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Where do the GOP Candidates Stand on Drug Policy? Why Now is the Time to Know

The battle for the Republican nomination has moved to Florida, which also happens to be a key battleground in an entirely different fight: the $15bn war on drugs.

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More recently Paul has said that the prohibition of drugs in the  United States directly contributes to Mexico's soaring death toll – now estimated at least 50,000 – by bankrolling ultra-violent cartels.

Like alcoholism, Paul claims, drug abuse should be treated as a medical issue. He has co-sponsored legislation in favor of medical marijuana and believes that Drug Enforcement Agency raids on medical marijuana clinics are unconstitutional.

At its core, Paul believes the drug war represents an unjustifiable assault on individual liberty.

"Ron Paul has been excellent," Nadlemann remarks.

Nadlemann describes Paul's presence in the ongoing race as "refreshing" and says comments regarding the drug war have been spot-on. "They're strong, they're smart and it's encouraging the way they're getting substantial applause in the primary debates."

Ryan Devereaux is a New York-based journalist writing for the Guardian.