The former Florida governor may have some explaining to do if these accusations are proved true.
That Jeb Bush was a habitual smoker of marijuana is not extraordinary in terms of the realities of drug use on exclusive prep school and college campuses in the 70s and 80s.Jeb was more than just a smoker — he was a dealer.
Former Congressman John LeBoutillier has written that two classmates at his 30th Harvard reunion, both who were at Andover with Jeb Bush, said that Jeb not only ran a marijuana and alcohol ring in which he sold product to his schoolmates but also that he was a habitual marijuana smoker.“I never knew why Jeb walked around Andover with his jaw hanging open until someone told me he was stoned all the time.”
Writing for Vanity Fair, reporter David Margolick noted that a Bush classmate said, “There was a kind of arrogance to him… I remember him smoking a lot of dope.”The classmate remembered Jeb as a member of a “clique of wealthy kids.”Another classmate told Margolick that Jeb was “slightly snarly and spoiled.”
The problem here is Jeb’s subsequent full-throated support for the war on drugs.Jeb Bush is as “conservative” as it gets on drug policy. He campaigned against medical marijuana in Florida. In 2000, he backed more federal funding in all aspects of the Drug War, and as Governor, he supported tough mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.
Senator Rand Paul pointed out Jeb’s hypocrisy on Fox News, stating, “When Jeb was a very wealthy kid at a very elite school, he used marijuana but didn’t get caught, didn’t have to go to prison.” Paul again slammed Bush in the CNN debate, “I think it shows some hypocrisy that’s going to be very difficult for young people to understand why we’d put a 65-year-old guy in jail for medical marijuana.”
Perhaps there is more to this story.In an incredible article in the Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff reports how George H. W. and Jeb Bush got campaign contributions from Leonel Martinez, a convicted trafficker of both marijuana and cocaine in Florida in the 1980s.Incredibly, Woodruff “excuses” Jeb for this shady association because he is a “drug warrior.”
In my 40 years in American politics, I have never seen a more clearly planted story that seeks to inoculate what we may learn soon about Jeb Bush and a number of his shady business contacts in the 1980’s and their involvement in drug trafficking.
Here is an actual quote from the article:
When Jeb arrived in South Florida after the 1980 presidential campaign, it was a crazy time.
The use of drug money in politics was commonplace.
In fact, his dad’s presidential campaign and the Jeb-helmed Dade County Republican Party both took contributions from Martinez, and faced minimal political repercussions when Martinez’s true career was revealed.
Eduardo Gamarra, a professor in Florida International University’s department of politics and international relations, said at that time Southern Florida was so saturated with cocaine-tainted cash that it would have been odd if none of it could get traced to Jeb.
That’s just the way things were in the 1980s, he said.
The problem with this is that it isn’t true. There is no proof that Lawton Chiles took drug money when he defeated Jeb in 1994. No proof that any of the three other Republican candidates for Governor who Jeb defeated in that year’s primary took drug money. And no proof that drug money was commonplace in Florida’s gubernatorial races.