Obama is So Bad on Drug Policy, He Got Endorsed By Prison Guards

I guess the title says it all. Barack Obama is far and away the worst democratic contender when it comes to drug policy and criminal justice reform. It is unsurprising, therefore, that people who make a living off our grotesquely bloated criminal justice system are supporting his candidacy. Via Talkleft:
…one of the largest municipal jail unions in the country said Monday it would endorse Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois for president. The endorsement would be Obama's first from a union.


Obama said, "It's an honor to have the endorsement of these men and women who put themselves at risk every day to serve on the front lines of our nation's criminal justice system." [CBS News]
Ah, the ever-expanding front lines of our criminal justice system. Obama just keeps saying things like this. It remains perplexing to watch the so-called "change" candidate gaze with reverence upon our massive drug war and criminal justice system. Obama's support from incarceration specialists is richly deserved to be sure.

Update: At the risk of further emboldening the hysterical Obama fans in the comment section, it's only fair to add that Barack Obama has spoken in favor of needle exchange. Hillary Clinton, who's otherwise sounded good on drug policy (for a front-runner, anyway) wants to see more proof that it works, which, at this point, is like demanding proof that the sun will rise tomorrow. So Obama understands that issue, at least.

(This blog post was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)
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this makes no sense

the government needs to get with the program in that they do not understand that although its nearly impossible to control marijuana, americans are lazy and would buy it out of the store rather than grow thier own. obama is a fool for being so condesending by calling himself democratic then turning around and saying he'll up the criminal justice system. definately not a good candidate

this article proves nothing

so what?

1. he's admitted pot use and cocaine use.

2. I'm sure he knows the real ills of society.

3. Just because he takes money from an institution doesnt necessarily mean he'll do their bidding.

He's fsar and away the mosty electable candidate. No one but Obama knows what may happen in the case he is elected.

Negative speculation that is baseless and implies vicarious action (in the future, nonetheless) does not help anything or anyone.

Dan K

Obama '08

Re: This article proves nothing

In an interview with Jay Leno he openly admitted to smoking marijuana, but then called it a "mistake." The only way America is ever going to get back to upholding the constitution and our individual civil liberties is for Ron Paul to take office in 2008. Why put someone in office who says that using cannabis was a mistake, when Ron Paul plans to end the drug war? Who do you trust to end US participation in all unjust wars?

Jim F.

Ron Paul 2008

Candidates

I am all for stopping the war on drugs, but screw Ron Paul! He's for prayer in school, wants to overturn Roe. vs. Wade and doesn't seem to like the GLBT community either. His chances of winning are slim.

All the other republican candidates are horrible. (Remember, friends don't let friends vote republican.)

Obama sucks. Hillary is a robot.

Kucinich is the answer - or Edwards if you feel the need to vote in the majority.

Ditto

I read the comment above yours and thought what your comment says. Screw R. Paul. He's more religous than Dubya.

Kucinich's chances are just as slim as R. Paul's, but I would really like to see a rational president instead of an overzealous idget.

MORE RELIGIOUS

Since when does religious faith keep anyone from being elected president. So far as I know, Dubya was a "Christian" who attended a non-denominational church. Episcopalians are more like Catholics. They are not "evangislists" like pushed in some churches. None of them have the right to force their religion down your throat, especially through the government. But that is part of the Constituion. And, anyone who knows anything about the present race knows Ron Paul is the champion of the constitution FIRST! I would think that saying that being religious means we should never elect a person will turn off at least half of any voters you might try to influence. Where are they supposed to get their morals from? Atheists?! I trust them, less!

Nothing wrong with Ron

Unfortunately, bud, you apparently haven't spent any time actually reading into Ron Paul's official political positions. You've only heard the propaganda spewed out by mainstream retards like Sean Hannity and Paul's fellow Republican opponents.

Ron Paul supports VOLUNTARY prayer in school. Not mandatory. What in the hell is wrong with that? We all have the right to pray and think and meditate in any way we want at any time, anywhere. That is none of the government's business.

Ron Paul is a very religious man, but that isn't what so strongly impacts his decisions on abortion and gay marriage. He has said over and over again that it is unconstitutional for Congress to make a federal law regulating such things. Just as the bill of rights says,

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

It's up to the states to make decisions on such things.

His chances of winning are compounded every day, by his massive online popularity, and his steadfast opposition to the neo-conservative manipulation of the Republican party.

If you want to know more, here's a wikipedia article on his political positions.

Ron Paul's Political Positions

He said it was a mistake

He said it was a mistake because he was a huge stoner for a few years. He said that he was afraid of becoming apathetic and so he stopped doing it. That doesn't mean that he thinks smoking marijuana is a mistake, it just means that he realizes that smoking a lot of weed can make you lazy and he had some goals in his life. He didn't want it to be hindered by being a stoner.

interesting point

I think you make an interesting point here. I admire Obama's honesty on the subject - lord knows there are few presidents who do likewise - but it misses the point yet again that as we debate whether or not marijuana is "technically addictive" millions of people are just sitting on the couch watching their lives slip away because of pot.

Beth

www.michaelshouse.com/marijuana-rehab

You've got to be kidding

"No one but Obama knows what may happen in the case he is elected."

That's a horrible thing to say about your candidate. I think most of us would like to know what we're getting into at the ballot box, dude.

You probably didn't follow my link, but I've documented Obama's poor record on our issue thus far. When he's not saying the wrong things, he's failing to speak out about problems that appear obvious to the other democratic candidates. Barack Obama sucks on drug policy and you're just going to have to accept that you're campaigning for the drug war.

I shouldn't speculate about what a presidential candidate will do in the future? Are you out of your mind?

Thanks Scott

A vote for Obama is a vote for more of the same Jim Crow drug war garbage in America.

I would love nothing more than to vote for the first black president of the United States. But, since 1996, I have been committed to voting only for candidates who respect my civil liberties, human rights and social justice values. Namely candidates who oppose the drug war. I will not vote for candidates who will then turn around and screw everything that I believe in. The Clinton/Gore world record prison population taught me that lesson and I won't forget it.

Money

3. Just because he takes money from an institution doesnt necessarily mean he'll do their bidding.

Ah-hahahahaha! That's not the way it works down here, my Canadian friend...

Who should we vote for then?

OK, that New Orleans thing sucks. But really, who is the better democratic candidate that could win? Hillary's hubby was no friend of drug policy reform, Edwards was vehemently against mmj in 2004, and Obama doesn't see the big picture. How can you say he is definitively the worst? I could really use some more evidence.

We can't tell you who to vote for.

Doing so would threaten our non-profit tax status. You decide who to vote for.

We're just making sure everyone knows where the candidates stand, and that the candidates know that their positions on drug policy will be publicized and critiqued.

Matt_Potter's picture

On the front line?!?!

Holy hell. Thy are standing around with guns while guys in matching clothes play basketball. To have a view that is even close to the praise Obama gives these prison guards convinces me that he has nothing but an abstract view of those poor souls who have found themselves in those horrid walls. It scares me to think Obama might possibly be in control of our foreign policy when he can't identify the core problems fueling his illustrious criminal justice system.

Not Obama! Ron Paul!

Vote Ron Paul www.ronpaul2008.com, end the drug war!

Ron Paul

Vote RON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!! I am not a republican but I really like Ron Paul's view's about ending the drug war and about student issues. Check out www.ronpaul2008.com

No shit.

Yes, yes. We all know Ron Paul is great on drug policy. This is not news. So instead of spamming the comment board with "VOTE RON PAUL," why not make some productive comments about the topic at hand?

It's possible that Obama may be the Democratic nominee. If that is the case, what can drug policy reformers do to influence his stance on the issue before it's too late? (Short of magically turning him into Ron Paul.)

Obama on medical marijuana...

On August 21, during a campaign event in Nashua, New Hampshire, Sen. Obama was asked by Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana volunteer and seriously ill Nashua resident Scott Turner if he would end the federal raids on medical marijuana patients like him. Sen. Obama replied: "I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It's not a good use of our resources."

America’s great black hope is short on substance in every department. Obama has no plans to alter the drug war and his lukewarm rhetoric on medical cannabis patients is an untrustworthy committal. “Not good use of resources” is the lamest of all explanations for opposing a policy.

There is one outstanding Republican and two excellent Democratic candidates that are worth voting for.

Republican Ron Paul is the best Presidential candidate to emerge from either party in 50 years. If George Bush has you rightly disgusted for his drug war, his Iraq War, for letting neo-cons usurp the US government, then Ron Paul is the anti-Bush. Ron Paul has been a Congressman 20 years and votes, on every occasion and with 100% consistency, against the drug war, against the drug czar’s office, in favor of medical marijuana, and is chief sponsor of the 2007 Industrial Hemp Act. Ron Paul is the only one of all the Republican Presidential candidates to oppose the Iraq War in Congress from the first vote in 2002.

Ron Paul believes this “While recognizing the harm that drug abuse causes society, we also recognize that government drug policy has been ineffective and has led to frightening abuses of the Bill of Rights which could affect the personal freedom of any American. We, therefore, support alternatives to the War on Drugs. Per the tenth amendment to the US Constitution; matters such as drugs should be handled at the state or personal level. All laws, which give license to violate the Bill of Rights, should be repealed.” Source: Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement 00-RLC13 on Dec 8, 2000

Ron Paul, in contrast to Senator Obama, is the Champion of the Constitution. Ron Paul voted against The Patriot Act, Obama voted for it. Paul votes to end the war and defund the war, but Obama doesn't stop the money flow to the war. Ron Paul is the #1 defender of your civil liberties in the Congress, he has a higher rating by the ACLU than any other contender for President.

If you are convinced to support Ron Paul in your state primary, you must affiliate Republican on your voter registration form, at www.rockthevote.com

There are two candidates in the Democratic Party who have very positive cannabis reform platforms. For me, researching the voting record of the 109th Congress (2006), the best Democratic candidate is US Congressman Dennis Kucinich. In a survey of ten votes by the 435 Congressmen in the US House of Representatives done in Cannabis Culture Magazine #62 in Sept. 2006, US Rep. Kucinich (pronounced Koo-SIN-ich) was rated #3 best Congressman in the entire House by his voting record on issues of the drug war, Iraq war, the war on terror/civil liberties. The #1 Congressman in the CC survey was Ron Paul! (US Rep Barney Frank was #2).

Kucinich as Presidential candidate has called for an end to jail for marijuana possession and distribution. His voting record is excellent,
* Voted NO on military border patrols to battle drugs & terrorism.
* Voted NO on prohibiting needle exchange & medical marijuana in DC.
* Voted NO on subjecting federal employees to random drug tests.
* Rated A+ by VOTE-HEMP, indicating a pro-hemp voting record.
* Sponsor of 2007 Industrial Hemp Act
* Consistently voted in favor of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, which would bar the DEA from spending any money to raid or arrest medical marijuana patients and caregivers in the states that allow the medical use of marijuana. In 2007, Rep. Kucinich voted in favor of the amendment for the fifth year in a row
* voted No to the Iraq War from inception
* voted No to Plan Colombia,
* voted No to Patriot Act
* voted No to Homeland Security.

Dennis Kucinich is the only one of all the Democratic Presidential candidates to oppose the Iraq War in Congress from the first vote in 2002.

Mike Gravel, a former senator from Alaska (1969-1981) is a candidate who wants to legalize possession of marijuana, decriminalize hard drugs and treat addiction, and end the Iraq War immediately. Gravel was a maverick Senator in his 12 years, introducing the Pentagon Papers into the public record and filibustering against funding the Vietnam War in 1973. Gravel has no voting record to back up his current-day rhetoric though, having been out of public office for 26 years, so I recommend Kucinich or Paul.

borden's picture

actually...

Actually, Mike Gravel wants to legalize all drugs, not just decriminalize them. See some comments from him to the effect of legalizing cocaine on The Young Turks show last week.

For the record, DRCNet has no position for or against any candidate. If we ever do start taking such positions, it will be done in a way that clearly demarks that work from our other work like this blog or the newsletter (for legal reasons). We have supporters on both sides of the aisle, as well as supporters of third parties. And of course we have supporters including some of the commenters here for whom drug policy is one issue but not the one and only deciding issue.

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network
Washington, DC
http://stopthedrugwar.org

Re: legalize vs. decriminalize

As a sex worker and responsible recreational drug user, I am active in both the sex worker rights and the drug peace movement here in the Bay Area, and both groups generally now support *decriminalization* and see it as a better approach than legalization.

Decriminalization means leave the laws on the books, but just don't enforce them. Kind of like the way jaywalking is usually treated. Legalization means the laws are formally removed -- which would be wonderful, except that along with full legality would presumably come all kinds of anti-free-market government regulations and controls. Neither sex workers nor drug users/patients/growers/etc. want this, because it would just amount to sucking more money out of our pockets and having more paternalistic bureaucratic meddling in our lives. We are doing just fine without professional licensing, state-enforced safety rules, business licenses, etc.

By the way, I am also a volunteer with the Ron Paul for president campaign, and I encourage everyone who is for more freedom and less paternalism to check him out. He's way better than Obama or Hilary. RonPaulRevolution.com...

topic

Is the topic at hand not politics and what it can do to help or hinder us in our goals? We are discussing voting records, as well. I don't see any of the comments as spam. But inadequate, as you point out, when they have no substance.

Senseless

The issue at hand is about how Obama's drug policies suck. Why waste your time trying to change an already completely unreliable candidate? The reason people are "spamming" this article with Ron Paul support, is because the subject matter was about presidential candidacy, and each day, more and more people are realizing that Paul is the only candidate not towing the same dogmatic beliefs that all his opponents are.

Why waste time washing a dirty plate, when there's a clean one on the shelf?

obama all the way

hey hes mabey looking at what may say that the drugs use in the usa is at risk high right now mabey hes not just looking at marijuana usings

ron pauL?

saying vote ron paul is the same as saying vote republican, and you know it. while I personally like the guy,I'm sorry to say that there isn't a chance in hell.
come on, please lets not repeat 2000 again...and again...and again...

voting

Voting should be for the person who is best for the position and not which party he is in. If anyone other than Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination, then it will likely be a Democrat, who wins. Luckily we have a lot of people getting their information from the Internet and researching the candidates, much better. If you feel the privilege of abortion is most important, then maybe those who want other, more pressing issues, addressed, will get the nod.

Libertarians do not favor federal laws that restrict individuals. That includes federal abortion laws. The truth is that Ron Paul feels that this is just another of the states rights issues involved in the campaign. He opposes abortion laws at a federal level. And, being an experienced obstetrician, I should expect nothing less from a compassionate physician. Would you expect him to deliver 4,000 kids and want to kill others? That would be an internal conflict, for any human being. Let alone for a doctor who had the joy of delivering that many children.

But, only Libertarians would give him the benefit of having his own position on this issue. As long as he is not forcing it on others! I feel, that the two party system has placed us in a bad position. We should never have to vote for anyone offered by the parties that we do not agree with, because there are only two candidates to choose from. You just have to figure out which issues deserve your highest priorities.
Neither, Democrats nor Republicans have a monopoly on good decision making. He has stated that he would stop the federal raids that are going on right now, against MJ coops in California. Crying out that Ron Paul is against abortion and claiming he is not a fit candidate because he is not is with the Democrat crooks, is just as bad as me saying that he should be voted in because he is a republican who has the right attitude about the drug war. There are still a lot of independent thinking people out there, willing to research the issues. The candidates have to convince them , too!
But, I do appreciate the information, given here, on the two Democrats that look good, too. Problem is, it looks like the media is already deciding who are the "top runners", in both parties, over a year out from the election!
Moreover, when trying to get political partners, it would probably be better to address the issues. And, not just try to spread gossip and cry for partisan politics, as usual. (like ONLY DEMOCRATS DESERVE A VOTE!) I feel your party has failed you , too!

partisan politics

Voting should be for the person who is best for the position and not which party he is in. If anyone other than Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination, then it will likely be a Democrat, who wins. Luckily we have a lot of people getting their information from the Internet and researching the candidates, much better. If you feel the privilege of abortion is most important, then maybe those who want other, more pressing issues, addressed, will get the nod.

Libertarians do not favor federal laws that restrict individuals. That includes federal abortion laws. The truth is that Ron Paul feels that this is just another of the states rights issues involved in the campaign. He opposes abortion laws at a federal level. And, being an experienced obstetrician, I should expect nothing less from a compassionate physician. Would you expect him to deliver 4,000 kids and want to kill others? That would be an internal conflict, for any human being. Let alone for a doctor who had the joy of delivering that many children.

But, only Libertarians would give him the benefit of having his own position on this issue. As long as he is not forcing it on others! I feel, that the two party system has placed us in a bad position. We should never have to vote for anyone offered by the parties that we do not agree with, because there are only two candidates to choose from. You just have to figure out which issues deserve your highest priorities.
Neither, Democrats nor Republicans have a monopoly on good decision making. He has stated that he would stop the federal raids that are going on right now, against MJ coops in California. Crying out that Ron Paul is against abortion and claiming he is not a fit candidate because he is not is with the Democrat crooks, is just as bad as me saying that he should be voted in because he is a republican who has the right attitude about the drug war. There are still a lot of independent thinking people out there, willing to research the issues. The candidates have to convince them , too!
But, I do appreciate the information, given here, on the two Democrats that look good, too. Problem is, it looks like the media is already deciding who are the "top runners", in both parties, over a year out from the election!
Moreover, when trying to get political partners, it would probably be better to address the issues. And, not just try to spread gossip and cry for partisan politics, as usual. (like ONLY DEMOCRATS DESERVE A VOTE!) I feel your party has failed you , too!

Eh?

What are you talking about? Ron Paul is the only Republican trying to get the party back on track. It's ridiculous to judge a man by his party affiliation if he has a completely original platform. He's the only REAL republican up there. For f***'s sake, he's more antiwar than ALL the Democratic candidates!

Does anybody else notice how every single other candidate is a clone of the other, with the exception of Paul? Isn't it obvious? I feel like I've been taking Quaaludes!

If you don't want to repeat 2000, and 2004, and 1996, and 1992, and the 80's and all the garbage we've ushered into office for the last 80 years or more, pick the candidate with a different view. Leave your (justifiable, I might add) prejudices at the door. We have a free nation on the line here, man.

Obama on drugs

I suspect that Obama was just making a polite comment to the jail people. He might have to kiss a lot of butt to get into office. Just because he gets their endorsement does not mean he will support them later. He does, however, have a disturbing trend of saying whatever he thinks people want to hear.........

Good to see

others criticizing Obama for his drug war support. I have taken a lot of shit from Democrats for my exposing his record and perspective.

Sen. Obama's solution for post-Katrina poverty; police oppression
http://aleftindependent.blogspot.com/2007/08/sen-obamas-solution-for-pos...

Obama's solution for the high crime rate in new orleans has been to promise that, IF ELECTED, he will expand the DEA office in the city. He could push legislation NOW to expand rehab for indigent addicts who commit most street crime. Rehab would get crime dependent populations out of that dependence. But Obama instead promises to send more police who will criminally disenfranchise and marginalize more poor people making them less employable and more dependent on crime for sustenance.

Barack Obama: A Stereotype of Conventional Wisdom
http://aleftindependent.blogspot.com/2007/08/barack-obama-stereotype-of-...

Obama brags on his senate web site that he cosponsored the 2005 Meth Act. Even the government admits that the Meth Act has given the U.S. meth business over to highly organized Mexican cartels that have quickly expanded into even small towns in America since the 2005 Meth Act was passed.

Obama has no concept of the economics of the drug war. That ignorance, in my book, renders Sen. Barack Obama unqualified to be president of the United States of America.
______________________

Unrelated congressional issue

U.S. Congress Jim Crow Economics Hearing October 4, 2007
http://aleftindependent.blogspot.com/2007/09/us-congress-jim-crow-econom...

No offense folks

But if the "War on Drugs" is what's deciding your vote, you're just as ignorant as the religious zealots who will vote for any republican because they will keep gay marriage illegal and abortions off the table.

I don't care who is elected, illicit drugs will not be legalized in our lifetime. Marijuana not for 20-30 years at least. Will that stop you from using them? No. Don't throw away your vote because of it.

I suggest putting down the bong for three hours, reading "The Audacity of Hope", and flexing your open or expanded mind by listening to what Barack Obama has to say about changing our society.

Barack Obama is a champion not only of the constitution (he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for ten years), but he is also a champion of the people and of social justice. He will restore fundamental freedoms and rid us of the culture of cronyism.

He is the only credible candidate with an actual chance of winning who will be able to lay the groundwork for future improvements or changes to our failed "War on Drugs".

I know our political system is structured terribly, but please don't throw away your vote on a candidate who will never be able to win, just to stake an idealogical claim to make you feel better about yourself getting high.

Kucinich and Paul will never be elected. I'm sorry but it just won't happen. Unfortunately in our country, fringe candidates only take away votes from the real contenders. I'd like to see a multi-party system someday, but the reality of our time is that it's just not there.

By voting for fringe candidates, you're effectively handing the election to the Republicans. And it won't be Paul.. it will be McCain (shudder) or even Guiliani (does he remind anyone else of Hitler?).

Obama has a fighting chance... even if he can't muster the votes to be President, a great turnout in the primary could place him as VP. And we all know that since Darth Cheney has completely re-written the role of VP, a future VP can use that power too, hopefully for good.

And I challenge anyone here to find an actual quote from Obama stating or even implying that he will expand the "War on Drugs".

So far on this site and in the blogs all I've seen are paranoid accusations about him with little or no substance. It really makes everyone look like ignorant stoners, and not wise thinkers as you are.

Richard

This is all nonsense.

We don't need to vote for Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul to get a better drug policy platform than Obama's. Every democratic candidate is better than him on this issue, including the other so-called front runners.

We've now heard from two Obama supporters in this very thread claiming that he will be good on drug policy with no evidence. And they're accusing me of talking out my ass? From a previous post on this topic:

Obama's drug war revitalization plan for New Orleans is the latest step in his successful bid to be the worst on drug policy among the democratic presidential contenders. He's lamented the "political capital" required to repair the despicable crack/powder sentencing disparity, a no-brainer racial justice issue that even drug war hall-of-famer Joe Biden wants to fix. At Howard University's Democratic Debate on minority issues, he stood there like an idiot while every other candidate managed to address some type of criminal justice reform. He was also the last democratic candidate to pledge an end to federal medical marijuana raids, and not because they're heartless and evil, but because they're "not a good use of resources."

No, Obama is not a hardline drug warrior to my knowledge. But neither was Bill Clinton, and he destroyed many lives simply by ignoring the issue and allowing Barry McCaffrey to call the shots.

Every other democrat has advocated some type of criminal justice reform. Meanwhile, Obama saunters around talking about ending "politics as usual" in Washington, while ignoring this massive ongoing travesty and getting all cuddly with the incarceration industry.

I have no use for the assurances of Obama's supporters that I will be pleasantly surprised by his (apparently secret) criminal justice reform agenda. Bring me one piece of evidence that Obama sees problems with our criminal justice system, and I'll consider laying off my accusations that he loves the drug war the way it is.

I got that same assurance

From Kerry supporters in 2004. Its a load of shit pure and simple.

When we stop voting for drug warriors they will stop being drug warriors. This is showing among the Democrats in the medical pot issue. Most all of the third party and large independent groups are long opposed to the drug war. Libertarians, Greens, Nader Independents and others. The Democrats are trying to win some of those votes back to the Party by their all supporting medical cannabis this time around.

Drug policy is a political issue and becoming more of one with each election. The best way to advance that fact is to put your vote behind your advocacy.

REFUSE TO VOTE FOR DRUG WARRIORS! and let them know that you will vote this issue.

Remember folks, the drug war negatively impacts the quality of life in our cities as it supports crime.

The drug war negatively impacts our public health by speading disease.

The drug war negatively impacts our national security by funding most of the stateless terrorist armies on the planet. Support for the drug war buys bullets for the Taliban and alQaida. that makes it an act of treason for anyone to continue supporting it. Especially politicians.

America's drug war "grants huge subsidies to our enemies"

Pat
A Left Independent blog

I can agree with Marijuana legalization..

Marijuana is much less harmful to people and to society than Alchohol or Tobacco. But do we really want crack, meth, and heroin to be legal and widely used? I can understand de-criminaizing those substances and getting addicts help instead of jail time. I can also understand allowing Peyote and Mushrooms for religious purposes. But have you ever used crack, meth, or heroine?

I don't care who you are, they destroy your body and ultimately your life -- and that's fine with me, one less moron in the world, one car-length further ahead in traffic for me!

But the bigger problem is that it causes a huge burden on society. We have to deal with these addicts stealing from people, sometimes violently.. and leaving their used and diseased needles all over my sidewalk.. and generally promoting a culture of despair, self-destruction, selflessness, misery, and hate on our world.

Personally I think ending the illegal and unjust war in Iraq, reversing the current policies which have left us 10 trillion dollars in debt, and reversing the horrible policies which are destroying our environment and making the oil families rich - are a much bigger priority than endorsing legislation to let some drug addicts go free to further hurt our society.

While he may have been last, Obama still has pledged an end to federal medical marijuana raids. You can twist his words, but he has still made the pledge, is still "on our side", and on top of that has better domestic and foreign policy.

The criminal justice system starts with the constitution. Far and away, Obama has the best understanding of the constitution over any other candidate, and has genuinely pledged to restore and defend our individual liberties.

And it's not a right-wing conspiracy to say that illicit drugs will not be made legal during our lifetime. It's the hard facts of life from a die-hard liberal who is unwilling to let my desire to get high cloud my judgement on serious issues of society.

Even if Kucinich or Paul were elected, they would not be able to get Congress to approve such legislation to make illicit drugs legal. The President can't single-handedly make change like that. It takes a very long time to make change and there has to be significant support from Democrats and Republicans. Anyone who thinks it's actually going to happen anytime soon just isn't paying attention. It is not going to happen this lifetime... face it and focus on the real issues of the day where we may actually be able to make an impact!

As a matter of fact...

"But do we really want crack, meth, and heroin to be legal and widely used?"

Yes. Yes we do. It's grossly hypocritical to legalize only a certain grouping of drugs. What people do under the influence of drugs is not a good basis for condemning those drugs. There are people that are assholes when they smoke a bit of dope. There are people that are assholes when they have a few drinks. There are people that are assholes when they're tweaked on meth or coke.

Unfortunately, all of these people are perfectly capable of being assholes when they are SOBER!!!! There are plenty of responsible drug users that can take uppers and not turn into damned drug fiends, and rob, kill, rape, etc.

What about all the legal, pharmaceutical amphetamines and amphetamine analogs on the market, that many people are prescribed for daily use. Does it turn them into rampaging psychos? Sometimes, maybe. But that is reliant on the PERSON doing the drugs.

Methadone is several times longer acting, and a bit more powerful than heroin, but you don't hear too much about methadone junkies robbing liquor stores to get a fix.

Illegalizing things makes them harder to get, and since you're already doing something illegal, you might as well screw people over while you're at it, eh?

At the turn of the century, when cocaine, morphine, and heroin were freely available at your local pharmacy, you didn't see cokeheads busting into people's houses, stealing Victrola's and wooden radios and selling them on the black market for a fix. The illegalization of coke was brought on by ridiculous propaganda about black dock workers (who were given the drug to increase their productivity) raping white women, because the coke turned them into hideous sex fiends. What a load of crock. The only justification anyone's ever come up with for making drugs illegal, is that ACTUAL crimes(ya know, crimes with a VICTIM) are committed while people are on the stuff.

Newsflash: on drugs or off, people are gonna break the law. The fact that criminals, as well as law abiding people enjoy the use of psychoactive drugs has no bearing on the idea of drugs making people commit crimes.

heroine what a killer!

I hate drugs every single drug should be stopped Hash isnt the worst but heroine has killed many people around my area and one only died recently its a killer and we have to put a stop to it i need every body to help this to be stopped. Familys are all heart broken because of drugs, imagine having to put a family member or a friend in the ground after drugs going wrong or an overdose how hard would that be. Then there is people who are addicted their lifes are ruined fighting and going mad and will lead to death aswell can we please put a stop to this we need to find a stop soon before it gets any worse R.I.P johnny xxx

I posted links

to issues I have with Obama including his proud support for the 2005 Meth Act.

Telling anti-drug war Americans not to vote their values is despicable. And it is ignorant in the wsense that there are more elected politicians coming out against the drug war all the time. They are enboldened by support and advocacy by folks like us who have told them, in no uncertain terms, how to get our vote.

My recent blog entry on the issue of elected officials coming out against the drug war.
End the Drug War Say More Elected Politicians

Included in that thread is the resolution by the U.S. Conference of Mayors this past summer:

"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors believes the war on drugs has failed..." The entire resolution: U.S. mayors call for end to drug war

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the largest group of drug war front line elected executives who must mop up the blood in our streets and repair the damage done by the drug war policy. The mayors represent the social interests of a vast majority of urban America. they certainly represent my interests. Every opportunity that I get I am putting thier resolution in front of other elected officials in America. And it is making them think hard about these issues.

It is a right-wing lie to say that America will never end the drug war in our lifetime. The myriad problems caused by the drug war are coming home to roost and politicians are running out of excuses for their continued support of the policy.

If they don't hear it from us they won't hear it. So scream it loud and put your political power behind your values by telling politicians that you do not vote for drug warriors. I have done this since 1996 and there are a lot more politicians coming out against the drug war today than ever before.

This is the strategy that works.

God?

Thank you for your omnipotent response. You are offensive in trying to say that everyone on here is on drugs. Many do not use or encourange the use. They see the lunacy of putting people in jail for a medical problem, taken over by the police/prison complex.

You must have missed the article on this site, last week, about Obama wanting to add another DEA office in New Orleans. I can't trust any of your information, because of that. And to say that there have not been precise blogs in the above list of opinions, is also misleading. And I would love it to see a black president. I just need one who has my trust. He is too much a "politician" and his voting record does not appeal to me, any more than Romney or Giuliani. Many Republicans will be voting Democrat because they are so p--ed off about the war and the lack of response to public opinion by the politicians in this country. It is a sign of the sickness.

"Barack Obama is a champion of the constitution?"

Absurd statement. He voted to ban guns. Whether you agree with guns or not, they are protected under the 2nd amendment. Obama is no champion of the Constitution. He's never seen a government program he didn't like and he wouldn't touch the War on Drugs. The gun issue is EXACTLY the same as the drug issue. People being told they are too irresponsible so the government has to take their rights away.

Until you democrats realize that this is a "freedom" issue and not a "social" issue you will never win your rights back. The Bill of Rights is just a piece of paper unless you stand up for it - the WHOLE thing not just the parts you like.

Ron Paul proposed legislation to end the raids on MM patients and the Medical Freedom Act along with Hemp legalization measures. Ron Paul recently told a cheering audience "We should REPEAL the entire WAR ON DRUGS" and has been calling for this for over 20 years. What has Obama done?

I won't

Vote for Obama. He bent over backwards for the people who are screwing this nation's people who are the backbone of this country by quitting smoking immediately as soon as he saw that that was what impressed such people who want to dictate private americans lives. It might seem small to you but anyone who is unfaithful in small things, cannot be trusted with big ones. It would have had a different meaning had he quit just because it was HIS idea. But it wasn't. I don't know what's up with the democratic party anyway. Sure it would be quite eurphoric to have a black man or a woman as president. But you all know that the majority in this country are NOT going to vote them in. It just seems like a tactic to sabatoge the whole party to me. And that's just the problem, we need the party to say, We are FOR the American people and not just the minority. But they know if they do that, they are alienating the very people who hate us and who would NOT want to see such people in office. I've become quite disgusted with the whole sham. If we really want to take our country back and do away with all these unjust laws, then the people are going to have to find out who is for what; from the serious to the frivilious products you buy from the companies you are buying them from and what their current social policies are because they are the ones currently mandating our social policies and pay the lobbists who turn our public servants into crooks. (Of course I realize it takes two to tango.) Bascially, we need to find out who is for us in this country and who merely see us as walking dollar bills and slaves to their greed. And that includes our neighbors. It's high time Americans invest in the American people instead of businesses running away to foreign lands. Can you say; Sacrifice? Ok. I'm done for now. Have a great day.

Politics and Prisons

The prison guard unions have become so politically powerful in America that candidates for office risk losing elections if they don’t back the corrections guards and their unions. These people, as a group, make up some of the largest campaign donors in state elections.

Big money is involved. In California, prison guards’ starting wages are about $60K per year, which is more than the prison staff psychologists with their PhDs make. On top of that, the guards pull in a lot of overtime pay. For corrections personnel who marry each other, their combined incomes are in the six-figures. If you ever find yourself in California near a corrections center, check out the parking lot. There you will see acres of Mercedes, BMWs, Lexus, and honkin’ huge pickup trucks and sport-utes, all owned by the people who work in the prison system.

Both the guards and the guards’ union know the number of prison jobs, and thus the union’s own income, relies on party politics in state capitols and in Washington, D.C. They also know how to flex their muscle. If a state politician fails to perform the way they want, arranged prison riots can break out all over the state, along with demands that the prison system needs more money to better control the situation. Even California Governor Arnold “the Terminator” Schwarzenegger has been unable to correct the corrections situation, even though he has made some valiant efforts to do so.

The union, the California Correctional Peace Officers’ Association (CCPOA), is not shy about imposing its political survival onto society at large, and at everyone else’s expense. When California’s Proposition 36, which mandated treatment instead of jail for first time drug offenders, was up for voter approval, the CCPOA lobbied and campaigned against it. Prior to that, the CCPOA spent $101,000 to get Prop. 184, California’s infamous ‘three strikes initiative,’ on the ballot. That’s the kind of people they are.

Perhaps someday someone will be elected with the guts to drive a stake through the CCPOA’s vampire heart, but I don’t see anyone with that kind of guts who is running for president in 2008.

Giordano

Giordano

I am cross posting your cogent union report on the TalkLeft blog in a conversation about the union support for Obama. Someone there had poo-pooed my assertions that unions are effectively representatives and advocates for their industries. Especially prison unions.

I hope that you do not mind. I clearly referenced it to you and provided the link to this page.

Tthanks for the great report.

Pat
A Left Independent blog

Obama is bad, mmmkay

As a St. Senator in Illinois Barack Obama championed the effort (wrote, introduced and lobbied for the legislation) to make ephedrine illegal, the same as marijuana etc. That was his contribution to drug law reform, not medical marijuana or ending mandatory minimums or leveling the coke/crack punishments etc. Barack Obama wanted to put even more people in cages for using ephedrine. He succeeded too until the courts ruled the legislation unconstitutional. Barack Obama is definitely the worst Democrat on drug war issues and this can be clearly illustrated by looking at his voting record as a State Senator in Illinois.

Thanks for that

contribution to the drug warrior profile of Barack Obama.

From the official web site of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, a Democratic candidate for president of the United States of America.

"Senator Obama cosponsored the Combat Meth Act, which provides more money for fighting methamphetamine (meth), tightens controls on the sale of meth ingredients, and provides assistance to the children of meth abusers. The legislation would limit access to cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, the primary ingredient used to make methamphetamine. This bill passed the Senate and became law in the 109th Congress."

The outcome of that legislation according to the government itself?

The 2007 National Drug Threat Assessment of the National Drug Intelligence Center an agency of the U.S. Justice Department.

"Methamphetamine production and distribution trends are undergoing significant strategic shifts, resulting in new challenges to law enforcement and public health agencies. For example, marked success in decreasing domestic methamphetamine production through law enforcement pressure and strong precursor chemical sales restrictions has enabled Mexican DTOs to rapidly expand their control over methamphetamine distribution—even in eastern states—as users and distributors who previously produced the drug have sought new, consistent sources. These Mexican methamphetamine distribution groups (supported by increased methamphetamine production in Mexico) are often more difficult for local law enforcement agencies to identify, investigate, and dismantle because they typically are much more organized and experienced than local independent producers and distributors. Moreover, these Mexican criminal groups typically produce and distribute high purity ice methamphetamine that usually is smoked, potentially resulting in a more rapid onset of addiction to the drug."

In other words the 2005 Meth Act gave the American meth market over to better organized and more aggressive Mexican cartel related street gangs. Obama is such a tool.

Pat
A Left Independent blog

frightening.

The gist of these comments are frightening; some seem to be "Ron Paul's good and all... but no way I'd let a Republican back in the White house! The worst Democrat's better than the Best Republican." Or... "Kucinich and Paul have no chance of being in the White House, so I'll vote for the lesser of two evils instead."

You people are the rotting mass of a decaying democracy.

Vote Republican or Democrat!

If you would look at the support Ron Paul has, you would notice that it is much bigger than the republican party support (does not exist). The people are looking into what the politicians are saying and they see most of them coming off as flip-floppers! If Hitler (Manson, replace with any lunatic you will!) was a party man, would that mean you would vote for him? As long as he was supported by your party! With Hitler it was the Nazi party!!!

Hopefully, we are looking at a much more intelligent vote this time, than party politics, a usual! They have ALL corrupted the republic!

Ron Paul-Stop Perpetual War-mongering-drugs, terrorism, poverty.

The war on drugs, poverty, terrorism, global warming are more excuses for government control over our lives. We havet stop the nanny state that is out to protect us. Ron Paul would-

End the war in Iraq immediatley-no other candidate has said this and that is scary

End the IRS, war on on drugs, federal income tax and change our foreign policy. Also a big one for many parents abolish the U.S Department of Education which is a complete failure-1 of 3 students never graduate high school. And that's only for beginners. Find out out more at his official website. www.ronpaul2008.com

NADER 2000

Theres no doubt Nader was the best candidate in '00 just as Ron Paul is the best now. But imagine if all the Naderheads voted for Gore instead. I'd pick Gore over Bush anyday. Oh what a world it could have been... Good thing Paul isn't running as a third party candidate or McCain would win. Obama has flaws, but what about McCain? He's running too

Jerry For President

i rule.
you all suck!

jerry for president

Wow

You are fucking retarded. You're article makes little to know sense while failing to create a point. Please learn a little more about a subject before trying to convince other people you are correct.

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