Rand Paul recently told a group of conservative evangelical pastors he against the war on drugs, despite previous statements such as: “I’ll do everything to end the war on drugs….The war on drugs has become the most racially disparate outcome that you have in the entire country. Our prisons are full of black and brown kids.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. rides in an elevator with reporters and staff members after he spoke at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Conference in Washington, Thursday, June 13, 2013. (AP/Charles Dharapak)
The Senator was speaking to a group of conservative evangelical pastors when, according to the Washington Post, he “assured the group that he disagrees with libertarians who support legalizing drugs. When one pastor inquired about ideological ties between Paul and his father, the senator asked that he be judged as his own man.”
Then, “He made it very clear that he does not support legalization of drugs like marijuana and that he supports traditional marriage,” said Brad Sherman of the Solid Rock Christian Church in Coralville, Iowa.
He later went on to explain that he supports criminalizing drugs, ignorantly comparing cannabis use to a bunch of hippies running around naked in a state of refer madness.
But Rand was in favor of ending the Drug War as recently as March of this year before he was for it. The Senator proposed a bill with fellow Senator Cory Booker in March which would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. He made his former stance very clear in a November 2014 interview with comedian Bill Maher:
Bill Maher: “You said in 2000, “The war on drugs is an abysmal failure and a waste of money.” Are you still on that page?”
Rand Paul: “I’m absolutely there, and I’ll do everything to end the war on drugs….The war on drugs has become the most racially disparate outcome that you have in the entire country. Our prisons are full of black and brown kids. Three-fourths of the people in prison are black or brown, and white kids are using drugs, Bill, as you know…at the same rate as these other kids. But kids who have less means, less money, kids who are in areas where police are patrolling…Police are given monetary incentives to make arrests, monetary incentives for their own departments. So I want to end the war on drugs because it’s wrong for everybody, but particularly because poor people are caught up in this, and their lives are ruined by it.”
Rand Paul, who had been riding the momentum of his father’s 2012 anti-establishment presidential campaign, has resorted to the flip-flopping, pandering politics we’ve come to expect from establishment candidates for his 2016 presidential campaign.
Personally I think the old, drone-filibustering Rand Paul was much more interesting. That, of course, was before he flip-flopped on drones too.