Marijuana Use Is Still a Morality Issue for Smokers-Turned-Politicians

It’s old news that Jeb Bush smoked marijuana as a teenager, but his re-admission in a new profile in the Boston Globe that he drank alcohol and partook in pot has raised the question of whether presidential candidates who indulged in their youths and don’t support lenient drug policy as adults are hypocrites.

Senator Rand Paul, for one, says so. “Hypocrisy is, ‘Hey, I did it and it’s OK 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,’” Paul told the Hill on Friday. And voters don’t support hypocrites, the Bush rival said.

But even among lawmakers like Paul, who has said he was no “choir boy” in college and supports decriminalization, there’s a narrative that marijuana use is a youthful mistake, that the drug is harmful, and that it should be avoided. A majority of Americans support both the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, yet no potential presidential candidate has gone so far as to endorse the latter. (Decriminalization, on the other hand, has the support of several likely contenders.) Instead the debate has been over whether people should be jailed for marijuana possession.

– Read the entire article at Bloomberg.