Via Drug Policy Alliance:
Representative Mark Souder (R-IN) has introduced a bill that would subject thousands of low-level, nonviolent methamphetamine offenders to long mandatory minimum prison sentences. These penalties are even worse than the ones enacted for crack in the 1980s. Breaking up families and wasting taxpayer dollars will do nothing to reduce the problems associated with methamphetamine abuse.
Please click on the link below to take action. We need to flood Congress with faxes and emails. Souder’s goal is to pass his bill before Thanksgiving. The last time we went toe-to-toe with Souder, we stopped his plan to let the White House spend taxpayer money on “attack” ads against marijuana reform ballot measures and Congressional candidates who support reform. With your help we will beat him this time too!
Take action now.
Souder’s bill, the Meth Epidemic Elimination Act, would lower the amount of methamphetamine it takes to get a five-year mandatory sentence from 5 grams to 3 grams (about a sugar packet’s worth). It would lower the amount of methamphetamine it takes to get a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence from 50 grams to 5 grams (about a thimbelful). These are even worse than the penalties enacted for crack cocaine in the 1980s, which devastated tens of thousands of families and wasted tens of billions of dollars. Although the new mandatory minimums would not apply to simple possession, they would be so low that many methamphetamine users would be charged with “possession with intent to distribute” just for possessing a weekend’s worth of methamphetamine.
Congressman Souder is the biggest drug war extremist in Congress. He controls a key Congressional Committee and is at the center of all drug war evil. His 1998 amendment to the Higher Education Act, for instance, has kept more than 160,000 Americans from getting college aid because of drug convictions. Two years ago he tried to give the White House the ability to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money on “attack” ads against marijuana reform ballot measures and Congressional candidates who support reform. We beat him back and stopped that proposal, along with a proposal that would have allowed the White House to punish states that enact medical marijuana laws.
I had already commented on the title (Elimination?) earlier, but I didn’t know all the details of the bill then. Naturally, if it comes from Souder, it’s got to be a mess.
We must stop Souder. Regardless of your views on meth (and I think it can be a pretty dangerous drug if abused), excessive madatory minimums don’t work. They’re costly to taxpayers and society. This will cause tons of problems for years to come if it passes (and you know that Congress are too whimpy to vote down so-called “tough on drugs” measures.
Next. It’s time to get rid of people like Souder and Sensenbrenner. I don’t mean shoot them or anything. But these sado-moralists are heads of crucial committees. We need to vote them out of office, or change the party in the House so they’re no longer committee chairs.