Rand Paul

Will Rand Paul Be "First Top-Tier Presidential Candidate…to Make "Marijuana Reform a Major Campaign Issue"?


The Hill thinks so:

Paul, who will announce his White House bid on Tuesday, has argued forcefully that states should be allowed to adopt their own policies on the use of medical marijuana without fear of federal interference.

He introduced a bill in March that would prevent federal prosecution of patients in states where medical marijuana has been legalized.

He's separately offered support for the growth of industrial hemp, and worked to win Senate passage of legislation in 2014 to allow states to grow hemp for research.

More broadly, Paul has called for a serious review of the nation's policies on illegal drugs. He's an outspoken critic of decades-long prison sentences for the sale or possession of marijuana, which he has called "ridiculous."

From a drug policy reform perspective, these are baby steps for sure. But Paul has captured the attention and enthusiasm of hard-core activists in a way that no other major-party pol has managed.

"His message on marijuana reform is going to be very attractive to young people and communities of color," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. "It's definitely going to force Hillary Clinton or whoever is the Democratic nominee toward that direction, because they'll be worried about losing their base."

The Hill quotes a number of GOP operatives who are plainly worried that Paul's stance on pot will alienate older voters. Yet it's worth noting that the country as a whole has shifted toward legalization of pot and 2016 will see marijuana legalization initiatives in at least two states, California and Ohio.

Last year, Reason TV interviewed Democratic consultant Joe Trippi who noted that it was libertarian themes that provided the GOP with its best path forward with millennial voters and the country as a whole. Here's a 50-second snippet of that convo:

NEXT: Rand Paul Just Made It Official: "I Am Running for President"

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  1. Pot Discussed, Up Next: Millennials

    1. followed by gay mexican pizza.

      1. My wife is a big fan of Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza, is that gay enough to count?

        1. Maybe “gay” enough, but not happy enough. Go to Gordo’s in Valhalla for Mexican pizza.

    2. … in Indiana.

    3. It’s Pot, Mexicans, Ass-sex. In that order.

      1. Has anyone made the t-shirt yet?

  2. The old people are already team red or team blue, no? So who the hell cares? An old republican isn’t going to suddenly vote for Hillary.

    1. They can also stay home.

    2. Old people are changing their minds about pot. Not as fast as 20-somethings, true, but old people get glaucoma too.

      1. The other thing about old people is that they turn over pretty quickly. Today’s old people are a whole different group from old people 10 years ago.

  3. From a drug policy reform perspective, these are baby steps for sure.

    True, but they also seem achievable in the short run.

  4. This announcement is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen.

    1. He starts railing against wall street (1% populist rhetoric) then his two opening speakers (minorities) start praying.

      It’s a weird combination of socon religion, leftist anti-capitalism, and economic freedom zone libertarianism.

      1. He starts railing against wall street crony capitalists (1% populist rhetoric) then his two opening speakers (minorities) start praying.

  5. Ive been looking at the Rand paul trend on facebook.
    The leftist spin is unbelievable. They call out Rand for occasional flip flops but ignore the fact that Hillary has no redeemable qualities, she is an all around authoritarian

    1. You can’t be critical of Hillary. That’s sexist.

    2. Just waiting for my mom and dad to tell me he’s going to take away Social Security and deny health care to old people. AARP must not have written that memo yet.

      1. He’s got my vote!

  6. He still needs a haircut. Damn Hippy.

    1. er “ie”

      Fuck it, spell it however you want.

      1. Either way, they still smell.

  7. I guess Nick was too high for alt-text.

    1. “Look at that picture behind him. How elitist.”

  8. My classmate’s step-aunt makes $61 /hour on the internet . She has been fired from work for nine months but last month her pay check was $12801 just working on the internet for a few hours. try this out.
    ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  9. Nothing is going to piss off the progs like agreeing with them on “their issue”. God dammit, you can’t be for pot! That is ours. Sure we don’t do anything about it except tell everyone that only the mean old GOP stands between you and your weed.

    It is like arguing with your wife. The worse thing you can ever do is be right. That makes them crazy mad.

    1. It is like arguing with your wife. The worse thing you can ever do is be right.

      You can be right or you can be happy. Choose one.

    2. Well, except for the large proportion of progressives who are hard core drug warriors. Let’s not get fooled into imagining that the WOD is a left/right thing. It is very much a progressive project.

    3. I wonder if you were aware of how many Republicans the voters of Alaska put into office while they were voting for regulated re-legalization on Election Day 2014?

      The only reason that the Governor is an “Independent” was because the Republican Party gave the nomination to the incumbent. They elected a US Senator and their US Representative, both Republicans. Ballot Measure 2 received 149,021 votes. That’s 38.76% more votes than the Governor received, 35.22% more than Senator Dan Sullivan, and 28.63% more that Representative Don Young.

      A few Democrats figured out the best way to get elected to the State Legislature. That procedure is to run unopposed.

      Don’t you know that Prohibition was invented by the Progressive Party?

  10. Answer: no. It’ll occur without ever being an issue, very quietly.

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