Videos: Is Paul Ryan pro-marijuana rights or not?
Could the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket be better for medical marijuana in Colorado than the Obama administration? That depends on who you ask -- and when you ask it.
Last Friday, Republican veep candidate Ryan told a Colorado Springs TV station that MMJ and pot legalization are state's rights issues. But is that his final word?
"My personal positions on this issue have been to let the states decide what to do with these things," Ryan told KRDO anchor Eric Singer. "This is something that is not a high priority of ours as to whether or not we go down the road on this issue. But I've always believed that states should have the right to decide. I personally don't agree with it, but this is something Coloradans have to decide for themselves."
But it doesn't look like Ryan checked with his boss before making those statements. Back in May, CBS4's Shaun Boyd pitched the same question to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney , who promptly shot down the question. Here's that video.
"The economy, the economy, the economy. The growth of jobs. The need to put people back to work. The challenges of Iran. We've got enormous issues that we face, but you want to talk about -- go ahead -- you want to talk about marijuana?" Romney chided Boyd.
He went on to say: "I think marijuana should not be legal in this country. I believe it is a gateway drug to other drug violations. The use of illegal drugs in this country is leading to terrible consequences in places like Mexico -- and actually in our country."
And that, apparently, is still the official position of the Republican Party. Because on Saturday morning, a spokesman with the veep candidate's office clarified Ryan's statements, saying that he actually thinks marijuana shouldn't ever be legalized under any circumstances.
By then, though, Ryan's gaffe had already gotten some traction. For example, the SF Weekly, our sister paper in San Francisco, published a post calling his words worthless and desperate. As the Weekly points out, Ryan's voting record is much different than his words on Friday:
"Ryan's record would appear to belie his 'personal positions.' Ryan in May voted against a measure to 'let the states decide,' opposing fellow Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's move to defund federal involvement in medical marijuana where the drug is legal."
The gaffe even made it to the national media on September 10, when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow discussed it on her program. "So the Republicans were for legalizing pot," she noted. "For about eighteen hours."
Continue to see the Rachel Maddow video and read more about Paul Ryan's marijuana comments.