GOP presidential contenders debate marijuana

For perhaps the first time ever, marijuana legalization was a topic in a primetime presidential debate.

On Wednesday night, several of the 11 Republican candidates for the party’s presidential nomination weighed in on Colorado’s cannabis laws – without mentioning that three other states and the District of Columbia have also legalized recreational marijuana.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush sparred over the topic but said they would continue to allow states to chart their own courses on cannabis reform without interfering.

“What goes on in Colorado, as far as I’m concerned, that should be a state decision,” Bush said during the debate, which was held in California.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – a vocal opponent of cannabis legalization – maintained his position that federal prohibition needs to be enforced when it comes to recreational marijuana.

“The war on drugs has been a failure… that doesn’t mean we should be legalizing gateway drugs,” Christie said.

Ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said that states’ rights should be respected, but added that she’s concerned about the ongoing problem of drug addiction.

Cannabis could be a topic again in the next GOP debate, given that it’s slated to be held in Boulder, Colorado, on Oct. 28.

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4 comments on “GOP presidential contenders debate marijuana
  1. Stephen Downing on

    The GOP aspirants all displayed their ignorance about Cannabis. At least some understood States Rights. Christy was deepest I to ignorance and buffoonery

  2. Aristotle on

    A true constitutional conservative will respect the 10th Amendment and not mettle in states’ rights. Christie interjects his PERSONAL views on cannabis and will utilize the Fed to act on his views. We have already has enough if that with the current president. Ted Cruz once stated, “I respect Colorado’s right to be wrong”. He is not for Cannabis legalization but is principled enough to obey the rule of the founding fathers. Fiorina also seems to respect state’s rights. Christie doesn’t.

  3. Eric on

    I cringed when Christie uttered the word ‘gateway’! That’s exactly the emotional response expected by the many who have equated use of cannibus with a moral wrong (40 year government lobotomy). I certainly hope that all in favor of legalization – particularly this budding industry – make every attempt to throughly educate candidates on this wrong-mindedness and start focusing on alcohol, tobacco and other much more harmful, yet legal drugs.

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