Sen. Rand Paul has long been a vocal supporter of the issue being left to the states, as opposed to strictly enforcing federal law, and he's spoken favorably of cases involving medical marijuana.
While other candidates might voice tempered acknowledgement of recreational pot, they also point out other issues where a hard line against drugs should be held. "The marijuana that kids are smoking today is not the same as the marijuana that Jeb Bush smoked 40 years ago," businesswoman Carly Fiorina said during the last debate. Fiorina also said marijuana should be left to the states but, like Bush, has emphasized the need to tackle the drug issue of heroin overdoses while on the campaign trail in areas like New Hampshire.
I agree with Senator Paul [that drug laws favor the rich over the poor]; I agree with states' rights [allowing marijuana legalization]. But we are misleading young people when we tell them that marijuana is just like having a beer. It's not. And the marijuana that kids are smoking today is not the same as the marijuana that Jeb Bush smoked 40 years ago.
We do need criminal justice reform. We have the highest incarceration rates in the world. 2/3 of the people in our prisons are there for non-violent offenses, mostly drug related. It's clearly not working. But we need to tell young people the truth. Drug addiction is an epidemic, and it is taking too many of our young people. I know this sadly from personal experience.
Fiorina first shared details about the 2009 loss of Lori in her book, "Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey", which she published earlier this year. "The two police officers stood awkwardly in our living room," she writes of her and her husband's experience at the start of the book. "The police officers said our daughter was dead, 3,000 miles away. Lori couldn't--or wouldn't--take that first step of admitting she was powerless over her addiction. And ultimately her body just gave out," she writes further into the work.
Fiorina came into the lives of her two stepdaughters, Lori Ann and Tracy, when she married her husband, Frank, in 1985.
CHRISTIE: In New Jersey, we have medical marijuana laws, which I supported and implemented. This [in Colorado] is not medical marijuana. This is recreational use of marijuana. This is much different. I'm not against medical marijuana. We do it in New Jersey. But I'm against the recreational use against marijuana. If he wants to change the federal law, get Congress to pass the law to change it, and get a president to sign it.
PAUL: He doesn't want to make it about medical marijuana, but what if New Jersey's medical marijuana contradicts the federal law? He's saying he'll send the federal government in, and he will enforce the federal law. That's not consistent with the Tenth Amendment. It is not consistent with states' rights. And it is not consistent with the conservative vision for the country.
PAUL: I think one of the great problems, and what American people don't like about politics, is hypocrisy. People have one standard for others and not for them--for themselves. The people going to jail for this are poor people, often African-Americans and often Hispanics, and yet the rich kids who use drugs aren't. I personally think that this is a crime for which the only victim is the individual, and I think that America has to take a different attitude. I would like to see more rehabilitation and less incarceration. I'm a fan of the drug courts which try to direct you back towards work and less time in jail.
CHRISTIE: N.J. says if you are non-violent, non-dealing drug user, you don't go to jail for your first offense. You go to mandatory treatment.
PAUL: I don't think that the federal government should override the states. I believe in the 10th Amendment and I really will say that the states are left to themselves. Understand what they're saying: Gov. Christie would go into Colorado, and if you're breaking any federal law on marijuana, even though the state law allows it, he would put you in jail. If a young mother is trying to give her child cannabis oil for medical marijuana for seizure treatment, he would put her in jail. I would let Colorado do what the Tenth Amendment says. We were never intended to have crime dealing at the federal level. Crime was supposed to be left to the states. Colorado has made their decision. And I don't want the federal government interfering.
|2016 Presidential contenders on Drugs:|
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