Ryan’s Etch-A-Sketch On Marijuana

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 11 2012 @ 12:45pm

Over the weekend, Paul Ryan talked to Eric Singer, a Colorado reporter, about medical marijuana:

I asked Congressman Ryan: “In Colorado we have medical marijuana. Under a Romney Ryan ticket, what happens?” Ryan: “It’s up to Coloradans to decide.” I said: “So even if federal law says marijuana is illegal, you’re saying?” Ryan: “My personal positions on this issue have been let the states decide what to do with these things. This is something that is not a high priority of ours as to whether or not we go down the road on this issue. What I’ve always believed is the states should decide. I personally don’t agree with it, but this is something Coloradans have to decide for themselves.”

A Romney spokesman later walked back this comment. Think Progress puts the episode in context:

Ryan woke up on Friday as a congressman with a firmly anti-marijuana voting record. He abandoned that view during a trip to a swing state where the marijuana issue is hot, and then backtracked the very next day. And he did this all in the very same weekend when he proclaimed that he did not vote for the defense cuts he recently voted for.

Kleiman sees “Ryan’s stance on medical pot is as strong a sign of change as Romney’s stance on pre-existing conditions”:

Mindless devotion to the War on Drugs is no longer a winner at the ballot box. Right-wing politicians aren’t getting any less stupid, but they seem to be getting (at least temporarily) less stubborn.