It’s been a while since we’ve updated you in our “Where do they Stand” series. Since our last update it seems that there have been about 10,000 new GOP candidates that have announced a run for the presidency (give or take a few). Today we’ll look at those we haven’t profiled yet, that have made enough of a splash to be included in the Fox News GOP Debate last week. They are presented in order of current polling numbers, with the highest polling first. For the position on pot of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz, go to our prior post here and for Ben Carson, go here.
We don’t have much recent information on Trump’s stance on drugs simply because his positions haven’t mattered before. Back around 1990 Trump supported full legalization, saying “[w]e’re losing badly the war on drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.”
Don’t get too excited though. This is the same person who says he doesn’t touch drugs or alcohol, and who fired a the 2006 Miss USA winner over a drug and alcohol controversy. But in the end, if it’ll cause a stir, Trump will likely support it, so we’ll bet he’s going to come out as a full supporter again.
Medical & Recreational: If it’ll get him attention.
Bush smoked pot in high school. It’s true. But he now says that using marijuana was “stupid” and wrong.” He has also come out in direct opposition to Florida’s constitutional amendment to allow access to medical marijuana. Bush views medical approval as a guise for full legalization, stating: “Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire… Allowing large-scale, marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts.”
Medical & Recreational: It’s stupid; no thanks.
We don’t have much in the way of public comment from Walker on marijuana. It is said that he expressed his opposition to marijuana along with his opposition to same-sex marriage at CPAC 2015. We were unable to find any direct quotes attributable on this, however. Walker has drawn a distinction between someone having a beer and someone smoking a joint in the context of a wedding, indicating that they were very different, without much elaboration. He also has said that police forces have indicated that marijuana is a “gateway drug.”
Medical & Recreational: Don’t hold your breath.
Huckabee is a social conservative and his stance on weed reflects. He’s a former governor of Arkansas and a Baptist minister. Would you expect someone with that background to support any uses of marijuana? Huckabee has been blunt (pun intended) on his position that he does not support either medical or recreational marijuana use. He has indicated that if people don’t like the laws, they should get them changed.
Medical & Recreational: Bluntly rejects both.
Christie is a former US Attorney and is probably the most outspoken of this bunch on the issue of marijuana. Unfortunately, his position is in opposition to both medical and recreational use. In fact, like Bush, he thinks medical use is a “front for legalization.” He couldn’t state his opinion any clearer than this: “I think legalizing marijuana is the wrong thing to do from a societal perspective, from a governmental perspective…” Christie has even gone a step further and indicated that if he is elected he would “crack down” on the states that allow for marijuana use in any form, and that he would “not permit it.” Needless to say, if this is an important issue to you, Chris Christie is not your candidate.
Medical & Recreational: Nope. And he’ll start prosecuting too.
John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio who has recently been gaining in GOP polls is, like virtually all GOP candidates, opposed to legalization. Kasich, being a state governor, admitted recently that he hadn’t thought too much on the issue of federal enforcement, but that he thought it was a states-rights issue and that he wouldn’t enforce federal law in states where it is legal to consume marijuana. Again, no good quotes, but this has been widely reported, and we believe it to be accurate.
Medical & Recreational: It’s a state issue.
All-in-all, none of the candidates profiled today provided much of a surprise. They are conservative GOP candidates with the exception of Trump, whose opinion 25 years ago appeared to be based, like most of his opinions are, on money. If legalization will get Trump elected, or even better, get him more attention, he’ll probably be for it, but as for the rest, nobody is going to be doing the cannabis industry any favors right now.