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Rand Paul Jokes About Teaching Mitch McConnell The Difference Between Marijuana And Hemp



Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had plenty of grievances to air about Congress during last week’s Festivus—a satirical holiday popularized on the sitcom Seinfeld—but one area where lawmakers did succeed is in the legalization of hemp, he said.

The senator has made it a tradition to tweet an “airing of grievances,” one of the hallmarks of Festivus, every December 23. This time around, he had some lighthearted cannabis-related jokes to share.

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has developed a reputation as one of the key champions of hemp, that wasn’t always the case, Paul said. In fact, it apparently took some explaining before McConnell learned the difference between the low-THC crop and its “illicit cousin” marijuana, as he calls it.

“Congress does do some good things. For example, I partnered with Mitch McConnell over the last few years to legalize hemp, which has been a pretty big success. But you should have seen the first meeting we had where I explained what hemp was to Mitch,” he wrote. “He was very concerned that people could smoke hemp and get high (you can’t). I told him well maybe but it would have to be the size of a telephone pole. I think he’s still confused.”

“I feel responsible though because after all of this, he became ‘Cocaine Mitch,'” he said, referring to a nickname that a former GOP Senate candidate coined for the majority leader, riffing off a report that the family of McConnell’s wife owns a shipping company, and one of its boats was tied up in a cocaine smuggling controversy.

(McConnell has since leaned into the nickname and incorporated it into his reelection campaign.)

“So maybe Cannabis is a gateway drug after all…” Paul joked. “I’m kidding stoners. Don’t @ me.”

Paul, who supports states’ rights to legalize cannabis in addition to being a proponent of hemp, has been incorporating marijuana into his Festivus tradition for years.

In 2013, for example, he complained about partisanship and said Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) doesn’t retweet him enough. Paul suggested that they work together on bipartisan mandatory minimum reform legislation and Booker said it’s a deal if he throws in marijuana and hemp reform.

“I am the Senate author of Hemp bill!” Paul said.

After all these years, Paul did get his Festivus wish did come true when it comes to hemp. Federal marijuana reform is yet to be seen, though perhaps he can apply the same skills he used to convince his home-state colleague McConnell to advance legalization for the crop’s “illicit cousin” in the coming year.

Mitch McConnell Uses Hemp Pen To Celebrate One-Year Anniversary Of Crop’s Legalization

Photo courtesy of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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