Politics

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has fashioned himself as one of the fledgling legal marijuana industry’s greatest advocates on Capitol Hill. That’s why he’s in a prime position to ask cannabis business leaders for campaign donations. Last week, he did just that.

Paul, a Kentucky senator, was recently the first and only presidential candidate to fund-raise at the Cannabis Business Summit in Denver.

Matt Simon, 0f the Marijuana Policy Project, said the fact that a presidential candidate is now including this industry in political fundraising efforts is a sign of the times.

“It’s very reflective of the overall national shift in polling on this issue,” he said. “Majorities now support legalizing marijuana.”

Paul’s campaign hasn’t reported how much money was raised during the stop in Colorado.

But Simon said he sees Paul as an ally among presidential aspirants in the state marijuana legalization efforts.

“Senator Paul has been strong on the issue of making sure the federal government doesn’t interfere with state laws, and that differentiates him from some of the other Republican candidates,” he said.

The Marijuana Policy Project recently gave Paul its highest rating among some of the major presidential candidates. Paul got a higher rating than Democratic candidates—including Hillary Clinton and Lincoln Chafee.