Libertarian boy wonder Rand Paul, a U.S. Senator from Kentucky, recently told a Louisville news outlet he smoked pot in his youth.

"Let's just say I wasn't a choir boy when I was in college and that I can recognize that kids make mistakes," Paul said. "And I can say I made mistakes when I was a kid."

Paul has previously annunciated his desire to end the War on Drugs, and reiterated that he doesn't support drug use but also doesn't support throwing people in prison for drug use. Of course, Rand, the son of racist-nutjob former presidential candidate Ron, falls firmly into the government-outta-my-face set, so deregulating marijuana would fall firmly alongside his desire to deregulate just about everything else.

Interestingly, though, Paul has been accused of being very hands-on when it comes to pot in the past. In a story related to GQ in 2010, a former Baylor classmate of Paul told a disturbing story about an all-but-kidnapping-and-drugging perpetrated by the future senator. One in a series of hijinks as part of a secret society, Paul and a friend "came to my house, they knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car," the woman related. "They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They'd been smoking pot."

She didn't. So Paul and his buddy drove her to the countryside where they made her worship an apparently made-up deity while she stood in a creek: Aqua Buddha (which would make a good name for a marijuana strain, if any hybridizers are reading this).

The "mistakes-making" senator is being cagey about his own possible bid for commander in chief in 2016. If he wins, the senator would join six terms worth of tokin' heads of state.

Shortly on the heels of legalization in Washington D.C., an amendment that could block the city's decriminalization will go before Congress. A republican congressman from Maryland has introduced language into federal budget law that would prohibit "federal and local funds from being used to legalize or reduce penalties for marijuana possession, use and distribution," according to political blog The Hill, essentially overturning D.C.'s law that makes it OK to grow and possess, but not sell, marijuana. UPDATE: the bill passed.

Go ahead and wrap your head around prohibiting money from being spent on non-enforcement. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but in D.C., a city whose laws and budgets must be approved by Congress, it has the potential to undo the first step in overturning racially problematic enforcement of drug laws.

As I write this, judges for this year's Emerald Cup are sparking up the more than 600 entries for the flower competition. That's more than double last year's entries. The weed festival kicks off Saturday and features musicians, speakers and industry insiders plying their trades and know-how through Sunday. Check out www.northcoastjournal.com or www.theemeraldcup.com for more details on the North Coast's best-known pot party.

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