Rand Paul Doesn't Want You to Go to Jail for Smoking Pot

The Atlantic Wire
Rand Paul Doesn't Want You to Go to Jail for Smoking Pot
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Rand Paul Doesn't Want You to Go to Jail for Smoking Pot

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says, "I'm not going to deny that I'm interested" in running for president in 2016, ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports, insisting that his platform would appeal to not red states or blue states, but green states. Paul says the Republican Party must float "different ideas," and he offers a few: letting states legalize marijuana and adopting new policies on immigration. "I think for example we should tell young people, 'I'm not in favor of you smoking pot, but if you get caught smoking pot, I don't want to put you in jail for 20 years,'" Paul said. Legalizing marijuana is a decision that should be left to the states, Paul went on, as when Washington and Colorado voted to legalize it this month. "I want things to be decided more at a local basis, with more compassion. I think it would make us as Republicans different." Paul is in something of a singular position to communicate that compassion, given the publication of a 2010 GQ profile in which an old college classmate alleged that a young Paul had jokingly kidnapped her, tried to force her to do deep bong hits, and made her worship the god Aqua Buddha. As many people have noted, "Aqua Buddha" sounds like the name of the bong.

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On immigration, Paul says, "We have to let people know, Hispanics in particular, we're not putting you on a bus and shipping you home." Paul's new ideas just so happen to appeal to two groups that voted heavily Democratic in 2012: young people and Latinos.

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