No Big Deal”

ALASKA: In an interview on Thursday with conservative Hugh Hewitt, 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin was asked about marijuana policy in her home state of Alaska. Hewitt asked about the successful marijuana initiative that passed last year, asking in a brazen tone, “What happened in Alaska? What are you people thinking there?”

In a pleasant surprise, Palin refused to take the bait and did not indulge the prohibitionist fear-mongering employed by Hewitt. Palin instead said “We’ve got that libertarian streak in us, and I grew up in Alaska when pot was legal anyway. It was absolutely no big deal.” While she went on to explain that families and communities helped to avoid drug usage, she suggested that there are much more important issues for governments to worry about.

As Palin stated, beginning around the late 1970s, possession of small amounts of marijuana was decriminalized and eventually fully legalized. It was not until 1990 that Alaska voted again to criminalize possession. As Jacob Sullum for Reason points out, the 2014 referendum went even further than what had been the law prior to 1990, as it  also legalized “home cultivation along with commercial production and sales.”

Despite her disappearance from electoral politics since the 2008 election, Palin does still remain a significant figure in the Tea Party and grassroots conservative movements. The fact that she would be willing to stand up against the alarmism of the big-government drug war forces that have had a home in the party for over thirty years shows that perhaps the debate is shifting within the GOP.

Ohio House Leaders To Carefully Explore Medical Marijuana

OHIO:  After years of resistance, Republican legislative leaders are now heading down the path toward legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

At the same time, ResponsibleOhio marijuana investor Dr. Suresh Gupta said Wednesday the marijuana campaign that stumbled badly Tuesday will be back, possibly next year, with a plan that doesn’t involve a monopoly. “Absolutely. We’re not here to run away,” said Gupta, a Dayton anesthesiologist and pain-management physician who owns a proposed pot-growing site in Pataskala.

Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, said the legislative plan is to engage the medical community, possibly including state funding for studies, and release a series of bills and resolutions in the coming weeks, with potential action next year. They will include a pilot program and urging Congress to drop marijuana to a lower drug classification.

Pro-Marijuana Group Rereleases Republicans’ Ratings Before Debate in Colorado

COLORADO: At a Republican presidential debate hosted in Colorado, one issue is destined to come up: pot.

Colorado’s experiment with legalized marijuana remains a hot topic as the next election approaches, and for many Republicans, the subject requires a balancing act between wanting to protect individual and state rights without seeming to condone people getting high.

In that spirit, the Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy group for the legal marijuana industry, has dusted off its scorecard of where the candidates stand on the issue.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is expected to get the most cheers from the legalization crowd, as he gets an A-minus grade from the group because of his calls to decriminalize recreational use and his desire for states to decide their own marijuana laws.

Marijuana And Election 2016: Where The Presidential Candidates Stand

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Legalization of marijuana is expected to be a big issue during the 2016 elections. Many states will have ballot items regarding the legalization of marijuana and for some voters, its the only issue they care about. Some candidates are very clear as to their position, while others are hard to pin down and deliver confusing and conflicting messages. Many of the candidates don’t post their positions on the issue on their political website, so their stance is determined from their quotes. Here then is a primer for the leading 2016 presidential candidates and their position on the legalization of marijuana.

Republicans

Donald Trump

Position: Cloudy

In 1990, Donald Trump argued that in order to win the War On Drugs, you had to take away the profits from the drug czars. He favored legalizing drugs and using the tax revenue to fund drug education programs. Fast forward to 2015 at the Conservative Political Action Conference where Trump reversed course and said he was against the legalization of marijuana. “I think it’s bad and I feel strongly about that,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of problems going on right now in Colorado, some big problems.” However, Trump contradicts himself when asked about states rights and marijuana laws. Trump said, “If they vote for it, they vote for it.”

Ben Carson

Position: For Medical, Against Recreational

Rand Paul Hits Jeb Bush On Marijuana Rich Kid ‘Hypocrisy

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul continued to hit former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Thursday for admitting to smoking marijuana in high school — saying his “hypocrisy” is an example of why drug laws need changing in U.S.

Bush admitted in previous interviews and again during Wednesday’s Republican presidential primary debate smoking marijuana while attending the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.

“He didn’t go to jail,” Paul told students at the University of Nevada-Reno on Thursday. “Why? Because he was rich, and he was elite, and he was going to a very special school.”

Paul said he didn’t begrudge Bush’s education, but said that Bush supports policies that disproportionately result in minority and lower-income young people going to jail for lengthy sentences.

GOP Contenders Just Saying No To Fight Against Pot

GOP presidential candidates are by and large staying away from the debate over marijuana legalization, an issue once embraced by Republican occupants of the White House. 

They have stayed largely silent as support for legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana has gained public support. 
 
Fifty-three percent of adults nationwide say marijuana should be legal, while 43 percent say the opposite, according to a CBS News poll from April.  
 
A Pew Research Center poll from March found a similar margin. 
 
Colorado, Washington State, Oregon and Alaska have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while another five will vote on the question in 2016. 
 
Only New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and long-shot candidate former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) support a federal crackdown on state policies legalizing cannabis, which is still classified as a Schedule I drug — the most dangerous category, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. 
 

Chris Christie To Legal Marijuana Smokers: Enjoy It While You Can Because He’ll Enforce Federal Ban

NEW JERSEY: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is attracting attention to his struggling presidential campaign by making it clear he doesn’t want to recognize state laws legalizing recreational marijuana.

In town hall meetings in New Hampshire and an appearance on Fox News this week, Christie said that if elected, he intends to overturn state marijuana legalization laws, which have been passed in Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska.

“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it until Jan. 17 of 2017,” Christie told an audience in Newport, N.H., on Tuesday, “because I will enforce the federal laws against marijuana as president of the United States.”