Jeb Bush's Stance On Weed Might Surprise You, Considering His Past With Pot As A Teen
Yet another Republican candidate is entering the 2016 presidential election and already, his thoughts on marijuana have drawn opposition from a fellow running mate and ire from voters. Rand Paul has described Jeb Bush's stance on legalizing weed as "hypocritical" due to the fact that Bush admitted to smoking pot in high school but is wholly opposed to marijuana legalization. Bush is ultimately against marijuana legalization both recreational and medicinal. Paul has also admitted to past marijuana use, though he advocates for decriminalization rather than legalization.
Prior to his presidential campaign, one of Bush's strongest and most recent statements on pot came about through his stance on Florida's Amendment 2, a 2014 medical marijuana ballot measure he staunchly opposed. Bush considered the measure an affront to the state's family-friendly ideals. In the past few years, Bush has become increasingly more politically active and even considered running for senate in 2010. Bush said:
Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire. Allowing large-scale marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts.
The medical marijuana measure Amendment 2 ultimately failed, coming up short by just three percent. Amendment 2 needed 60 percent of the vote to pass but received only 57 percent.
Bush's policy on pot has changed very little over the course of his political career. His stance is strikingly similar to fellow Republican candidate Ted Cruz, who admitted to smoking pot in his youth and is adamantly against legalization but won't interfere in state decisions. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, Bush further reiterated his opposition to marijuana legalization while also advocating for state rights. When moderator Sean Hannity asked Bush about Colorado's marijuana legalization efforts, the presidential hopeful simply said, "I thought it was a bad idea but the states ought to have the right to do it. I would have voted no if I was in Colorado."If Bush is elected president, it appears that no matter how strongly he opposes pot use he'll still honor state laws. Despite urging Florida voters against marijuana legalization, he's been surprisingly quiet regarding state marijuana laws and has yet to issue any further statements regarding whether he'd take additional action after a state enacts such a policy.Images: Getty Images (1)