Another indictment against the unconstitutional and insane "War on Drugs" that has corrupted our society and damaged families more than actual drug use...
quote:Prison for You, but Not for Me By John Stossel
Our elected officials say they are just like the rest of us. But that's a myth.
"The king can do no wrong" is often closer to the truth.
Consider drug use. In 1992, when presidential candidate Bill Clinton was asked about his, he said, "I have never broken the laws of my country." It was one of those lawyerly language tricks, which was revealed when a reporter later asked him about laws in other countries.
"I have never broken a state law," he said. "When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it and didn't inhale."
There was a smirk on his face; it was clear drug use was no big deal to him. Remember when he played the sax on TV? What got him the biggest laugh that night was talking about smoking dope: "That's how I learned to inhale, by playing my saxophone," he said, grinning. "You blow out and then you have to inhale." Everyone applauded.
What fun. His vice president, Al Gore, did drugs, too -- "as a student, a few times in the army" -- and so did other officials, like former Senator Bill Bradley and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. Our current president simply admitted to "mistakes" in his youth, and his father, George H.W. Bush, when asked if he had ever smoked grass, replied, "No, but I'd hate to speak for my kids."
It's something to chuckle about. After all, more than 30 million Americans have tried cocaine, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use. Ninety million Americans have used marijuana at least once. "It is not a big deal," said Bill Clinton.
But if it's no big deal, why did he and his vice president push for tougher drug laws with longer jail time, and why are we arresting more people than ever, more than 1.5 million Americans a year, on drug charges? The biggest category of arrest is possession of marijuana. We arrest more people for marijuana than for rape, robbery, murder, and aggravated assault combined. Eight out of ten drug arrests are just for possession -- for exactly what the politicians admitted to doing. Ha ha. We'll smoke grass and joke about it, but you, we'll lock up. Hypocrites.
The hypocrisy also comes out when their friends and family get caught.
Likely 2008 presidential candidate John McCain, R-Ariz., has advocated tougher drug laws, but in the early 1990s, his wife, Cindy, stole Percocet and Vicodin from a charity. She was not prosecuted. Percocet and Vicodin are Schedule II drugs, in the same legal category as opium. Each pill theft carries a penalty of one year in prison and a monetary fine. But Mrs. McCain entered a pretrial diversion program and escaped without a criminal record.
The son of Duke "Death Penalty for Drug Kingpins" Cunningham, R-Calif., was convicted for possession of 400 pounds of marijuana. Mother Jones reported that in court, the congressman cried and pleaded for mercy, explaining that his son "has a good heart. He works hard." The congressman -- who denounced "soft-on-crime liberal judges" and railed against "reduced mandatory-minimum sentences for drug trafficking" (and who himself is now in prison for taking bribes) -- won for his son the mercy he fought to deny others: half the federal "mandatory" minimum sentence.
All too often, officials protect themselves and their families from the punishments they set up for the rest of us. Using drugs might be a crime for you, but it's a joke for someone named Bush or Clinton.
Our rulers make laws to control and punish you and your family for doing the very acts they flaunted in their youth.
Smoking pot is not a big deal. If the politicians have enough common sense to know that their lives shouldn't be ruined over a little drug use, they should also have enough common decency to recognize that neither should anyone else's.
It is despicable to see elected leaders take such a hypocritical stance on drugs. And I must admit to my shame, the Democrats are far worse on this issue than the Republicans.
Posts: 228 | Registered: May 2006
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That is because the degree of difference between Dems and Reps is actually not too far apart. It is really about various special interest lobbies that funnel millions of dollars into both parties campaigns to ensure that the status quo on this "war" continues to the profit of the special interests at the expense of the freedom of the rest of us.
Posts: 7543 | Registered: Nov 2003
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To play the devil's advocate, aren't all of these arrests generally for actual drug dealers, as opposed to recreational users? Is this not analagous to the difference between buying a bootleg videotape off the street versus selling them for a living?
Posts: 7629 | Registered: Mar 2003
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quote:To play the devil's advocate, aren't all of these arrests generally for actual drug dealers, as opposed to recreational users? Is this not analagous to the difference between buying a bootleg videotape off the street versus selling them for a living?
No, because the sentences for drug offenses are tied into the quantity of drugs that was found on the person arrested. The question of "intent to distribute" is defined by the amount of the controlled substances seized in the arrest.
I'm pretty sure that 400 lbs. of marijuana would constitute "intent to distribute".
Speaking of which, has anyone heard anything from fotwennytime?
Posts: 1771 | Registered: Oct 2004
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quote:No, because the sentences for drug offenses are tied into the quantity of drugs that was found on the person arrested. The question of "intent to distribute" is defined by the amount of the controlled substances seized in the arrest.
In most states, the amount can only create a permissible inference of intent to distribute, which means juries may, but do not have, to find intent based on quantity. When we prosecuted for possession w/ intent, we always had other indicators: packaging into single doses, scales, cash, and, very often, exclamations such as "Damn, that was my Corvette money." (Many drug dealers are stupid.)
Kieth Richards got out of a possession w/ intent rap in Canada based on the ludicrous extent of his heroin habit.
We had one guy caught with two rocks of cocaine. The idiot admitted he was going to smoke one and sell the other.
He was far below the intent threshold, but we had a prima facie case for intent based on his statement. We took pity and took his case under advisement. If he stays clean a year, he will be found guilty of mere possession.
Oh, and in many states, first time mere possession offenders are eligible for diversion.
quote:I'm pretty sure that 400 lbs. of marijuana would constitute "intent to distribute".
All that being said, I don't see any jury in the world not finding intent on 400 pounds.
Posts: 2061 | Registered: Dec 2004
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