Cowards: Democratic Front-Runners Reject Marijuana Law Reform
- We should ask this of Republicans too.
Sent to you by Tami via Google Reader:via Stop the Drug War (DRCNet) - raising awareness of the consequences of drug prohibition by Scott Morgan on 10/31/07
Critics of marijuana policy reform are fond of dismissing the idea as a liberal fantasy. Unfortunately, last night's Democratic Presidential Debate revealed that the party's so-called leaders would still rather play politics than stand up for the 800,000+ Americans that are needlessly arrested each year for the world's pettiest crime:
Tim Russert: Senator Dodd, you went on the Bill Maher show last month and said that you were for decriminalizing marijuana. Is there anyone here who disagrees with Senator Dodd in decriminalizing marijuana? [MSNBC]
Clinton, Obama, Richardson, Biden, and Edwards all raised their hands. Only Dennis Kucinich stood with Senator Dodd on this important question. John Edwards was quick on the draw, pulling out the oldest pro-drug war line in the book:
Russert: Senator Edwards, why?
Edwards: Because I think it sends the wrong signal to young people. And I think the president of the United States has a responsibility to ensure that we're sending the right signals to young people.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome once again to the brain-dead world of mainstream drug war politics. It is a peculiar place where we ruin real lives in order to send fake messages. It is a vacant echo chamber in which those speaking the truth are singled out for ridicule, attention seekers spew tiresome incoherencies, and the rest cower embarrassed behind their podiums praying never again to be asked such a horrible thing.
Shameful and cowardly as their responses may be, the democratic front-runners were clearly sidelined by Russert's cheap hackery. Drug policy is so much more than a yes or no question, and this drive-by shooting approach to the marijuana debate trivializes the issue and obscures any diversity of opinion. I am saddened, but not at all surprised, that this question provoked this response when asked this way.
If we've learned anything from the brutal war that's been waged in our names for far too long, it is that many of our leaders would sooner allow it to continue for decades than speak one word of the truth that stands naked before us all.
With that in mind, I'm asking all of you to do something. Find out when the candidates are speaking in your area and attend the events. Bring friends. Bring a video camera. Dress well and arrive early. Sit where you can be seen and raise your hand high just a moment before they open the floor to questions. Ask whatever you like. Maybe something like this:
Over 800,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana this year. Some went to jail. Others lost their jobs, lost custody of their children, lost their driver's licenses, lost public housing, lost financial aid for college, the list goes on. Many people think these punishments are more damaging than the drug itself.
What do you think the punishment should be for someone who uses marijuana?
It is one thing to say you don't support marijuana decrim. It is quite another to describe how specifically you would go about destroying the lives of the millions of Americans who enjoy marijuana. Let's find out where they really stand on this issue.
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