In this election’s batch of presidential hopefuls, Rand Paul may just be the least square. When it came to a recent evaluation of candidates and weed policy, Paul scored the highest.
On Friday, The Marijuana Policy Project, the country’s largest organization to work exclusively on policy reform for the drug, released a voter guide of sorts, evaluating and rating each of the 20+ potential presidential candidates. Paul scored an A-.
Paul’s role as leader of the pack here came as little surprise, given that he’s sponsored a medical marijuana bill, supported the reduction of marijuana-related penalties, and supported states’ rights to regulate marijuana for adult use.
The runner-up GOP was Rick Perry with a B, as he’s stated support for reducing penalties for marijuana possession. Among the bottom ranks were Chris Christie and Rick Santorum, due to their opposition of reform efforts and being so dang vocal about enforcing federal prohibition laws in states that have made marijuana legal.
A spokesperson for the group had a sharp point about the low rankers.
“Some of these guys who tout states’ rights, fiscal responsibility, and getting the government out of people’s private lives want to use federal tax dollars to punish adults for using marijuana in states that have made it legal,” said Mason Tvert, the group’s director of communications. “They say using marijuana is immoral or just too dangerous to allow, but serve alcohol, a more dangerous substance, at their fundraisers. The hypocrisy is astonishing.”
The few Democrats in the race—or at least conversations about the race—pulled mostly Bs, save for Martin O’Malley (C+) and, somewhat surprisingly, Diamond Joe Biden (D). Possible party frontrunner Hillary Clinton scored a B-.
For the full rankings, check out the MPP’s 2016 Presidential Candidate Voter Guide.