Reefer and Republican Debate

At nearly the two and half hour mark in tonight’s marathon Republican debate on CNN Jake Tapper directed a question from the online audience, indicating it was very popular, to Senator Rand Paul regarding Colorado and other states having recently legalized marijuana by popular vote on binding initiatives, that if elected president of the US Governor Chris Christie recently said ‘the people of Colorado should enjoy their pot now because if elected by 2017 I’ll be going after them to shut down’, imploring Senator Paul to respond to Christie’s clear threat to state autonomy in states like Colorado (along with Alaska, Oregon and Washington too).

Senator Paul indicated that he supports the 10th Amendment and states rights, that the drug war has racist outcomes, that rehabilitation is preferable to incarceration, expanding drug courts, indicated the war on drugs is a failure, and that individuals on the stage are hypocrites for their youthful marijuana use. Governor Jeb Bush apparently took that to mean him…where he extolled the virtues of Florida’s drug courts. Paul retorted that Bush didn’t support medical access to marijuana. Bush claimed that he did, but only the way the legislature in Florida recently passed restrictive laws (‘Not Colorado-like laws’), that he didn’t support the 2014 effort to pass medical marijuana laws via a ballot initiative and that he voted against it.

Senator Paul drilled Bush that he didn’t really support medical marijuana or states’ rights.

Bush claimed that if voters in Colorado wanted different marijuana laws he wouldn’t necessarily interfere.

The next two candidates took the opportunity to try to have it both ways, first with Christie extolling New Jersey’s recently passed ‘rehabilitation over incarceration’ legislation and that the “war on drugs is largely a failure”, but, non-sensibly, then goes on to bluster and re-affirm his virulent opposition to marijuana legalization, claiming marijuana is a gateway drug (which simply is not supported by science or data). He exclaimed to Paul ‘if you want marijuana legalized, pass a law in Congress’.

Then former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina took the unsolicited opportunity to gratuitously mention her son’s addiction and death from drug overdose (self-evidently not from marijuana), that marijuana is a gateway drug, is way more potent (‘Then when Jeb Bush smoked it”)…but, then, incongruously, she insisted that the war on drugs is a failure, prisons are overcrowded and that “what we’re doing is not working”.

Senator Paul attacked Christie for not truly supporting the 1oth Amendment allowing states autonomy from the federal government, that, further, if president Christie would enforce federal laws against state medical cannabis patients, including children who’re recommended medical marijuana use by physicians.

Distilled: Three of the Republican candidates indicated the war on drugs is a failure (Paul, Fiorina and Christie), one candidate (Bush) indicated that the federal government has an important role to play against drug use.

One candidate supported medical access to marijuana and states rights (Paul); one candidate claimed to support states rights and limited access to medical marijuana (Bush); one candidate supported medical access to marijuana, but would use federal law to stop states from deviating from federal policies they no longer support (Christie) and a candidate will use the death of their child to advance inaccurate and unscientific claims–while at the same time wanting credit for identifying the problems that contributed to their son’s plight, while making no indication how if at all they’d allow states autonomy to make policy decisions independent of the centralized federal government (Fiorina).

18 thoughts

  1. I didn’t see a mention of my favorite GOP hopeful, Dr. Benjamin Carson. There’s a lot more going on between those ears than some flamboyant showbiz combover.

    Sometimes I think I’m going overboard with this vote-pro-weed stuff, but these GOP attitudes toward marijuana do betray a striking inability to accurately assess the science behind medical and recreational use. One wonders if their grasp of other more important issues is equally weak.

    If you lean Republican, you’ve got work to do. You guys are the current main impediment to marijuana legalization. Just sayin….

  2. so once again every person on the stage puts the marijuana debate in the box of medical and recreational. not a single person talks about industrial marijuana/hemp. then you get the same talking point of how marijuana today is so much stronger and effects you more than having a beer. so we know that commit is made by someone who has never smoked marijuana. anyone who has smoked marijuana knows you can never get more impaired from marijuana than you can drinking alcohol. then you get someone who lost a child to drugs talking about gateway drugs. when their child died taking perscription drugs.

  3. Rand Paul is the only Republican candidate that would have any chance of getting my vote.

    That said, the odds are that I will vote for the Democratic nominee when the time comes. As a party, the Democrats seem to be much more in line with American values and beliefs.

  4. Galileo, you hit the nail on the head when you said, “One wonders if their grasp of other more important issues is equally weak.” If these jamokes can’t handle the MJ issue, what chance do they have with the Middle East, Russia, China, the economy, megacorp influence and so on?

    To me they are all pretenders to the throne.

  5. why is it that every time someone talks about this they go right the high school and kids debate. obviously if you are under 21, you should not, and you cannot purchase it!

    they need to get it right, just like alcohol and cigarettes there are age requirements, 21 years old, or whatever the correct age is, and so should/would/does marijuana.

    pisses me off, @ age 18 the govt. can send “children” off to war and die, but as an adult you can’t make your own choices. you can smoke all the “fags” you want, loose limbs and organs, and eventually kill yourself, while making doctors and the tobacco industry giants rich btw. Or, drink yourself to death and/or kill someone else, and also making some doctor and the alcohol barons rich…

    How many times do you hear it?
    It goes on all day long
    Everyone knows everything
    And no one’s ever wrong
    Until later

    Who can you believe?
    It’s hard to play it safe
    But apart from a few good friends
    We don’t take anything on faith
    Until later
    #RUSH, Presto, Show Don’t Tell (1989)

  6. Carson is The Worst – Drugwar Offender, under a slick, Token countenance. It’s the worst disservice, for ignorant GOP’ers to embrace his abhorrant affront, because they want a black.

  7. Thanks for the update Allen; I couldn’t even watch the debates now that they’ve morphed into laundering campaign donations through reality tv.
    Paul would have my vote if he agreed to use tax revenue from legally regulated cannabis on public education.
    I can’t believe I have to vote for the Democratic socialist, Sanders.

  8. @Matthew: REALLY?? Apparently you’ve been smoking too much crack (as weed doesn’t make you that mindless). What exactly is a “Drugwar Offender” anyways?

  9. Galileo Galilei

    You are not far off from your assesment. However, let’s keep in mind who really contols the federal government. Call them “The Donor Class,” or the Corporate ruling classs, or the Pharma/Police Union/Industrial Prisons tha Class, these are the groups that control Our current US government. We are living under an oligarchy that Vladamir Putin would envy.

  10. @miles
    You hit the nail on the head my friend. Wtf are these republicans thinking nominating this group on aparently very simply minded individuals.

    “Gateway theory” seriously, so how does the racial disparities play into this theroy????.

    And fiorinas loss of a child is sad but maybe just maybe if she was at home more instead of focusing on her career at HP. Her child may not have chosen to take their life with…HERION….not marijuana. But some how marijuana is to blame.

    What a shame. To bad America has had enough of this type of propaganda and see right through the BS!!!

  11. Respect for cannabis will not come through reefer ignorance. Cannabis is a medicine. Use of words like, reefer, weed, marijuana, dope, promotes intolerance and disrespect similar to control techniques used during enslavement of the disenfranchised…..something to be proud of?

  12. Ok, just a few thoughts:

    With sympathy for Ms. Fiorinas loss, her loss was due to Prescription Drug and Alcohol Abuse. NOT Marijuana.

    Marijuana’s “Illegality” has been based upon LIES starting back in the 1930s. Do some reading about Harry J. Anslinger.

    Why is Marinol a schedule III drug (Prescription allowed) when it is a Marijuana based (THC) compound which is not supposed to have any medical properties?

    Just saying, there is no such thing as “Reefer Madness”!

  13. Ironic that this is the supposed party of personal freedom and state’s rights….oh I guess that only applies when the issue is something they agree on. I just don’t understand why marijuana is still demonized the way it is when we’ve had nearly two years of Colorado having legalized it and still hasn’t slid into the ocean. There’s got to be some other agenda behind their hatred of marijuana.

  14. and as I’m typing this, I’m listening to yet another commercial from the legal drug-pushing pharmaceutical industry foisting their newest toxin on a desperate public. If marijuana caused tardive dyskinesia, dizziness and impaired driving those same GOPers would be all over it like flies on a cowpile. F’n fatass idiots.

  15. I have lived this war on drugs since it began, have used marijuana for 43 years. Fiorina almost got my attention until she said the world is flat and the moon is made of green cheese, these GOPs have to be somewhat intelligent to be where they are, how can anyone of this caliber be so ignorant about one subject?

  16. @ Galileo–you’re right, the GOP is the MAIN impediment to national legalization as we speak. I believe some of them are beginning to waffle on the subject, however, because, and only because, they are finally beginning to see the writing on the wall.

    I can never vote for Paul because of his refusal to give straight answers on the issue of refusing someone service based on race, religion, color or creed. (He always dances around the issue, insisting that he wouldn’t support discrimination by GOVERNMENT–Private companies, apparently, according to him, should have the right to discriminate.

    Julian, my friend, I was quite surprised by your comment about voting for a “socialist.” I’m guessing you’ve never been to “socialist” Netherlands, you know, like Amsterdam? Or perhaps Uruguay, which is completely socialist and the only country in the world with MJ legalization. Come on brother, the cold war is over, or at least it should be!! Time to let the old prejudices die.

    Anyway, I’m gonna be on Social Security in little more than a year–guess that would make me and everyone else on SS and Medicare a raving socialist. And what’s so bad about a $15 national minimum wage? And free state college? The mega rich have it pretty good in this country these days–time to make them start paying some of their share.

  17. there is an active lobby for the pharmaceutical and addiction industry. they want to keep it illegal so they can mindwash people into thinking that either marijuana started their hard drug problem or that marijuana use is an addictive substance or an addiction. if it is legal they lose business. some people who use marijuana may also use hard drugs but that is their fault not marijuana’s how can you logically say that a plant based chemical wires the brain to seek dangerous and harmful drugs? it doesn’t make sense. they would rather keep this harmless vice of marijuana as a tool to promote $10,000 a night rehab centers for celebrities and rich people and force bogus prescription drugs like sativex and marinol. these capitalist parasites are the reason behind marijuana being illegal. i’m glad this addiction/pharmaceutical industry sponsored bimbo will not be elected…

  18. I know people have been saying it for years, and there are times that I have had my doubts about whether or not things will change for the better, but I truly believe that we are so close to real change in marijuana policy. I know it feels like its moving really slow right now, but marijuana policy is changing at light speed. Fireweed, I really think that this country is quickly waking up to the realities of your comments. The point you made is no longer on the fringe of conversation with marijuana like it use to be. The truth about weed is slowly but surely making its way out into the public. I think that was always the fear from our government was that as soon as small portion of the population started to know the truth, it would spread like FIREWEED, which is what I think is happening right now.

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