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Mike Huckabee on Drugs

Republican AR Governor


1999: doubled methamphetamine sentences

Q: Has Mitt Romney said anything that’s untrue about you?

A: How long do we have on the program today? He’s said many things that are untrue. He said that I reduced methamphetamine sentences in Arkansas. Truth is I signed a bill in 1999 that doubled those sentences. We did not reduce them. Our sentences were four times harsher than they were in Massachusetts. He said that I supported special breaks for illegal aliens. That’s not true. We supported simply giving children who had earned a scholarship the same--it never happened, it didn’t make the legislature. He made allegations that our increased spending by ridiculous amounts, and The New York Times came back and defended that, and said that’s just simply not true. And they took him apart and showed that the increases in spending were, frankly, the same if not a little better than his if you took into consideration the accounting methods we changed in Arkansas, very modest gains in spending.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series , Dec 30, 2007

More drug courts & rehab, instead of incarceration

We really don’t have so much a crime problem in this country. We have a drug and alcohol problem. 80% of the people who are in our prisons and jails are there for a drug or alcohol crime. They either were high or drunk when they committed the crime, or they committed the crime to get high or drunk. And what has made a huge mistake is that we’ve incarcerated so many of the people who really need drug rehab more than they need long-term incarceration.

In our state, we established over 20 drug courts, that gave people an alternative course, rather than just putting them in prison, giving them the opportunity to get what they really needed, which is off the addiction. We’ve got to quit locking up all the people that we’re mad at and lock up the people that we’re really afraid of, the people who are sexual predators and violent offenders. I would go for more drug courts and for a lot less incarceration of drug-addicted people.

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University , Sep 27, 2007

Drug education fails; drug punishment works

A clash of worldviews is going to occur between those who think man is basically good and those who say man is basically self-centered.

How can we change a drug-addicted culture? Do we say, “If these people weren’t poor, or if they only knew what drugs did, then they wouldn’t be doing this”? If so, you’d prepare a bunch of informational videos and explain the danger. And in fact, that is just what much of government has been doing. And has it worked? No. Will it ever work? No. Why not? Because taking drugs appeals to the self-centered, pleasure-seeking people we are by nature.

If we’re convinced of that selfish nature, we take a different tack: “If you use drugs, we’re going to put you in jail and confiscate your car.” We must come to see that our core problem is not a lack of education but a lack of righteousness. We don’t need more information as much as we need new hearts.

Source: Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p.172-173 , Jun 1, 2007

Supports drug courts for non-violent drug offendors

80% of all those incarcerated were there because of drugs or alcohol; and were drunk or high when they committed their crime, or committed the crime in order to get drunk or high. We don’t have a crime problem; we have a drug and alcohol problem.

While those who deal drugs and entice others into enslaving addictions deserve prison sentences, we end up locking away many non-violent drug users, some of whom spend longer periods in prison than they would if they committed a violent crime.

A major reform in dealing with drug offenders in Arkansas was the establishment of drug courts, where a non-violent drug offender could be directed to enroll in drug treatment programs or heavily supervised community service. The recidivism rate dropped to 31%. More significantly, the cost per day was lower than that of prison, while at the same time allowing the offender to regain his or her life.

Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p. 89 , Jan 4, 2007

Stricter penalties for drug-related crimes

Source: 2002 AR Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 2002

Treatment for drug use instead of incarceration

We’ll ask for drug courts to be expanded because it makes more sense to treat people with a drug problem rather than simply incarcerating them and putting them in a place where their problems are not dealt with. That’s one of our initiatives.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature , Jan 9, 2001

Curb supply by eradication; change attitudes to curb demand

In order to curb the flow of illegal drugs, we must work to [eradicate] the supply and at the same time diminish the demand by changing the public’s attitude toward drugs.
Source: Responses to Associated Press Questionnaire for AR Senate , Nov 1, 1992

More federal funding for all aspects of Drug War.

Huckabee adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-13: Combating and Controlling Substance Abuse 00-NGA2 on Aug 15, 2000

Other governors on Drugs: Mike Huckabee on other issues:
AR Gubernatorial:
Mike Beebe
AR Senatorial:
John Boozman
Mark Pryor

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011