Search for...
OnTheIssuesLogo

Chris Dodd on Drugs

Democratic Sr Senator (CT)


Reduce sentencing disparity for crack cocaine retroactively

Q: The US Sentencing Commission recently limited the disparity in sentencing guidelines for those convicted of crimes involving crack cocaine versus crimes involving powder cocaine. Should that change be retroactive?

CLINTON: I believe weíve got to decrease the disparity that exists. But I have problems with retroactivity.

DODD: Iíd be inclined to say yes on the retroactivity.

EDWARDS: Iím not just inclined to say yes; the answer is yes, absolutely; it should be retroactive.

KUCINICH: Yes.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Allow medical marijuana; and allow decriminalization too

America suffers roughly 100,000 alcohol-related deaths per year. Marijuana kills virtually no one. Why is marijuana illegal?

A: Certainly with medical use of marijuana, it ought to be allowed. And many states allow that today. Iíve strongly advocated that these states not be biased or prejudiced because they allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. And again, on allowing decriminalization, I strongly advocate as well. Weíre cluttering up our prisons, frankly, when we draw distinctions.

Source: Huffington Post Mash-Up: 2007 Democratic on-line debate Sep 13, 2007

Decriminalize marijuana but donít legalize it

Let me go beyond marijuana here in terms of crack cocaine or powder cocaine, where we have differentials in prison sentences here. So I would decriminalize, or certainly advocate as president, the decriminalization of statutes that would incarcerate or severely penalize people for using marijuana. I know there are a lot of people across the political spectrum who would just totally legalize it. I donít go that far.
Source: Huffington Post Mash-Up: 2007 Democratic on-line debate Sep 13, 2007

Supports national ban on smoking in public places

Q: Over 400,000 Americans have premature death due to smoking or secondhand smoke. Who would favor a national law to ban smoking in all public places?

BIDEN: Yes. I would ban--in all public [places], nationally.

DODD: 3,000 kids start smoking every day in this country.

RICHARDSON: I did it in New Mexico as a national law.

KUCINICH: You bet Iíll go for a national law.

Q: So Biden, Dodd, Richardson, Gravel and Kucinich in favor of a national law.

EDWARDS: Wait, wait, wait, and Edwards.

Source: [Xref Edwards] 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth Sep 6, 2007

Alcohol problems significant; keep drinking age at 21

Q: Would you as president remove the requirement that a state have a legal drinking age of 21 in order to receive federal highway funds, thereby returning the drinking age back to the states?

BIDEN: Absolutely no, I would not. The cost of alcoholism in America, the cost of accidents that flow from drunkenness, are astronomical.

DODD: No, I agree with Joe on this. The problems associated with alcohol are significant in our country. The evidence is overwhelming..

RICHARDSON: No, I wouldnít lower it. I think you need a dual approach: strong law enforcement, but you also have to have substance abuse treatment.

GRAVEL: I think we should lower it. Anybody that can go fight and die for this country should be able to drink.

KUCINICH: Of course they should be able to drink at age 18, and they should be able to vote at age 16.

Q: No on 18?

OBAMA: No.

EDWARDS: What was the question?

Q: Lower the drinking age to 18?

EDWARDS: I would not.

Source: [Xref Biden] 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth Sep 6, 2007

Voted NO on increasing penalties for drug offenses.

Vote to increase penalties on certain drug-related crimes. The amendment would specifically target the manufacturing or trafficking of amphetamines & methamphetamines and possession of powder cocaine, and set stronger penalties for dealing drugs
Reference: Bill S.625 ; vote number 1999-360 on Nov 10, 1999

Voted NO on spending international development funds on drug control.

Vote to add an additional $53 million (raising the total to $213 million) to international narcotics control funding, and pay for it by taking $25 million from international operations funding and $28 million from development assistance.
Reference: Bill HR 3540 ; vote number 1996-244 on Jul 25, 1996

End harsher sentencing for crack vs. powder cocaine.

Dodd co-sponsored ending harsher sentencing for crack vs. powder cocaine

A bill to target cocaine kingpins and address sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

Sponsor's introductory remarks: Sen. Biden: My bill will eliminate the current 100-to-1 disparity [between sentencing for crack vs. powder cocaine] by increasing the 5-year mandatory minimum threshold quantity for crack cocaine to 500 grams, from 5 grams, and the 10-year threshold quantity to 5,000 grams, from 50 grams, while maintaining the current statutory mandatory minimum threshold quantities for powder cocaine. It will also eliminate the current 5-year mandatory minimum penalty for simple possession of crack cocaine, the only mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of a drug by a first time offender.

Drug use is a serious problem, and I have long supported strong antidrug legislation. But in addition to being tough, our drug laws should be rational and fair. My bill achieves the right balance. We have talked about the need to address this cocaine sentencing disparity for long enough. It is time to act.

Congressional Summary:

Related bills: H.R.79, H.R.460, H.R.4545, S.1383, S.1685.
Source: Drug Sentencing Reform & Kingpin Trafficking Act (S.1711) 07-S1711 on Jun 27, 2007

Other candidates on Drugs: Chris Dodd on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010