issues2000

Topics in the News: Drug War


Rand Paul on Drugs : Mar 24, 2013
Don't promote marijuana but don't jail non-violent criminals

Q: You would like to relax some of the laws for people who possess and are smoking marijuana, and synthetic recreational drugs. Why?

PAUL: The main thing I've said is not to legalize them but not to incarcerate people for extended periods of time. With Senator Leahy, we have a bill on mandatory minimums. There are people in jail for 50 years for nonviolent crimes. And that's a huge mistake. Our prisons are full of nonviolent criminals. I don't want to encourage people to do it. Marijuana takes away your incentive to work. I don't want to promote that but I also don't want to put people in jail who make the mistake. There are a lot of young people who do this and then later on, they get married and they quit; I don't want to put them in jail and ruin their lives. The last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use, and it would have ruined their lives. They got lucky, but a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don't get lucky.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Andrew Cuomo on Crime : Jan 9, 2013
End "stop and frisk"; it stigmatizes young black males

We are one New York, and as one New York we will not tolerate discrimination. There is a challenge posed by the "stop and frisk" police policies. Roughly 50,000 arrests in New York City for marijuana possession, more than any other possession. Of those 50,000 arrests, 82% are black and Hispanic. Of the 82% that are black and Hispanic, 69% are under the age of 30 years old. These are young, predominately black and Hispanic males. These arrests stigmatize, they criminalize, they create a permanent record. It's not fair. It's not right. It must end. And it must end now. The problem is the disconnect because marijuana on a person is a violation, marijuana in public view is a misdemeanor. There must be parity. Decriminalize the public view with 15 grams or less so there is fairness and parity in the system and we stop stigmatizing these people, making it harder to find a job, making it harder to get into to school, making it harder to turn their lives around at a very young age.
Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: 2013 State of the State Speech to NY Legislature

Andrew Cuomo on Drugs : Jan 9, 2013
Criminalize synthetic marijuana and designer drugs

Criminalize synthetic marijuana and designer drugs A 2012 Order for Summary Action effectively banning the sale of bath salts and synthetic marijuana in New York State. Known as "designer drugs," because they are synthetically manufactured compounds chemically similar to naturally occurring narcotics and Criminalize synthetic marijuana and designer drugs This made law enforcement part of the solution, even if manufacturers make alterations to the drug's chemical structure.

We must make designer drugs like bath salts & synthetic marijuana Schedule I drugs--on par with heroin, LSD, marijuana, & ecstasy.

Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: NY Rising 2013 State of the State booklet

Mitt Romney on Drugs : Sep 19, 2012
We share cross-border drug problem with Mexico

Q: Mexico's President-elect will inherit a drug war that has taken more than 65,000 lives in the past 6 years. Would you ask him to continue with the same strategy, or change the strategy to avoid more deaths?

A: I'd tell him that this is a problem that we share, that this is not Mexico's problem. We have a responsibility in this country to reduce drug usage. The fact that there is a drug world, narco-crime and terrorism, and that these cartels are terrorizing the people of Mexico, and some of that violence spills over our border. That's due to the demand here in this country. And so the US must make a priority of helping reduce demand in this country, and communicating to our young people, and older people, that when they use these illegal drugs, they are contributing to the deaths of people around the world. So I'm going to make that a priority. That's #1. And #2, I'm going to let him know that we want to help, as we did in Colombia with intelligence work and surveillance work.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Obama-Romney interviews by Univision Noticias (Spanish News)

Barack Obama on Crime : Aug 27, 2012
FactCheck:Biden more conservative than Obama on crime issues

Vice President Biden does not agree with President Obama on all issues--their differences are especially stark on crime and punishment issues. Biden supports the death penalty while Obama opposes it; Biden supports the War on Drugs while Obama opposes that too. You can read about all of their differences (and their agreements) in side-by-side form our summary of our book:
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Paperback: Obama-Biden vs. Romney-Ryan On The Issues

Paul Ryan on Drugs : Aug 13, 2012
Speechwriter for Director of National Drug Control Policy

It appears Paul Ryan has done an excellent job of not going on the record talking about the war on drugs or cannabis reform. Let's look at what we do know about Paul Ryan's background, voting records and stances:
Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: Weedist.com, "Perfect Partner in Prohibition"

Gary Johnson on Drugs : Aug 1, 2012
People 95% positive on legalizing; incumbents 100% negative

In 1999, I became the highest-ranking elected official in the US to advocate the legalization of marijuana. I realize this is not a politically popular view.

The responses I got in the governor's office--calls, letters, faxes, emails, people talking to me on the street--to my position on marijuana were about 95% positive.

The reaction from elected officials, on the other hand, at least officially, was 100% negative. But I have been approached by some elected officials who've said, "Way to go. This needed to be said. Your position is right, but I can't say that in public." I'm willing to risk my political future to educate people and bridge the divide.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Seven Principles, by Gary Johnson, p. 33-34

Gary Johnson on Drugs : Aug 1, 2012
Marijuana is safer than alcohol

The myth is that people using drugs are degenerates. The truth is that most marijuana smokers are people we associate with every day--law abiding, tax-paying, productive citizens.

Bad personal decisions should not be criminal if they don't harm anyone else. It is and should always be illegal to drive while you're impaired or to commit crimes. But people will always use drugs. We can't change that. Our real focus should be on reducing death, disease, crime and corruption. These problems are all related to drug prohibition, not drug use. But what I've found is that most people base their position on this issue on emotion instead of facts. The truth is that marijuana is safer than alcohol. I'll be the first to tell you that the world would be a better place if no one drank or did drugs. But that will never be the case.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Seven Principles, by Gary Johnson, p. 73-74

Andrew Cuomo on Drugs : Jun 4, 2012
Decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana

Andrew Cuomo is asking state legislators to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana that are in public view. Saying the aim was to avoid unnecessary misdemeanor charges against thousands of New Yorkers--"disproportionately black and Hispanic youth," according to a statement from the governor's office--the legislation "brings consistency and fairness" to New York's marijuana laws.

"There is a blatant inconsistency. If you possess marijuana privately it is a violation, if you show it in public it's a crime. It's incongruous. It's inconsistent the way it has been enforced," Cuomo told reporters at a press conference in Albany on Monday.

Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: CNN.com "Decriminalize Possession"

Gary Johnson on Drugs : Jun 15, 2011
75% of border violence with Mexico is due to drugs

Q: You were a border-state governor...?

A: We should make it as easy as possible to be able to get a legal work visa--not citizenship, not a green card. And then legalize marijuana. 75% of the border violence with Mexico would go away--that's the estimate of the drug cartels' activities that are engaged in the trade of marijuana. We've had 28,000 deaths south of the border over the last four years. If we can't connect the dots between prohibition and violence, I don't know if we ever will.

Q: Is border violence the main reason you're for liberalizing drug laws?

A: I'm opposed to drug war A through Z. Half--half!--of what we spend on law enforcement, the courts, and the prisons, is drug-related. And to what end? We have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. "America, land of liberty and freedom?" You know, that's baloney. More than 2 million Americans are behind bars now. Communist China has 4 times the population and they have 1.5 million people behind bars.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine

Gary Johnson on Drugs : Jun 15, 2011
Marijuana is safer than alcohol

Q: Talk to me about your personal marijuana use. Why have you been so upfront about it?

A: I don't smoke pot today. I don't drink alcohol. But I've done both of them and I can speak with authority over the fact that there's a big difference between marijuana and alcohol. And the difference is that marijuana is a lot safer.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine

Gary Johnson on Principles & Values : Jun 15, 2011
Calls himself classical liberal; others prefer libertarian

Johnson calls himself a "classical liberal," though others might prefer "libertarian." He favors legalizing marijuana (he says he toked up as recently as 2008) and prostitution and supports a woman's right to choose, liberal immigration reform and an anti-war foreign policy--even as he's called for draconian spending cuts and for dropping the corporate tax rate to zero as a means to jumpstart jobs creation.
Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine

Gary Johnson on Drugs : May 27, 2011
Legalize marijuana instead of 1.8 million arrests and $70B

Q: What about legalizing drugs?

A: Legalizing marijuana, talking about harm reduction strategies regarding all the other drugs, so talking about legalizing marijuana. I came at this issue from a cost-benefit analysis standpoint. I'm not telling you anything that you don't recognize. Half of what we spend on law enforcement, the courts and prisons is drug-related and to what end? Well, $70 billion a year. We're arresting 1.8 million people a year in this country. We now have 2.3 million people behind bars. We have the highest incarceration rate of any person in the world, America.

Q: What do you do when people are in a crack-induced state of psychosis?

A: There's an educational process in all this. But you treat it first as a health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue. You don't treat it first as a criminal justice issue. Let's differentiate between marijuana though and harder drugs. What I'm advocating is the legalization of marijuana.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Sean Hannity 2012 presidential interviews "Hannity Primary"

Gary Johnson on Drugs : May 5, 2011
Harm-reduction: health issue rather than criminal issue

Q: You say we should tax and legalize marijuana. How far would you go in legalizing drugs?

A: As governor of New Mexico, everything was a cost-benefit analysis. Using that as a criteria: half of what we spend on law enforcement, the courts, and the prisons is drug-related. And to what end? We're arresting 1.8 million people a year in this country. We now have 2.3 million people behind bars. We have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. If people look at it, they'll see that 90% of the drug problem is prohibition-related, not use-related. That's not to discount the problems with use and abuse, but that ought to be the focus. I advocate legalizing marijuana: control it; regulate it; and tax it. It'll never be legal for kids to smoke pot or buy pot; It'll never be legal to do harm while smoking pot. When it comes to all other drugs, I advocate harm-reduction strategies, which is looking at the drug problem first as a health issue rather than as a criminal justice issue.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina

Gary Johnson on Drugs : May 2, 2011
Drug policy today parallels Prohibition in the 1920's

The parallels between drug policy today and Prohibition in the 1920's are obvious, as are the lessons our nation learned. Prohibition was repealed because it made matters worse. Today, no one is trying to sell our kids bathtub gin in the schoolyard and micro-breweries aren't protecting their turf with machine guns. It's time to apply that thinking to marijuana. By making it a legal, regulated product, availability can be restricted, under-age use curtailed, enforcement/court/incarceration costs reduced and the profit removed from a massive underground and criminal economy.

By managing marijuana like alcohol and tobacco--regulating, taxing and enforcing its lawful use--America will be better off. Alcohol Prohibition (1920-1933) had only a minimal effect on the desire of Americans to drink but pushing alcohol underground had other effects: overdose deaths, gang violence, and other prohibition-related harms increased dramatically during the Prohibition years.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Presidential campaign website, garyjohnson2012.com, "Issues"

Jon Huntsman on Drugs : Apr 20, 2011
Never smoked pot; never legalized it in Utah

In honor of 4/20, here's a quick guide to where the GOP's 2012 contenders stand on pot: In 1978, Jon Huntsman dropped out of high school to play in a prog rock band called "Wizard." As Politico noted, two of his bandmates were "very active in drugs," but Huntsman, who is Mormon, never joined in, and a friend says he "never saw him inhale." Medical marijuana is not legal in Utah, where Huntsman was governor for four years.
Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: Tim Murphy in Mother Jones magazine

Donald Trump on Drugs : Apr 20, 2011
Legalize drugs and use tax revenue to fund drug education

Trump argued in 1990 that the only way to win the War on Drugs was to legalize drugs and use the tax revenue to fund drug education programs. As he put it, "You have to take the profit away from these drug czars." In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, he stated that he'd never tried drugs "of any kind."
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Tim Murphy in Mother Jones magazine

Mitt Romney on Drugs : Apr 20, 2011
Opposes legalization of recreational or medical marijuana

The former Massachusetts governor opposes the legalization of recreational or medical marijuana, although he endorsed the use of synthetic pot. In his most recent book, No Apology, he attributes the legalization movement to "the passion and zeal of those members of the pleasure-seeking generation that never grew up."
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Tim Murphy in Mother Jones magazine

Newt Gingrich on Drugs : Apr 20, 2011
Marijuana legalization would tear America apart

Gingrich now says that pot legalization would tear America apart: "Every place drugs are legalized the net effect is more people on welfare, more people who are dependent, more people with bad health care outcomes, fewer people who are able workers able to pay attention on the job and a drain of money into illegality, because immediately behind legalized marijuana comes cocaine and heroin."
Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Tim Murphy in Mother Jones magazine

Rick Perry on Drugs : Feb 8, 2011
Fight cross-border violence as part of drug war

We should continue our investment in border security because the threat of cross-border violence has only grown, as the drug wars escalate. I don't raise the issue of border security as a criticism of our neighbors to the south, but to show our resolve and unity in the struggle, as they deal with a wave of violence unlike anything outside of the world's war zones.
Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: 2011 Texas State of the State Address

Rick Perry on Drugs : Nov 15, 2010
Medical marijuana OK for California, but not Texas

[On states' rights], there's a movement I disagree with, while appreciating the desire of Californians to decide for themselves--this is the issue of marijuana consumption. A few years ago Californians legalized the limited medicinal use of marijuana, but the Supreme Court struck this law down in Gonzalez v. Raich, claiming that the federal government has the power to regulate activity that would have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. Now, I am not sure the people of Texas would want to go down this road.

Keeping in mind that in 2008, less than 1% of the 847,000 marijuana-related arrests were carried out by federal law enforcement, it sure seems unlikely that there could be adequate resources at the federal level to actually tell California how to live their lives. In other words, Californians may well be telling the federal government to "bring it on," we'll handle this how we want to handle it.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: Fed Up!, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.164-165

Rand Paul on Principles & Values : Oct 18, 2010
I'm "a pro-life Christian"; denies worshiping "Aqua Buddha"

Conway's campaign asks in a new statewide ad, "Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up, tell her to bow down before a false idol & say his god was Aqua Buddha?" The latter claim refers to a charge made in the GQ article by an unnamed college swim teammate, who said Paul and another student also tried to force her to smoke marijuana. The episode reportedly occurred in 1983.

Paul has called the claim "ridiculous" and said he was "never involved with kidnapping." During a Saturday debate, Conway repeated the allegation against Paul--triggering one of the angriest exchanges of the 2010 campaign season. "You know, Jack, you know how we tell when you're lying? It's when your lips are moving. OK?" Paul sputtered. "You're going to stand over there and accuse me of a crime for 30 years ago from some anonymous source?" He added: "Jack, have you no decency? Have you no shame?"

Paul describes himself as a "pro-life Christian" and says his faith is "something very personal to me, my wife, my kids."

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: National Post coverage of 2010 Kentucky Senate debate

Joe Biden on Drugs : Oct 5, 2010
1990 crime bill: tougher penalties for drug offenders

From Judiciary, Biden responded to growing reports of police brutality on the one hand and inadequate law enforcement on the other in an era of heavy drug trafficking. Even before he became the Judiciary chairman, he had called for creation of a national drug czar to cope with the growing flood of narcotics into the American market. For years, Biden had been pushing for the creation of a drug czar, and when Ronald Reagan appointed William Bennett as his drug czar, Biden worked with him coordinating the various governmental agency budgets dealing with narcotics. And in a pending crime bill in 1990, Biden fought for tougher penalties for drug offenders, the bill was watered down by Republican opposition.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.306-307

Rand Paul on Drugs : May 20, 2010
Favors legalizing medical marijuana

How conservative is he? The 47-year-old Paul wants to abolish the federal departments of education, commerce and energy, as well as the income tax.

Like Palin, with whom Paul now stands atop the Tea Party cake, he is opposed to all government bailouts and earmarks, and President Obama's "socialist" health care law. He favors a constitutional amendment banning abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.

But in a libertarian twist, he also favors legalizing medical marijuana.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: David Saltonstall in Daily News, "New Hero of Tea Party"

Jesse Ventura on Drugs : Mar 8, 2010
Banks & prison-industrial complex gets rich on the drug war

Federal law still considers marijuana a dangerous illegal drug, although 14 states have now enacted laws allowing for some use for medical purposes.

Let me cite a few statistics that I find mind-boggling. According to NORML, an advocacy group for legalizing marijuana, more than 700,000 of America's estimated 20 million pot-smokers got arrested in 2008. About HALF of the 200,000 inmates in our federal prisons are in there for drug-related offenses. Between 1970 and 2007, we saw a 547% increase in our prison population, mainly because of our drug policies. Of course, that's just fine with the new prison-industrial complex, where corporations are now running the show. We as taxpayers shell out $68 billion every year for prisons, & a lot of that end up going into private contractors' pockets!

Of course, they're not the only ones getting rich. Well-documented federal reports lead to the conclusion that American banks are "collectively the world's largest financial beneficiary of the drug trade."

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p.114

Jesse Ventura on Drugs : Apr 1, 2008
Let states decide medical marijuana laws

Early in 2001 Bush stated that he was a strong believer in giving more power to the states, which I applaud. He was going to be, he said, an old-style Federalist president. I believed him.

Yet just about every move he's made since that day has taken power away from the states. Cases in point: 12 states have now passed laws to allow the medical use of marijuana. The federal government under Bush says no way, it won't let the states do this. 2 states have voted for dignity in death. If I'm living in MN and terminally ill, I could have the option of moving to Oregon and fulfill my wishes not to prolong the agony. Again, the Bush administration says, oh no, you can't.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 67

Jesse Ventura on Drugs : Apr 1, 2008
Treat marijuana like we treat alcohol and tobacco

I wish that Canada and Mexico would legalize marijuana, because that would put the US on an island. You'd have two countries proving, like the city of Amsterdam has, that making drugs legal is not a negative formula, but the best way to deal with the problem. Making something illegal doesn't mean it goes away, it just means criminals are going to run it.

Why not treat marijuana in the same way as alcohol or tobacco? It's so widely used, and it has medical purposes that are denied by the US Food and Drug Administration. Numerous doctors and private studies have clearly shown that medicinal marijuana is a painkiller that can help cancer and AIDS patients and can also be used to treat glaucoma.

The fact is growing hemp for industrial purposes would make it a very useful plant. It can be a fiber for clothing, a source of paper, even an alternative fuel. Canada is already using hemp this way. I simply don't see that cannabis grows wild on earth just so humans can eradicate it.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.189-190

Jesse Ventura on Principles & Values : Apr 1, 2008
Supports libertarianism with a small "l"

Describing himself as a libertarian with a small "I"--liberal on social issues, conservative on fiscal issues---ex-Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura today set forth an independent platform that included ending the "so-called war on drugs" by legalizing marijuana and bringing home all American troops from military bases around the world--"unless these countries want to compensate us for guarding their borders."
Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.307

Barack Obama on Drugs : Feb 2, 2008
Fight to rid our communities of meth

AT A GLANCEOBAMA RECORD
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 32-33

Jon Huntsman on Drugs : Jan 22, 2008
End Meth Now: stop the scourge

At the other end of the spectrum, we have worked like never before, at every level of government, to "End Meth Now" and stop the scourge of methamphetamine impacting our families and communities. We have more resources committed than at any other time to help fight this dangerous, destructive drug. I want my friends at the House of Hope, most of whom are young single mothers recovering from their addictions, to know the full meaning of that word: Hope.
Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: Utah 2008 State of the State address

Mike Huckabee on Drugs : Dec 30, 2007
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.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series

Joe Biden on Drugs : Nov 11, 2007
Took lead on drug policy & narcotics control

Biden has sought to take the lead on drug policy, spearheading creation of a “Drug Czar” and crafting laws to control narcotics--measures that are widely viewed as pretty much of a failure.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p.180

Barack Obama on Drugs : Aug 14, 2007
Experimented with cocaine but turned down heroin

The teenage years mark a period of rebellion for males, and Obama’s racial turmoil only exacerbated those natural feelings. He was always a solid B student, but by his senior year, he was slacking off in his schoolwork in favor of basketball, beach time parties. He also, as he described it later, “dabbled in drugs and alcohol.” He would buy a six-pack of Heineken after school and polish off the bottles while shooting baskets. He also smoked marijuana and experimented with snorting cocaine but demurred from heroin when he said a drug supplier seemed far too eager to have him experience it. Later, Obama noted that white kids, Hawaiian kids and wealthy kids also turn to drugs to soothe whatever causes them pain.

His grandmother recalled that she and he husband discussed Barry’s declining grades and grew concerned about his possible drug use and overall lack of direction. Obama, however, questioned his elderly grandmother’s memory, [claiming it] was a very transitory period in his life.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: From Promise to Power, by David Mendell, p. 45-46

Sarah Palin on Drugs : Aug 6, 2006
Opposes legalizing marijuana, but meth is greater threat

What about the social issues that Alaskans, especially the party faithful who often decide primary elections, may find important? Here’s what Sarah Palin has to say about marijuana.

Palin doesn’t support legalizing marijuana, worrying about the message it would send to her four kids. But when it comes to cracking down on drugs, she says methamphetamines are the greater threat and should have a higher priority.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Anchorage Daily News, “Little play,” by K. Hopkins

Sarah Palin on Drugs : Aug 6, 2006
Smoked marijuana when it was legal under Alaska law

Palin said she has smoked marijuana--remember, it was legal under state law, she said, even if illegal under U.S. law--but says she didn’t like it and doesn’t smoke it now. Palin adds, “I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled.”
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Anchorage Daily News, “Little play,” by K. Hopkins

Gary Johnson on Drugs : Oct 14, 2002
Other governors privately support ending drug war

Keeping an open mind is part of the way civic personalities maintain touch with reality and other people's wishes. When I held a news conference with Gov. Gary Johnson (R, NM), he urged a rethinking of the self-defeating and cruel war on drugs. Johnson is the only sitting governor to open such a taboo subject, even though he told me that the other governors privately agree with what he says but think it too politically delicate to raise similar questions in their states.
Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Crashing the Party, by Ralph Nader, p.316

Rick Perry on Crime : Aug 15, 2002
Executes Mexican citizen despite plea from Pres. Fox

Mexican citizen Javier Suarez Medina died by lethal injection on Wednesday for the 1988 murder of a Dallas narcotics officer in an execution his president tried to stop. Suarez, 33, was put to death after the US Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch appeal from Mexico and Gov. Rick Perry refused Mexican President Vicente Fox ‘s request for a reprieve.

He was executed for shooting and killing undercover police officer Lawrence Cadena, 43, during a buy-and-bust drug sting. Mexico sought a stay from the Supreme Court on grounds that Suarez’s rights were violated because he was not put in contact with the Mexican consulate in Dallas at the time of his arrest, as required under the Vienna Convention diplomatic treaty. The court rejected the appeal shortly before Suarez was put to death. Fox pleaded with his friend President Bush and with Perry to stop the execution. Perry denied Suarez’s request for a one-time, 30-day stay of execution.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: Reuters, on www.santegidio.org

Mike Bloomberg on Drugs : Apr 10, 2002
You bet I smoked pot; and I enjoyed it

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Foundation, (NORML), launched a new $500,000 ad campaign in New York City this week, urging an end to the massive number of arrests of pot smokers in this city, and features NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s quote on his own use of pot. “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it,” said then Mayoral candidate Bloomberg just before the elections last year when a New York magazine reporter asked about his pot use.

“I’m not thrilled they’re using my name. I suppose there’s that First Amendment that gets in the way of me stopping it,“ Bloomberg told reporters when informed of the NORML ads graced with His Honor’s face and attributing the quote to him. But Bloomberg added that the NYPD will continue to vigorously enforce the laws. The campaign includes a full-page ad in the New York Times, as well as posters for bus stops, buses, and phone booths. There are also two 60-second radio ads that will be played by the top stations in the city.

Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Preston Peet, www.drugwar.com

Mike Bloomberg on Drugs : Apr 10, 2002
NYPD will continue to vigorously enforce drug laws

[When he learned that NORML would use his image and his words on pro-marijuana advertisements, Bloomberg said] that the NYPD will continue to vigorously enforce the laws [against marijuana use]. In 1992, when former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani took office, there were just 2,000 arrests of pot smokers. Until that time, cops would usually issue a ticket and fine instead of arresting people, yet by 2000, NYC was arresting approximately 50,000 people for simple use and possession every year, nearly a 1,000 a week. The NYPD now runs most every pot smoker they catch through the criminal court system, which can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, or longer, subjecting marijuana users to dangers far above and beyond any resulting from their simple use of pot, and the city will oftentimes attempt to coerce those arrested to plea out to charges they don’t deserve under the law.
Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Preston Peet, www.drugwar.com

Gary Johnson on Drugs : Apr 9, 2001
War on Drugs is a miserable failure; $6M for treatment

California and Arizona have gone the furthest in decriminalizing non-violent drug use, raising the issue’s profile nationally and spurring about 10 other states this year to consider a similar philosophical shift. Arguing that the multibillion-dollar drug war has been a failure, legislatures in New York, Hawaii, Arkansas, and elsewhere are considering revisions to mandatory sentence laws for low-level drug offenders and may provide millions of dollars to drug diversion programs.

Last month, the New Mexico legislature approved five drug bills proposed by Republican Gov. Gary Johnson, an ardent supporter of decriminalizing drugs. Included in the package are measures that will allocate $6 million to expand treatment services, legal protections for syringe sales, and restoring voting rights for felons who have served their time. “The war on drugs is a miserable failure,” Johnson said. “50% of the money for prisons and courts is spent on drugs. What we’re doing isn’t working.”

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: V. Dion Haynes, Chicago Tribune, p. 6

Gary Johnson on Crime : Jan 1, 2001
Half of crime is drug-related; legalizing drugs cuts crime

Q: Your many opponents believe that legalization would exacerbate the problem. First, they say more people would do drugs if they were legal.

A: Kids who have been surveyed say it's easier to get illegal drugs than beer. The evidence shows that more people won't do drugs if they're legal. Holland, where marijuana is decriminalized and controlled, has 60% of the drug use--both hard drugs and marijuana--the US has. They have a quarter the crime rate, a quarter the homicide rate, a quarter the violent crime rate and a tenth the incarceration rate. It suggests that more people don't do drugs because they're legal. But let's just say that the number of users would go up: I still would say it was worthwhile. Look at the trade-off.

Q: What trade-off?

Half of all crime is drug-related. Half. Half of what we spend--on law enforcement, on the courts, on prisons--is drug-related. If we legalized drugs, we would destroy the environment that allows and even encourages all those crimes.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: David Sheff interview in Playboy Magazine

Gary Johnson on Drugs : Jan 1, 2001
Drug use is up despite $30B spending on War on Drugs

Q: Of all the issues, why this crusade for the legalization of drugs?

A: It is the biggest issue in the country, and it's not being addressed.

Q: It is supposedly being addressed by the long-fought war on drugs.

A: The war on drugs is a mindboggling failure.

Q: Some statistics suggest that drug use is down.

A: That's absolute baloney. I just don't buy it. In one survey people were asked if they did drugs. First, they were asked in the Seventies. I can imagine people responding, "Well, sure, doesn't everybody?" Today, they would likely say "No way" before hanging up. It's a different time. But if we have reduced drug use by half--some claim it has gone down from 26 million to 13 million users--where are the corresponding dollar savings? We have gone from spending federally $1.8 billion to spending $30-plus billion--plus the cost of incarceration--and haven't dented the problem. As we approach zero users, are we going to be at $400 billion? Come on.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Interview with David Sheff in Playboy Magazine

Gary Johnson on Drugs : Jan 1, 2001
Allow medical marijuana and needle exchanges

Q: What's your view on medical marijuana?

A: Of course I think it should be allowed.

Q: Yet your home state doesn't allow it.

A: It's not likely to happen. Now, in particular, there is a backlash against anything drug-related in the state. It's a backlash against me.

Q: Is your campaign actually hurting your cause?

A: Not for a second.

Q: But people might feel that something as innocuous as medical marijuana or a needle exchange program is just the beginning in their governor's agenda to legalize every drug.

A: Well, my goal is for a more rational drug policy. There's no question that I've moved the needle. I've moved the needle nationally. I've moved it in the direction it needs to go. It's a start, but there need to be 3000 other people espousing the same ideas. These other programs--needle exchange, medical marijuana--are important, but they don't address the great ills caused by prohibition.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Interview with David Sheff in Playboy Magazine

Hillary Clinton on Drugs : Oct 8, 2000
Address drug problem with treatment and special drug courts

Q: What is your approach to the “Drug War”?

CLINTON: I have spoken out on my belief that we should have drug courts that would serve as alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system for low-level offenders. If the person comes before the court, agrees to stay clean, is subjected to drug tests once a week, they are diverted from the criminal justice system. We need more treatment. It is unfair to urge people to get rid of their addiction and not have the treatment facilities when people finally makes up their minds to get treatment.

LAZIO: The truth is that under the Clinton administration, there has been a dramatic and troubling increase in drug abuse by our children. And that has not been addressed. I crossed party lines in 1994 and built a coalition of Republicans that passed the crime bill. If it were not for that, we would not have drug courts right now. We would not have community policing. We need to have somebody in Washington who has the ability to get the job done.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Senate debate in Manhattan

Jesse Ventura on Drugs : Jul 2, 2000
Drug War fails like Prohibition did

I believe the war on drugs is a failure for the same reasons Prohibition was a failure. My mom told me about that. She lived through it. She saw that as soon as the government made alcohol consumption illegal, criminals cornered the market on liquor. Getting alcohol went from a safe, legal, affordable activity to one that often involved bloodshed and obscene amounts of money. And it gave rise to half a dozen other crimes as well. It caused a huge groundswell in organized crime. It made a lot of criminals rich. Today, illegal drug use is doing the exact same thing.

Just imagine if we could find some way for addicts to get their drugs cheaply, safely, and legally. The bottom would drop out of the illegal drug market. We’d see a huge drop in organized and violent crime.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p.161

Jesse Ventura on Drugs : Oct 5, 1998
Rethink approach to drugs; “more of the same” fails

To successfully address the drug problem, we need to rethink our approach from the bottom up. Career politicians can beat their chests all day long and talk about how tough they are on drugs. That approach is already a proven failure. While politicians wage their war on drugs, the drug dealers are winning it.

We don’t need more of the same. We need to rethink our approach. As your Governor, I’ll bring people together and provide the administrative resources to facilitate that rethinking process.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: E-Democracy Debate

Jesse Ventura on Drugs : Oct 5, 1998
Jail won’t work when we can’t even keep drugs out of prisons

Q: What about Minnesota’s climbing prison population and an apparent stalemate in the war on drugs?

A: Overcrowded prisons and increasing criminal justice expenses are partially due to the misguided way the war on drugs is being waged. Harsh drug sentences have filled our prisons to overflowing with non-violent offenders. Have these harsh sentences worked? No. Does the average citizen feel we are winning the war on drugs? No. Does it make sense to consider new approaches to the so-called drug problem? Absolutely.

Under our current laws, we can’t even keep illegal drugs out of prison. How can we expect to keep illegal drugs off the streets? It doesn’t matter how many drug dealers and users we put in jail. As long as people use illegal drugs, and huge amounts of money can be made by selling them, there will always be more dealers to replace the ones we lock away.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: E-Democracy Debate

Hillary Clinton on Drugs : Sep 25, 1996
Involved parents most influential in reducing teen drug use

Some factors that increase the risk of substance abuse in adolescents deserve emphasis. Casual attitudes towards marijuana and minors’ access to cigarettes raise the likelihood that teenagers will make a sad progression to more serious drug use & earlier sexual activity. Dropping out of school puts the child at greater risk, as does having a parent who is an abuser of alcohol or drugs.

One reason my husband is adamant about curbing smoking is the fact that he learned firsthand in his own family, about the slippery slope that begins with the use of one addictive substance and leads to other destructive behaviors.

The characteristics that keep kids from using drugs are hard to quantify but not to understand. Children who truly grasp tha they have a choice to make in the matter are more likely to make a responsible one. So are children with high self-esteem. Most influential of all is the optimism & awareness that comes from knowing their parents are interested & involved in their lives.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: It Takes A Village, by Hillary Clinton, p.152-153

Newt Gingrich on Drugs : Jun 1, 1995
Admitted to smoking marijuana, coming of age in 1960s

It has been popular to conjure up in just how many ways Newt Gingrich is like Bill Clinton. Superficially they share much. Both came of age around the same time--the '60s, the Vietnam era. Each owns a vintage '60s Mustang. Each admitted to smoking marijuana and neither served in the military. Each is an indefatigable politician who has come back from crushing defeat.
Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 19

  • Additional quotations related to Drug War issues can be found under Drugs.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
Candidates on Drugs:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
Death Penalty
Three Strikes

2016 Presidential contenders:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
Please consider volunteering for OnTheIssues!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Dec 17, 2013