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Republican Candidates Battle Over Marijuana Legalization During Debate


gop marijuana conservatives rand paul bryan fischerDuring the CNN Republican Presidential Debate aired Wednesday, September 16, the issue of marijuana law reform was debated among the participating candidates.

The subject of marijuana was described by debate host Jake Tapper as, “One of the hottest questions” taken by CNN through their social media outlets.

Between jabs at each other (Donald Trump cast doubt on Rand Paul’s appearance and his presence in the debate) and at the front-running Democrat in the Presidential race, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who was blamed for everything evil in the world except Trump’s wig), the candidates opined on legalized marijuana, the 10th Amendment and Jeb Bush’s momma.

Sen. Rand Paul (R- Kentucky) opened the debate on the subject with, “What the American people don’t like about politics is the hypocrisy.” He cited as an example Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida’s admission that he himself smoked marijuana as a youth and now campaigns against cannabis.

Bush, the son and brother of two former Presidents, defended his position on the marijuana issue by saying, “40 years ago I smoked marijuana… I am sure that other people might have done it,” he said, looking at the dozen fellow Republicans on the stage, “and may not want to say it in front of 25 million people. My mom’s not happy that I just did.”

Sen. Paul used disparate punishments based on race or financial ability as another example of the hypocrisy of the drug war. “The people that are going to jail for this are the poor people, often African-Americans, often Hispanics- and yet the rich kids who use drugs, aren’t.”

“I personally think that this is a crime in which the only victim is the individual, and I think America has to take a different attitude.”

Constitutionally, the issue of marijuana legalization opened up a debate about states rights vs. federal control.

Gov. Huckabee supported the 10th Amendment when in reference to screening potential Supreme Court Justice nominees and in issues where federal and state jurisdictions are defined. “Every Governor on this stage… every one of us; our biggest fight wasn’t always with the legislature or even with the Democrats- my gosh, half the time it was with the federal government.”

“If it’s not reserved, in the Constitution, then the 10th Amendment said it’s left for the states.”

Senator Paul noted the contradiction in application of the Amendment based on the subject matter. “We say we like the 10th Amendment, until we start talking about ” marijuana legalization, Paul noted. “The federal government has gone too far.”

“I don’t think the federal government should override the states. I believe in the 10th Amendment and I really will see that the states are left to themselves.”

Gov. Bush seemed to agree. “What goes on in Colorado, that should be a state decision,” he said, referencing the nation’s most advanced marijuana legalization program.

Taking the opposite approach, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey agreed with the stated summary of his position as follows: “If you are getting high in Colorado today… enjoy it until January of 2017, because I will enforce the federal laws against marijuana.”

Sen. Paul caught Christie in a major contradiction when the Governor said medical marijuana programs would be intact under his leadership, as he would only target adult use of marijuana in states where it is legal. Paul insisted that the federal laws Christie would use to halt recreational use are the same ones used to halt medical use in states where it is authorized.

Business Executive and potential candidate Carly Fiorina revealed that she and her husband had lost one of their children to drug abuse. “We are misleading young people when we tell them that marijuana is just like having a beer. And the marijuana that kids are smoking today is not the same as the marijuana Jeb Bush smoked 40 years ago.”

All of the Republican Presidential candidates who spoke on the issue advocated for a greater use of rehabilitation and treatment networks to handle the perceived problems of marijuana/drug use.

Michigan’s next big marijuana conference is a few short days away! Join Rick Thompson for the Michigan Cannabis Business Development Conference on September 26 at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre. Marijuana Case Law Update, Legislative Review, so many other topics! 9 Seminars in all.


Source: The Compassion Chronicles


About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.


  1. Nicholas Edward Middendorf on


    I know and understand where you are coming from, but marijuana has never killed anyone. Its the other drugs that people are doing. Alcohol kills people, marijuana don’t.

    I honestly believe that if it is legalized then drug abuse will drop dramatically. Not to say people won’t still use, but if they go to a drug dealer to by pot, then they will likely be offered the harmful drugs. If they go to a shop to buy it, then those harmful drugs are not offered there. They also know the marijuana at the shops aren’t laced. Where you never know what you’re getting from a drug dealer.

    Compairing a beer to weed is inaccurate. Beer has been the direct cause of more death’s in a second then weed has in all of it’s existence. How you ask? Weed has never been the direct cause.

    – Nick

    Here’s my peace. If weed is not legal in the next five years, I have lost all hope in mankind.- Pineapple Express

  2. “Obama and the Dems had TOTAL control of the government for the first two years in office”

    Denny, I’ve corrected this zombie lie of yours so many times now, and yet you keep repeating it. Willful ignorance.


    Seriously. GO read it. Because when you keep repeating that same bullshit it makes you sound stupid. Willfully stupid.

    “in regard to his promises about rescheduling”

    When did he promise to reschedule? Show it to me.

    “check their accomplishments versus their promises”

    I’ve answered this one too. And when I do, you just disappear and then come back later and spew the same shit.


    GO READ IT, Denny. He’s actually done a very good job at keeping his promises. You might not like what he’s done, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t done what he said he would.

    Now, I’ve offered a bet on this site, and some people have taken it. I think Obama will reschedule before he leaves office. This wasn’t something he promised, but he has been VERY GOOD on the weed issue compared to other presidents, AND CERTAINLY compared to your hippie punching, war mongering, budget busting, BIG GOVERNMENT fascist Republicans.

  3. Fiorina – “We are misleading young people when we tell them that
    marijuana is just like having a beer. And the marijuana that kids are
    smoking today is not the same as the marijuana Jeb Bush smoked 40 years

    she’s right. a beer is much more dangerous than cannabis, and the cannabis today is safer than it was 40 years ago.

  4. When you say I’m uninformed, you should prove it. Because the fact is that Reagan tripled the debt and Bush doubled it. It’s also a fact that the vast majority of Republicans are anti-weed. And a very sizable contingent want no exceptions to an abortion ban.

    Now run off like you always do.

  5. Let’s face it those in big government do not want marijuana legalized Because then we have to keep track of where are the tax dollars go. By keeping track there’s no chance of them putting it in their pocket.

  6. The debt r u that stupid.the dems .pushed that.people .want to. Blame some one else. 4 your.own crap u caused .after all you r a.lib u voted 4 Obama twice.live with it

  7. Obama and the Dems had TOTAL control of the government for the first two years in office and did nothing, zip, zilch, nada in regard to his promises about rescheduling.
    Politicians are politicians first and they’re in it for their own cushy perks ahead of everything else.
    Don’t believe it, just check their accomplishments versus their promises…

  8. Johnny Bloomington on

    I’m sick of hearing about “small government” libertarian bs. We need a government that’s ran well and held accountable but even that’s hard when most of the people don’t vote in this country.

  9. It always amazes me how people who claim to want to follow the constitution ignore so much of it….

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”–The ninth amendment

    ALL AMERICANS have the right to smoke marijuana. No state should be able to take that away from you. Make it so.

  10. 91% of Dems voted for keeping the DEA out of medicinal programs, only 22% of Republicans did.

    94% of Democrats voted to keep the feds out of pot banking, only 20% of Republicans did.

  11. Reagan tripled the debt. Bush doubled it. You have Republicans who want to crack down on weed, and who want to force rape victims to give birth to rape babies, and you call that small Government?

    You bore me with your fairy tales of “small government conservatives.”

  12. And the more the Democrats do for the “people” the more the Republicans get to steal when they get in. Our only hope is small government. And there is no hope for that.

    The more government we get the more crony’s are empowered. It works the same everywhere.

  13. I am Sick and have been for 5 years when I am in Colorado my Pain is gone and the ringing in my ear is gone they can say what they want but the hope I have is Missouri will Vote for Industrial Hemp in 2016 and Medical Marijuana in 2016 Republicans do not want to Care for the Dying and do not want people to have Medical care fine let us have the right to grow medicine and care for the Dying.

  14. You can bet that Carly FioRina son died from something a whole lot stronger than Marijuana. According to a search her eldest daughter died from alcohol and drug abuse. Sorry for your loss. Truly I am,but Marijuana is not what your child died from.

  15. I grew up in South Africa in the 40’s on a Farm in the Mountains and Marijuana (Dagga) is what it is called in SA grew on our farm like weeds It was every where and it was jus called a herb which was used mostly by the African People and had been for Centuries In those days no one even bothered with it If it had been left as such and not made illegal we would still be using it in it’s natural way. When it was made illegal that when it was grown indoors with all sorts of chemicals and bad things and that is when all the problems started USA lost the War on Drugs long ago It has probably been the biggest cost to the Economy of the USA and with that came far more dangerous laboratories and Heroin The States that have legalised Marijuana are seeing that they are making money and not losing it to Policing and banging People up in jail Proof is that it is a Medical plant used in Cancer and many other Medical conditions Time to wake up and make it legal and watch how crimes fall THIS IS MY TAKE ON THE WHOLE ISSUE

  16. decriminalize marijuana in Missouri to start!!! Then legalize marijuana and remove all marijuana charges from people who have been charged with any type of offense that is under 28 grams. Then there will be more room in jails and prisons for REAL offenses against the law of the worldly people!!!

  17. I have no idea what “drugs” Mrs. Fiorina’s son died from, but I can bet it was’nt cannabis, it was hard drugs or prescription drugs, maybe even alcohol. Mrs Fiorina, your son died from prohibition & that’s the very thing you are enforcing, think bout that.

  18. The idea that a state has the right to tell any American they can’t smoke weed, or get married, or swim in the same pool as white people, is ridiculous. Republicans always skip right over the ninth to get to the tenth.

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