In what might be a preview of the infighting that could partially define the 2016 Republican presidential primary, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is speaking out against former Florida governor Jeb Bush over his position against legal marijuana after Bush’s recent admission that he was a heavy smoker while in high school.
“I drank alcohol and I smoked marijuana when I was at Andover,” prospective GOP presidential candidate Bush told The Boston Globe recently. One of Bush’s former classmates, Peter Tibbetts, backed him up: “The first time I really got stoned was in Jeb’s room.”
Paul, who is also considering a run for president, blasted Bush in comments to The Hill last week.
“I think that’s the real hypocrisy, is that people on our side, which include a lot of people who made mistakes growing up, admit their mistakes but now still want to put people in jail for that,” Paul said of Bush. “You would think he’d have a little more understanding then. This is a guy who now admits he smoked marijuana but he wants to put people in jail who do.
“I think in politics the biggest thing, the thing that voters from any part of the spectrum hate worse than anything is hypocrisy,” Paul continued. “And hypocrisy is, ‘Hey I did it and it’s okay for me because I was rich and at an elite school but if you’re poor and black or brown and live in a poor section of one of our big cities, we’re going to put you in jail and throw away the key.'”