The Heartbreaking Reason Carly Fiorina Is Anti-Marijuana

photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
There's a very real reason Carly Fiorina is against legalizing marijuana: The Republican presidential candidate watched her stepdaughter, Lori Ann Fiorina, battle drug addiction and die an early death, at just 35 years old.

At the debate Wednesday, the moderator asked Chris Christie about his earlier statements saying he'd ban marijuana even in states like Colorado that have legalized it. When Fiorina had a chance to weigh in, her statement turned to her personal history.

"My husband and I buried a child to drug addiction," Fiorina said, acknowledging that the same is sadly true for many watching. "We must invest in the treatment of drugs."

Fiorina first shared details about the 2009 loss of Lori in her book, Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey, which she published earlier this year.

“The two police officers stood awkwardly in our living room…" she writes of her and her husband's experience at the start of the book. "They asked us to sit down. Frank collapsed in a chair. I sat on the carpet next to him, my arms wrapped around his knees. The police officers said our daughter was dead, three thousand miles away."

"Lori couldn't — or wouldn't — take that first step of admitting she was powerless over her addiction. And ultimately her body just gave out," she writes further into the work.

The question of legalizing marijuana — which none of the GOP candidates are explicitly for, except Rand Paul, who's supported it in the past — ushered in the third part of the debate. After teasing Jeb Bush about smoking pot in high school ("Sorry Mom" Bush would later tweet), Paul pointed out that our drug laws are biased.

Poor kids who use drugs are ending up behind bars, he said, but "rich kids who use drugs aren't…. I'm in favor of a system that has more rehabilitation and less incarceration." Fiorina partially agreed with Paul, saying that while she's not pro-legalization, the U.S. is too quick to prosecute drug users, rather than help them recover.

Fiorina came into the lives of her two stepdaughters, Lori Ann and Tracy, when she married her husband, Frank, in 1985.
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