Sen. Rand Paul was quick to call Jeb Bush a hypocrite following an unflattering profile in The Boston Globe
that paints the former Florida governor as a pot-smoking bully while he was attending an elite prep school in the early 1970s.
Bush, who polls are putting at the top of potential GOP presidential candidates, last year opposed a Florida medical marijuana initiative, reports The Hill
, but Paul pointed out that "you would think he'd have a little more understanding."
"He was even opposed to medical marijuana," Paul told The Hill, which interviewed the Kentucky Republican while he was on his way to a Texas political event. "This is a guy who now admits he smoked marijuana but he wants to put people in jail who do."
Bush told The Globe, in the interview about his four years at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., that "I drank and I smoked marijuana when I was at Andover," and his behavior was "pretty common."
Paul told The Hill that Bush's statements and later stance are hypocritical.
“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. "Had he been caught at Andover, he’d have never been governor, he’d probably never have a chance to run for the presidency."
In The Globe article, which is online and slated for print in the newspaper's Sunday edition, one of Bush's former classmates, Peter Tibbetts, said the first time he smoked marijuana was with Bush, further claiming he also smoked hashish in Bush’s dorm room.
The Globe piece also included students' stories that Bush, who was already 6 ft. 4 inches and physically imposing, was somewhat of a bully, claims Bush said he does not remember some 44 years later.
But even before the story came out, Bush has acknowledged using marijuana and called his past behavior "stupid" and "wrong." In August, he urged Florida voters to reject a pending medical marijuana law, saying it would undermine the state's image "as a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire.”
Paul, who has called for reviews of the nation's drug laws and to pull back on harsh prison sentences for non-violent offenders, said the worst thing in politics is "hypocrisy."
"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, who has hinted at using marijuana
in his college days, told The Hill.
In July, Paul introduced an amendment shielding states that enact medical marijuana laws from federal prosecution, calling decades-long jail sentences for marijuana sales or possession "ridiculous."
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