Sen. Rand Paul Thinks Working People Can't Do Heroin

By McCarton Ackerman 09/04/15

Yes, this man is running for president. No, he won't win.

Rand Paul
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Sen. Rand Paul made a stunningly ignorant comment on Wednesday while addressing the country’s heroin epidemic, declaring that heroin addicts wouldn’t exist if they held down a job.

Speaking in New Hampshire, Paul raised eyebrows by stating that “if you work all day long, you don’t have time to do heroin. We need to attach work to everything. I don’t think any able-bodied person in America should get a penny unless they work. No handouts, no gifts, no welfare.”

New Hampshire was also the least relevant state to make these comments in because their unemployment rate of 3.7% is one of the lowest in the country.

What Paul doesn't realize is that, contrary to popular belief, 75% of illicit drug users hold down jobs. His lack of awareness on the subject is even more surprising given his active involvement in the marijuana industry, which helped him raise money at a $2,700 per ticket event at the Cannabis Business Summit in Denver this past July.

Although he has spoken in favor of ending the federal ban on marijuana, he doesn’t support nationwide legalization of marijuana for recreational purpose. He also told Fox News last March that marijuana was “a bad thing to do” because it ruined people’s motivation to be productive.

However, he is also an advocate of drug treatment over prison for non-violent drug offenders. Paul has stated that people should not be in prison for marijuana possession or other non-violent pot crimes. He has also pushed for eliminating federal prosecution for medical marijuana patients in states where it’s legal.

“The last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use ... it would have ruined their lives,” he said. “They got lucky, but a lot of kids, particularly in the inner city, don’t get lucky. They don’t have good attorneys and they go to jail for these things. I think it’s a big mistake.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.