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September 2008
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The futility of Presidential drug war speculation

“bullet” Real Commander Needed for the War on Drugs by Neal Peirce

Will America’s ill-starred “war on drugs” and its expanding prison culture make it into the presidential campaign?
Standard wisdom says “no way.”
We may have the world’s highest rate of incarceration — with only 5 percent of global population, 25 percent of prisoners worldwide. We may be throwing hundreds of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders, many barely of age, behind bars — one reason a stunning one out of every 100 Americans is now imprisoned. We may have created a huge “prison-industrial complex” of prison builders, contractors and swollen criminal justice bureaucracies. […]
A serious set of problems, a shadow over our national future? No doubt. But do our politicians talk much about alternatives? No way — they typically find it too risky to be attacked as “soft on crime.”
But let’s imagine — what if major party nominees Barack Obama and John McCain were pressed to state their positions on drugs and incarceration?

“bullet” Obama’s Biden Pick Signals ‘More of the Same’ Stupid Drug Policies by Paul Armentano

Voters who hoped that Barack Obama’s call for “change” would include revamping U.S. drug policy are finding themselves with reasons to be skeptical. […]
[recap of Biden’s atrocities] […]
So should progressives cite Obama’s tapping of Biden as reason to abandon all hope for drug law reform? Not necessarily, though the notable absence of the subject at the Democratic National Convention will likely give some folks — this author included — yet another reason to be cynical.
Bottom line: No administration since the Carter administration has proactively taken steps to liberalize federal drug penalties, and there’s little indication that Obama and Biden will possess either the desire or the political will to buck this long-running trend.

The Presidential candidate is the last place to look for drug policy reform.
… or even a discussion about it.
You want a discussion about drug policy reform, come to Pete’s couch.
It is interesting, however, to speculate about the planned press conference that Ron Paul is holding on Wednesday morning at 10:30, for which Baldwin, Barr, McKinney, and Nader have supposedly been invited.
That group, as a whole, could actually talk about drug policy.

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