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rand against medical cannabis: Rand Paul & Medical Marijuana Updated

Rand Paul & Medical Marijuana [Updated]
Mike Meno at MPP points out that Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul no longer supports medical marijuana. That's right, folks. Rand Paul, son of the famously libertarian-leaning and pro-marijuana-reform Congressman Ron Paul, is now in favor of arresting sick people for medical marijuana.

How did this happen? Well, Paul seems to be suffering from a fit of desperation in the aftermath of a weird college bong controversy, followed by a series of super-lame "soft on crime" attacks from his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway. The whole situation is an ugly throwback to the polarizing crime politics of the 1980's, and it's just pathetic that Rand Paul fell for it.

Sure, marijuana reform may not sell as well in Kentucky as it does in California, but posing as a typical drug warrior politician serves only to undermine Paul's credibility with libertarians while failing to deflect his opponent's inevitable attacks. By backing down, Paul lost the ability to defend his position and connect with a huge number of voters who share his views. Meanwhile, his past statements in support of medical marijuana will still be held against him by the few people who actually have a problem with it.

The worst part is that if Paul loses the election, it may appear to vindicate the "soft on crime" attack strategy that his opponent deployed. Who knows what would have happened if Paul had actually stood up for himself and turned the tables by pointing out that Jack Conway wants to continue arresting cancer patients at an enormous cost to tax-payers. It may or may not have worked, but it's better than backing down and letting your opponent redefine your political identity.

Whether Rand Paul will be the next Kentucky Senator remains be seen. But it's clear he won't be the next Ron Paul.

Update: As some commenters have pointed out, we don't have a direct quote on this from Rand Paul. Here's what the AP story says:

Paul, a tea party favorite, shows libertarian leanings on drugs. He said he is opposed to the legalization of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes. But he also has called drug sentences of 10 to 20 years too harsh.

Some of you felt that he may have been misquoted, and that's a possibility, although the story is a week old and hasn't been corrected or disputed by Paul. I also agree that the real drug warrior in the KY Senate race is clearly Jack Conway. My comments focused on Paul because I wanted to illustrate a point about why it didn't make sense for him to shy away from his position on marijuana reform. I agree that Rand Paul is still the better candidate when it comes to drug policy, I just wish he'd handled this situation differently.

Update 2: Mike Meno at MPP got in touch with the Paul campaign and was told that Rand Paul is standing by his state's rights position on marijuana policy. That means the AP quote is inaccurate. Unfortunately, Paul also refuses to say whether he personally supports marijuana reform, other than to allow states to make their own decision about it. So his position is better than my initial post suggested, but not as good as I previously believed it to be.

I'm sorry that I passed along AP's misleading characterization of Paul's position and I certainly wouldn't want drug policy reformers to get the wrong idea about Rand Paul.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

A betrayer of liberty just like he did his own father and just like he will all the fools who support him in their desperation to find someone, anyone to believe in.

Got news for ya, you blew it in the last election. THAT was the shot.

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Has he

on this issue? That's another concern. Even if he's ok with legalizing hemp now (see video posted by Ron-Paul-is-awesome below), if he used to take a different stance, why? That's not a lot like his dad. Hasn't he wavered on quite a few things?

John F

Sorry for the downvotes...

It's a good post & I'm glad to know how Rand is dealing with the issue though I'm disappointed even if his stance isn't as extreme as it first appeared. I'm a delegate in CO looking at the seven (yes, seven!) Rep candidates for governor. One seemed pretty good until I read her stance on MJ...that it kills! What a bunch of BS. And from a candidate that claims to support freedom & liberty. I do like Rand but have to admit that this affects my view of him, not that I won't necessarily support him in the future.

no, it's a terrible post.

The information is from 2010 when Rand was misquoted in an AP article about medical marijuana. The thread was bumped again today to repost the same bogus information... apparently it is not enough to have the MSM against Rand spreading false information, we have members of the Daily Paul wanting to do that as well. If you want to know Rand's stance listen to the interview I posted as the first comment in the thread.

Thank you...

I'll watch the interview.

Don't take my word for it!


Don't like the truth? From the horse's mouth. Sorry.

Ron Paul was against use of marijuana

When Ron Paul was asked about marijuana, he WAS AGAINST THE USE of marijuana and drugs personally. But he said IT IS UP TO THE STATES, NOT ME! He said I WANT TO LEAVE THAT CHOICE TO THE STATES.

So it doesn't matter if Rand would chief out with you or not, he IS FOR YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE!

Your rant makes no sense

Leaving it to a states' right is the classic fence sitting position. He tackles legalization through a different route, removing mandatory minimums, or rather applying the laws proportionally across the board (rather than the current prejudice laws). It is an approach that ruffles less feathers of neo-conservatives.

Leaving it to a states' rights is the corect position

when the issue is not among the powers delegated to the Fed Gov.

Leges sine moribus vanae

Marijuana Reform is important

I think leaving it as a "State's Rights" issue is the right thing for him to do. Taking sides in this one is akin to several other issues that should not be up for National debate nor should be included in a National governance.

Most of you probably

Most of you probably supported Newt Gingrich ( and still would if you thought he would win! )

Medical Marijuana REVISED: Rand Paul and Medical Marijuana August 17, 2010 Mike Meno 37 Comments UPDATED: Read a more recent post clarifying Paul’s comments here. Back in May, when Kentucky Republican Rand Paul defeated an establishment candidate to win his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate, I pointed out that one of the issues Paul used to win over voters was his support of medical marijuana laws. Now, in a telling political move, the son of Ron Paul has reversed his stance on the issue, telling the Associated Press last week that “he is opposed to the legalization of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes.” (He also stated that he doesn’t think the government’s war on drugs is “a real pressing issue” and that he wants to cut federal funding for drug treatment programs.) Gee, I wonder if this has anything to do with that episode from his past that’s been discussed so much in the news lately. Is Paul selling out medical marijuana patients as part of a strategy to deflect criticism? Or am I being too cynical? For the record, Paul’s Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, isn’t much better when it comes to marijuana issues, and has received police endorsements because of his support for tougher law enforcement strategies. - See more at: http://blog.mpp.org/medical-marijuana/rand-paul-now-opposed-...

Truth hurts huh?

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good things is my religion. Thomas Paine, Godfather of the American Revolution

Obsessed with Rand Paul?

If you want to turn people against Rand Paul then go to the Tea Party forums and conservative blogs where people are just catching on to him. Go to the Fox News Facebook page and smear Rand.

It is very obvious to libertarians what works and what doesnt

in the game of politics; the problem is in mustering up the ability to lay a ground cover over what doesn't work.

in the end, Rand will either be shot or set us on a path to a better Republic.

Notwithstanding this, attacks on Rands character is a sign that something has worked.

A true flower can not blossom without sunlight and a true man can not live without love.

solid post, top to bottom

I found the link to the article helpful. I also liked the fact that the date was included to give some context. It was good that there was a direct quote from Rand. I'm also glad we check out other sources like the youtube video to see if the allegations have merit. And lastly I'm happy we all agree that AP's word is as good as gold. Well played.

old misleading propaganda

nice try though, cointelpro?

"Rand Paul is standing by his state's rights position on marijuana policy."

if you live in Kentucky.... move. if you live in Oklahoma or any other state that supports life in prison for making hash.... move. turn them all into ghost towns.

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Rand Paul 2016

The Rand grudge is getting

The Rand grudge is getting irritating. Stop with the smearing campaign...you are actually working against your own people when you do this.

Did you even read the

update to that article that you posted? He is in favor of states' rights. What does it matter what his personal opinion is? Also, he is an eye doctor, and I am sure he knows the benefits of MMj in regards to glaucoma.

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” – Dresden James

State's Rights...wait, States don't have rights, individuals do!

He believes the State should have a say in whether or not you can have pot. This is not a freedom position. No victim, no crime IMO. He believes the States can make you a criminal with a majority vote. Regulating your human behavior, even if it affects no one but you. If he believes that, then what is the difference in the States deciding you can/can't have guns? This, States "rights" , position is as absurd as believing the Fed Gov has rights. People have the rights, no other entity has rights. Elected officials are to be protectors of individual rights first and foremost.
Rand is the best candidate within seeing distance, but he isn't perfect by a long shot.

I'd rather have a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy

old as heck and untrue.

Rand supports medical marijuana, both in terms of states rights and also on a personal level. Article you posted is from his 2010 senate campaign, and is based on inaccurate information put out by AP. Here is something more current and in his own words:

Thanks again for the clarification...

on Rand's stance. I feel better now. I take back my previous comments & appreciate the info you offered.


the crazy anti-medical marijuana candidate that slipped rands mind (short term memory loss) was Romney.

Mitt Romney Disses And Walks Away From Dying Medical Marijuana Patient

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Rand Paul 2016

I lolled

when i scrolled down to see that