Jeb Bush on Legalization of Marijuana in the US
In one sentence, Jeb Bush opposes the medical marijuana initiative in Florida but from a broader perspective, he is not sure if the law should be enforced.
Upon Sen. Rand Paul’s provocation, Jeb Bush admitted, smoking marijuana during his youth. He stated: “40 years ago I smoked marijuana.”
Jeb Bush, with this one statement, actually disclosed that he did try it as it was “very common” and was quite comfortable with it back then. However, over time, his opinion and stance altered quite a bit. Today, Jeb Bush is apologetic to his mom, Barbara Bush, and even publicly said “sorry mom” for smoking marijuana. He also agreed that his decision to take marijuana was “stupid” and “wrong.”
Today, we see a different Jeb Bush, one who thinks that in the US there is “a serious epidemic of drugs that goes way beyond marijuana.”
Bush although insisted that he has no issue with using marijuana for medical purposes but he does not think that legalizing recreational marijuana would be a productive decision. That’s why, when it comes to legalizing the use of marijuana in the US, he has mixed opinion. He even opposed the ballot initiative in Florida in 2014 and asked his supporters to vote against it.
Bush issued a statement in this regard: “I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2.”
The reason was that it would have legalized marijuana sale for medical purposes. The former governor is of the opinion that the decision should not be a universal one but an individual choice for every state.
He has although been termed as hypocritical by critics and his opponents like Sen. Paul but Bush seems undeterred. He was brave enough to accept the fact that he smoked marijuana during his teens while he was studying at Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
“I’m sure other people did it and didn’t want to admit it in front of 40 million people.”
But, Bush did admit it and he stands by his current stance that every state should be given the right to decide about the issue. He thinks that the “United for Care” amendment is not a good idea. It is a proposal for state constitutional amendment which would “allow physicians to recommend medical marijuana to people with ‘debilitating’ medical conditions.”
According to Bush, in his home state Florida, he would oppose measures to allow the medical and recreational use of marijuana.
It is apparent that Bush has not made up his mind totally over this issue as he seems “conflicted” whether the federal governments should go ahead and enforce marijuana laws in those states where it is legal currently under state law. The conflict is evident from this statement:
“I don’t know. I’d have to sort that out.”
Bush did not reject the White House’s stance to de-emphasize the enforcement of some marijuana laws in those twenty states where medical cannabis has been legalized. When asked about the role of the federal government in prosecuting marijuana laws in medical marijuana states, he opined that this issue needs more thought.
“I think that states ought to have a right to decide these things. I think the federal government’s role in our lives is way too overreaching.”
“But having said that,” added Bush, “if you’re in Colorado and you can purchase marijuana openly, should people in Wyoming not be concerned about that? And I think there, maybe, the federal law needs to be looked at — interstate commerce.”
States such as Colorado, Bush believes, must be allowed to decide whether it is appropriate to legalize marijuana or not. Bush tends to avoid the “experimentation” twirl.
The amendment will let physicians to recommending medical marijuana to anyone suffering from ‘debilitating’ physical/medical condition. Bush considers that this is a very broad-ranged measure.