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Cory Booker on Drugs

 


The drug war is an abject failure

As homicides surge in the city he governed for seven years, Booker said he's looking at several programs to overhaul the US criminal justice system and end the war on drugs, which he said fuels much of the violence.

"I can say as a mayor who has been fighting on the front lines for years, the drug war is an abject failure," Booker said. "It's consumed egregious amounts of taxpayers' dollars. It hasn't achieved the public-safety aims of our streets, it's consumed human potential, it is a massive government overreach."

He said the real answer to fighting crime is addressing poverty and poor education. "All of these things are things we should be working collaboratively on," Booker said.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2014 New Jersey Senate race , Jan 1, 2014

The war on drugs has failed; support medical marijuana

Newark Mayor Cory Booker took to Reddit Sunday to criticize the war on drugs, saying it was ineffective and "represents big overgrown government at its worst."

The Democrat wrote during the Reddit "ask me anything" chat: "The so called War on Drugs has not succeeded in making significant reductions in drug use, drug arrests or violence. We are pouring huge amounts of our public resources into this current effort that are bleeding our public treasury and unnecessarily undermining human potential."

Booker then called drug arrests a "game": "My police in Newark are involved in an almost ridiculous game of arresting the same people over and over again and when you talk to these men they have little belief that there is help or hope for them to break out of this cycle," he wrote.

Booker has said he supports medical marijuana, and outlined programs he has implemented to lower drug arrests: reentry, court reform, jobs, treatment and legal aid.

Source: Huffington Post, "Cory Booker & Drug War" , Jul 16, 2012

Never attracted to drink and drugs, even as teenager

In a city not known for its salad bars, Booker is an anomaly, and his vegetarian diet is only part of it. He has no known vices or addictions (except books--a friend once joked that Booker's crack den was Barnes and Noble); drink and drugs have never held any allure. During high school, friends would offer him money just to see him take a sip of beer.

In mission and temperament, Booker is the quintessential designated driver. "TV, food, alcohol, sex--they're all things we can fill our lives with that can distract us from our purpose," he says. "I was one of those kids who wanted to be a good kid," he notes.

Source: Oprah Magazine on 2013 N.J. Senate race , Sep 1, 2010

Community courts for minor crimes like drug possession

Community courts zero in on low-level crime--offenses like vandalism, shoplifting, minor drug possession--and combine punishment and help. In the community court, instead of fines many people can't pay or short jail terms that do them no good, quality-of-life offenders will be sentenced to visible community service throughout the City and referred to drug treatment, job training, adult education, counseling and other services. Research suggests that this problem-solving approach to justice works: community courts in other cities have helped reduce crime while improving public trust and involvement in the justice system. I am so proud of the collaborative effort.
Source: 2009 State of the City Address at Newark Symphony Hall , Feb 9, 2009

Other candidates on Drugs: Cory Booker on other issues:
NJ Gubernatorial:
Barbara Buono
Chris Christie
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Jeff Chiesa
Murray Sabrin
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Steve Lonegan

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Page last updated: Apr 13, 2014