Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) repeatedly criticised former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), for his “hypocritical” stance on marijuana during a Wednesday night interview on Fox News.
Both Paul and Bush are considering running for president in 2016. Citing Bush’s admission last month that he smoked the drug while attending the elite Andover boarding school in Massachusetts, Paul said Bush should support legalizing medical marijuana.
“I think if you talk to young people, they’re not very tolerant of hypocrisy,” Paul said when asked whether Bush will gain traction among younger voters. “Jeb Bush admits that — when he was at an elite prep school, where very wealthy kids went to school — that he smoked pot. But he’s still willing to put someone in jail for medical marijuana in Florida. … When Jeb was a very wealthy kid at a very elite school, he used marijuana but didn’t get caught [and] didn’t have to go to prison. I think it shows some hypocrisy.”
“Let’s just say I wasn’t a choir boy when I was in college and that I can recognise that kids make mistakes,” Paul said. “And I can say I made mistakes when I was a kid.”
Despite his repeated jabs at the elite status of Bush’s high school, Paul insisted he was not criticising the Bush family’s wealth. Instead, Paul said because drug laws unfairly target poor people of colour, they spare people like Bush, who opposed a 2014 Florida ballot initiative to legalise medical marijuana.
“It’s the hypocrisy of evading the law. Because the law seems to target and seems to go after poor people, often people of colour. Three out of four people in jail are black or brown. So the war on drugs has had a disproportionate effect on the poor,” he said. “What’s hypocritical is if you’re very wealthy and you are able to escape the long arm of the law, is to then want to really want to throw the long sentences — 15 years, 20 years, 50 years in prison, for marijuana, at people. I think that’s where the hypocrisy comes in.”
Paul, one of the most aggressive candidates in the 2016 race, has championed drug reform issues in the Senate. The libertarian-oriented senator introduced legislation last year that aims to reduce the disparity between crack cocaine and powdered cocaine sentencing.
A Bush spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
Watch Paul’s Fox News interview below.
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