Grand Old Weed Party: Are Republicans Seizing The Marijuana Issue?

by Oscar Pascual |

A bevy of presidential hopefuls are now crawling out of the woodwork as next year’s election steadily approaches. While many legitimate individuals have yet to formally announce their candidacy, this is usually the time when politicians’ haunting pasts come back to prove how truly unelectable they are.

Republican senator Ted Cruz made headlines this week with reports of his teenage experimental phase with marijuana. The news came only a few days after a profile on fellow would-be president Jeb Bush described his love for smoking pot during his time in boarding school.

Normally smoking weed or supporting legalization is a strict “no-no” for Republicans, but their projected candidate pool is surprisingly irie considering that taboo. With that said, here’s our guide to 2016 GOP candidates who have been known to smoke pot, support legalization, or both.

Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida: Bush is clearly the front-runner for GOP presidential nominee simply because of his last name. But a recent Boston Globe profile might take down his stock, as some of his former private school classmates described Bush as a kid who loved smoking hash while listening to Steppenwolf. It’s a shame that the former stoner who so lovingly played air drums to “Magic Carpet Ride” currently does not support legalization.

Ted Cruz, senator from Texas: Instead of waiting to get exposed by old classmates, Cruz took initiative and had his camp detail his experimental phase. “Teenagers are often known for their lack of judgment, and Sen. Cruz was no exception,” a Cruz spokesperson told the Daily Mail. “When he was a teenager, he foolishly experimented with marijuana. It was a mistake, and he’s never tried it since.” It’s too bad Cruz doesn’t support legalization, and would actually want to jail others for conducting similar experiments.

George Pataki, former governor of New York: This potential candidate caught on to pot edibles years before anyone else, as he admitted in his 1998 autobiography to cooking baked beans laced with weed during his time at Columbia Law School. Sadly, he doesn’t want anyone else getting baked on beans, and is not in favor of legalizing marijuana.

Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey: Christie’s support of marijuana is ambiguous at best. He made medical marijuana available to patients with severe conditions by signing a bill in 2013, but overall does not support legalization. Unlike most Republicans however, Christie wants to adopt a more compassionate approach to drug addiction that focuses on rehabilitation instead of jail time.

Rand Paul, senator from Kentucky: Paul is the most outspoken supporter of marijuana legalization in the bunch, even to the point of calling out fellow candidate Jeb Bush as a hypocrite when it comes to marijuana laws. He’s also known for kidnapping former classmates and forcing them to take bong rips. His stance on the matter makes him an outlier as a 2016 candidate, but a hopeful nonetheless.