Speed Reads

last night on late night

Stephen Colbert gets Rand Paul to discuss weed, DACA, Jeff Sessions, and Reefer Madness

If Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hadn't been playing hooky, he would have been on the train carrying GOP lawmakers to West Virginia, he told Stephen Colbert on Wednesday's Late Show, but while he dodged that accident, "I've been shot at, I've been mugged — I'm hoping 2018 is a better year." Paul discussed being tackled by his neighbor and said it might have been fed by America's partisan animus, but insisted that in Congress, "probably the unwritten story is that there's more discussions going across party lines than you would ever believe."

Paul said he supports states and adults making their own decisions about marijuana, and the federal government should stay out of it. "Then how do you feel about Jeff Sessions?" Colbert asked, noting that the attorney general wants to lock up all pot users. "Imagine Congress, and imagine a bunch of octogenarians who just watched Reefer Madness for the first time," Paul said, "and they think it's the gateway to the end of the world, and so they think they should lock these people up. It's very expensive to lock people up, but it also ruins young people's lives," and overwhelmingly the lives of brown, black, and poor people. He added that he supports voting rights for ex-cons.

Paul lauded the GOP tax cuts, but said he's still a deficit hawk. "Right now I think the Republicans are the worst on the deficit," he said, pointing to GOP military spending hopes. Democrats are fine with that as long as domestic spending goes up, too, he said, but "Republicans are hypocrites for complaining about Obama's deficits and then giving us trillion-dollar deficits." He said he supports more legal immigration, proposed a compromise on DREAMers, and wagered that Congress will pass some DACA replacement bill. Paul explained why he's concerned about Robert Mueller's investigation of President Trump, which he has called a "witch hunt," but Colbert got in the last word. Peter Weber