The 2016 Candidates' Weed Stances Are The Only Race Where Rand Paul Leads The Pack


Rand Paul is ready to light up this election. Although it might not make its way into the debates, the issue of medicinal and recreational marijuana has divided both parties — and this Kentucky senator is making his position on the issue increasingly clear. Rand Paul is appearing at a marijuana entrepreneurs fundraising event Tuesday, separating himself from the candidates who have not taken a clear stance on the legalization of marijuana.

Oh yeah, Paul is courting the cannabis crowd, probably showing up the the Denver, Colorado, event in what he thinks stoners wear: a Jamaican-printed beanie and Bob Marley shirt, ready to listen to the Grateful Dead and raid a Taco Bell. The reception is at the Cannabis Business Summit meeting, and Paul will address issues such as medicinal marijuana and banning regulations for recreational marijuana in states that have legalized it, according to The New York Times.

Paul co-sponsored a bill to make legalizing medicinal marijuana easier. He has received an A minus rating from the Marijuana Policy Project, the highest grade any of the 2016 candidates have received.

Clearly, Paul is a support of the freedom to smoke pot, but what about his fellow presidential hopefuls? Here's where some of the other candidates stand on marijuana.

Jeb Bush

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According to The Cannabist, Bush said he thought Colorado marijuana legalization was a bad idea, but that states should have the right to do it.

Ben Carson

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Carson, who actually seems stoned most of the time, said that Colorado's legalization of marijuana is concerning because it is a gateway drug to more dangerous substances. He told Fox News, "It tends to be a starter drug for people who move onto heavier duty drugs — sometimes legal, sometimes illegal — I don’t think this is something that we really want for our society."

Hillary Clinton

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Clinton hasn't made her stance very clear. She's said she wanted to "wait and see" what research developed on the subject before saying how she felt about recreational marijuana.

Ted Cruz

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Ted Cruz is a marijuana federalist, according to Forbes. He said:

Carly Fiorina

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Fiorina seems opposed to recreational marijuana. According to The Washington Examiner, she said:

Lindsey Graham

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Graham has been unclear about recreational marijuana use. However, according to The Huffington Post, he said:

Mike Huckabee

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Huckabee is staunchly against marijuana in all of its forms. “I’m not one that’s in favor of simply creating a whole new avenue for people to engage in a drug that we have at least deemed until now to be illegal,” he told MSNBC.

Martin O'Malley


O'Malley opposed recreational marijuana use in Maryland, saying it could be a gateway to worse drugs, according to The Washington Post.

George Pataki

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According to The Huffington Post, Pataki said:

Marco Rubio

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Rubio has supported limited medicinal marijuana but has avoided the question of legalizing it for recreational use. He also won't admit to ever smoking it before.

Bernie Sanders


Sanders supports medical marijuana use and admitted to smoking it when he was younger. He has expressed concern over recreational use but has reduced possession of small amount of pot to a civil infraction.

Rick Santorum

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Unlike some of the other candidates, Santorum admitted to smoking pot in college, according to The Daily Caller. However, he said he regretted it and now opposes drug use.

Although it might not be at the top of these candidates' agendas, marijuana legalization is an important issue to many people. These politicians will have to make their stances clear soon.

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