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Rick Santorum on Imprisoning Non-Violent Drug Offenders: "The federal government doesn't do that."

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From the same presidential candidate who brought you, "I don't know my medical marijuana laws very well," comes yet another mind-bending morsel of jaw-dropping ignorance.

I'm still not sure what happened here. I think he got cornered and confused and just choked for a second. He may not have even understood the question, and that's okay. We're not going anywhere. Anytime Rick Santorum wishes to clarify or expand upon this, I'm sure everyone will be quite excited to hear whatever else he has to say. 

*Thanks to our friends at Students for Sensible Drug Policy for hitting the ground in New Hampshire and making this happen.

(This article was published by'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.)

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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MMJ and Politicians

The only sensible drug policy politician is RP. Voting for Beavis or Butthead is a vote against American as well as sensible MMJ policy. You can lead a politician to Washington but you can't make them think! The last few are perfect examples.

Drew B's picture

That is the lie they lull

That is the lie they lull themselves to sleep with.

Sorry to say, but this story below only came to my attention today, one year after the fact.

U.S. Government Perpetrates More Heinous Evil on Native Americans


My main quibble with this question/blog post is I think it should be stated as "users" instead of "offenders."  We HAVE TO grab the horrible characterizations from the prohibitionists and regain control since clearly they are no deserving of it.

Drew B's picture

I meant no offense to Scott.

I meant no offense to Scott. I've met him and am pretty sure he's not 100% put-off by me. :-)

That said, I am positive that one of the things us reformers need to do is stop using the vocabulary of the Prohibitionists.  And you can find that advice comes from highly paid political consultants of every stripe, not just some puny person like me. *

Using the words "dirty urine" is an offense to me, if someone is trying to say a person tested positive for drugs, then that's what we need to say. Taking drugs DOES NOT make a person "dirty." The same goes for "offender." I am NOT offended that another person wants to eat too much fat, eat sugar, eat white flour, or do whatever drugs. I might, or might not, speak to them about it, given the context, the circumstances, and other variables at the time. 

As long as reformers use the mischaracterizations of the Prohibitionists we use their broken and misguided tools to "fix" things.


How Democrats and Progressives Can Win

I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I am not Libertarian. I would rather call myself an Independent. But watch this video and you can see what I mean about the vocabulary issue.

I definitely agree about

I definitely agree about "dirty" urine, and especially the term "junkies". But I don't mind the term offender. "offender" refers to one who offends drugs laws, it doesn't mean that person is offensive in general. The term is accurate. It is especially accurate in terms of federal drug laws, which mostly effect nonviolent drug traffickers who are drug offenders but not necessarily drug users. The federal government incarcerates a small percentage of drug users, which is definitely outrageous, but the biggest blow from federal drug laws goes to people who offend drug trafficking laws, or drug offenders. What other term is there?


working poor.

Drew B's picture

Good one sicntired!For the

Good one sicntired!

For the time being I don't have time to brainstorm, but I would suggest wording that notes the offensiveness of the unconstitutional and unbiblical laws themselves, while regarding the arrestee as the victim that person truly is.

maybe "offender" instead of offender

Putting quotation marks around it shows it isn't necessarily your word for it, only a term some people use, it's a way to recognize that people use a word but show some distance from it at the same time.

Ricky boy

He doesn't know the law --let alone the real-world impact of the law--and yet is running for the highest office in the land?

Good God, what's wrong with this picture?

It's terrifying to think that

It's terrifying to think that a ruthless drug warrior like Rick Santorum has no knowledge of the current marijuana laws. And he wants to make them more draconian?!?? We need a sensible, CONSERVATIVE candidate like Dr. Ron Paul to stop this insanity.

Ron Paul

I hear Dr.Paul doesn't plan to run again so this is America's last chance at drug reform for a long time.There are far too many Santorum's and far too few Ron Paul's.Prohibitionists don't want to know the truth because the truth is against them.The only argument they have is that druggies are better off in prison.I can tell you for a fact that that is not true.

Wow..that's interesting

Wow..that's interesting considering that I sat for 2 yrs on a cocaine charge where there was no violence involved, no handguns or knives. My house was raided and everyone was peaceful but I still went to prison for 20 months. I have been clean now for 7 yrs and all that is behind me, but I still remember how I was treated by the Feds, trying to coerce me into helping them, scare tactics about giving me more time, acting like i was some sort of ring leader when in reality I was a mother of 2 who was frightened out of my mind. I think it's about time we have a President who is For The People and knows that the current system(Financial, Legal, Foriegn Policy,etc) is not working. Santorim is a joke or in denial..which is worse? hmm

F R A U D !

For over 35-years, the executive and judicial branch of the government of the United States have respectively, arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned for a combined millions of years, hundreds of thousands of men and women from nearly every nation on this planet under color of the most repugnant FRAUD ever perpetrated and conducted by a government against its own people in the History of the World!  

There is no Congressional enacted federal criminal statute that would PROHIBIT, FORBID, or make it UNLAWFUL for any person at random to buy, sell, use, or abuse, drugs, narcotics, hallucinates, or controlled substances, whatever they are now or ever will be!

"WE, the people" have been tricked my friend.  How?  By linguist experts from the NIXON Administration who simply utilized toxic and seductive words of art that obscure careful analysis of their true concepts and meaning, simple as that!

Think about this for just a moment, Our Declaration of Independence and Federal Constitution for self-government has been called by intellectuals and scholars the World over as the work of GENIUS for over two-hundred years!  Do you honestly think that the Framers and Founders of this still Young Republic would have created and endorsed a Constitution for self-government that would somehow GRANT the central government the POWER to arrest, prosecute, convict, and imprison the Framers and Founders for 10-15-20 years or LIFE without parole for buying, selling, possessing, using, or abusing, their favorite recreational drink . . . TEA . . . well, do you?  I thought not!

It is not the subject matter of melons, marijuana, cabbage, cocaine, tomatoes, or TEA that is the issue here friends, its the People's Perpetual Protections Secured by the Federal Constitution Guaranteed by the Original Ten Articles of Amendment that is the issue here friends.  

Moreover, if "WE" have to have an Amendment to the Constitution to let 18-year olds vote, and to make it unlawful to burn the American flag which stands for the right to burn it, to make it unlawful for folks of the same sex to marry, to sell, buy, manufacture, or possess alcohol, how did "WE" ever let them convince "US" that "THEY" don't have to have an Amendment to the Constitution to make it UNLAWFUL or a federal-crime for any person at random to pull a weed and smoke it?  May I suggest that "WE, the people" can END the government's lucifarian and moralistic "WAR on DRUGS" any time "WE" want because "WE" are the government!!?  Well,"WE" can and "WE" will!!

"Keep on truckin' friends"! the old geezer

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