CNN 2015 GOP primary debate: on Drugs


Carly Fiorina: Marijuana laws should be left to the states

Boulder Colorado may be hosting the third 2016 GOP presidential debate, but not all candidates on stage are publicly sold on one major issue in Colorado: legalized pot.

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.

Source: The Hill weblog on 2015 Republican two-tier debate on CNN Oct 28, 2015

Carly Fiorina: Drug addiction is an epidemic that takes our young people

I very much hope I am the only person on this stage who can say this, but I know there are millions of Americans out there who will say the same thing. My husband Frank and I buried a child to drug addiction. So, we must invest more in the treatment of drugs.

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.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

Carly Fiorina: Stepdaughter died of addiction; invest in treatment of drugs

There's a very real reason Carly Fiorina is against legalizing marijuana: She watched her stepdaughter, Lori Ann Fiorina, battle drug addiction and die an early death, at just 35 years old. At the CNN debate, Fiorina turned to her personal history: "My husband and I buried a child to drug addiction. We must invest in the treatment of drugs."

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.

Source: Refinery29.com on 2015 Republican two-tier debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

Chris Christie: I support medical not recreational marijuana

Q: What about Colorado's marijuana legalization?

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.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

Chris Christie: Mandatory drug treatment, not jail, for first time dealers

NJ is the first state that says if you are non-violent, non-dealing drug user, that you don't go to jail for your first offense. You go to mandatory treatment. I think you need to be pro-life for more than just the time in the womb. It gets tougher when they get out of the womb. And when they're the 16-year-old drug addict in the Florida county lockup, that life is just as precious as the life in the womb. That's why I'm for rehabilitation, why I think the war on drugs has been a failure.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

Jeb Bush: Opposed medical marijuana on Florida ballot question

What goes on in Colorado, as far as I'm concerned, that should be a state decision. But if you look at the problem of drugs in society today, it's a serious problem. It is appropriate for the government to play a consistent role to be able to provide more treatment, more prevention. In Florida, there are drug courts to give people a second chance. Medical marijuana on the ballot was opened up, there was a huge loophole, it was the first step. As a citizen of Florida, I voted no.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

Rand Paul: More rehabilitation and less incarceration

Q [to Senator Paul]: Governor Christie recently said, "if you're getting high in Colorado today," where marijuana has been legalized, "enjoy it until January 2017, because I will enforce the federal laws against marijuana." Will you?

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.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

Rand Paul: Apply 10th Amendment to let states keep pot legal

Gov. CHRISTIE [to PAUL]: we shouldn't be legalizing gateway drugs. And if Senator Paul thinks that the only victim is the person, look at the decrease in productivity; their families are the victims too. That's why I'll enforce the federal law.

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.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

Rand Paul: Pot laws result in poor kids going to jail & not rich kids

There is at least one prominent example of someone who says they smoked pot in high school, and yet 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 think the war on drugs has had a racial outcome, and really has been something that has damaged our inner cities. Not only do the drugs damage them, we damage them again by incarcerating them and then preventing them from getting employment over time.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN Sep 16, 2015

  • The above quotations are from CNN Two-Tier 2015 GOP primary debate
    First Tier: Eleven candidates by polls
    Second Tier: Four other Republicans
    .
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
  • Click here for more quotes by Carly Fiorina on Drugs.
  • Click here for more quotes by Donald Trump on Drugs.
2016 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
  Republicans:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Democrats:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Sep 05, 2016