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Possible election fall-out

Disturbing article from the excellent new The Marshall Project: Right and Left Unite on Drug Sentencing. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

There’s a big bi-partisan push for sentencing reform. What could go wrong is that Senator Charles Grassley will now be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Current mandatory minimum sentences play a vital role in reducing crime,” Grassley said in May, in one of several statements explaining his opposition to the bill. […]

So far, Grassley hasn’t indicated he’s changing his mind. “I’ve raised concerns about people pushing importing [sic] heroin into the country, of having their sentence reduced, I think you gotta’ be very careful what sort of a signal you’re sending,” he recently told Slate.

Grassley has repeatedly highlighted what he calls a “heroin epidemic” as a reason to preserve mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. But federal data on heroin use does not support those claims.

His press secretary says he has “not yet laid out an agenda” on criminal justice for the coming session. In a statement announcing his new position, Grassley highlighted his continued focus on strict enforcement of drug laws. “He’s a true advocate for victims of crime and is a leader in the fight to keep illegal drugs out of the hands of young people.”

We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but it’s a real concern.

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17 comments to Possible election fall-out

  • darkcycle

    Is that guy still in the Senate? Seriously, he should be in a nursing home somewhere with some nurse wiping the spittle from his chin. With a bunch of other babbling old white guys. Wait. I just described the Senate, didn’t I?

  • Howard

    .
    .

    “He’s a true advocate for victims of crime and is a leader in the fight to keep illegal drugs out of the hands of young people.” [emphasis added]

    Really? Well, Chuck, not only have you and your ilk failed miserably trying to keep illegal drugs out of the hands of young people, but also the mouths, veins, and lungs of young (and old) people as well. And in the process of your well known failure, you’ve done an admiral job of trampling the rights of everyone. Not too mention wasting billions of dollars of taxpayer money along the way. Such a fiscal conservative.

    Most failed leaders of certain “fights” get replaced (in disgrace). But not Calcified Chuck, serving proudly since 1981. Of course, he is 81, so…

    I hear a wheezing and gasping sound. Normally that’s distressing. But in the case of out-of-touch prohibitionists, not so much.

  • claygooding

    When they should be relegating prohibition supporters into obscure jobs we get their longest seated supporter as Chairman over the Judiciary Committee where he can block any reform bill on MMJ that could remove marijuana from Schedule 1,,,the money has spoken,,the war on marijuana will continue as far as changing the law is concerned.
    No change will ever reach the floor as long as Grassley’s committee has anything to say about it.

  • Frank W.

    I’ve seen Chucky the G plenty of times on Cspan. Seriously Old School (before the old school was built etc.). He’ll steer any debate to Evil Pot.

  • Servetus

    As an evangelical Baptist and a member of the “Family”, Senator Chuck Grassley can be expected to ignore separation of church and state and oppose all attempts at drug law reform, just as he opposes efforts to reform American health care.

    Grassley objects to legislation by lying about it, because that’s how he rolls. Here he compares smoking cannabis to murder, rape, and child abuse:

    5 December 2012 — After several thousand years, civilized societies have failed to eliminate murder, rape, or child abuse. Nor have they eliminated organized crime, the manufacture of counterfeit money, or genocide. But no one seriously sees these failures as justification for surrender. Illegal drug use costs society at least as much as any of these social ills.

    Here he lies about marijuana safety:

    11 Sept 2013 — Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) claimed that marijuana prohibition was based on “what science tells us about this dangerous and addictive drug.”

    And in the same piece he echoes Kevin Sabet, and lies about marijuana commercialization:

    …“some experts claim [these laws] will create a Big Marijuana industry, including a Starbucks of marijuana.” “…[w]e’re about to create Big Marijuana by allowing the commercial production, retail sales and mass advertising of this drug similarly to how we have had Big Tobacco for the last hundred years.”

    Here he lies about health care reform:

    5 August 2009 — Grassley cited Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) [glioma] brain tumor. Grassley said that in countries with government-run health care, Kennedy “would not get the care he gets here because of his age.” Instead, the government would decide to spend health care resources on younger people “who can contribute to the economy”

    Here Senator Grassley lies by blaming the far left for “death panel” propaganda:

    17 August 2009 — Dylan Ratigan asked Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) about “death panels” as part of reform. “I see that as nothing more than a distortion coming from far-left with bringing up these end-of-life concerns,” Grassley said, “which are not the issue that we ought to be talking about.”

    At 81, Grassley faces glioma, senile dementia and other possible health problems due to his advanced age, many of which could likely have been ameliorated by cannabinoids. In this way, he’s like the anti-vaxxers of the 19th century who opposed smallpox vaccinations for religious reasons, and who paid for their ignorance, stupidity and lies by dying of smallpox.

    Well, here’s a pox on thee, Grassley.

  • Francis

    Grassley has repeatedly highlighted what he calls a “heroin epidemic” as a reason to preserve mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses.

    Classic drug warrior logic. Bizarrely citing a failure of our existing drug policies as an argument in favor of doing more of the same.

    • Charles Darwin was wrong, wrong, wrong

      .
      .

      I’m kind of partial to their argument that presumes that there’s a sizable cohort of people who are so law abiding that they refuse to enjoy cannabis because of their deep seated respect for the law. So law abiding that if allowed to enjoy cannabis legally will promptly transmogrify into scofflaws, get in their car and go out driving impaired and causes mayhem and carnage. There’s never any explanation of why this invisible cohort holds such deep seated respect for State and local law but don’t mind violating Federal law.

  • SeenOnTheInterwebs

    .
    .

    “You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
    Upon the fields of Marley
    You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
    As we walk in fields of (Acapulco) gold . . . “

  • Ours has been a battle with words. We that kept our qwerties sharpened and our minds ablaze (take that as you will) owe it all to the wordsmiths and cognitive freedom fighters of many movements.

    Literature for me has often been the mine in which practical philosophic truths have been found and treasured. One of my favorite authors has long been Ursula LeGuin.

    As a wee lad of 20-something I had the pleasure to lay in my hammock on my porch in Thailand, smoking the good Thai ganja, and read LeGuin’s The Word for World is Forest. Not long after that I had my LSD inspired epiphany about not liking being a part of the machine bombing little brown farmers.

    Ursula… a beautiful mind and a true American treasure, rec’d the Nat’l Book Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. Her speech could have been written for us folks in drug policy reform:

    http://www.themarysue.com/ursula-k-le-guin-national-book-awards/

  • thelbert

    here is an article about brain cancer, pot and radition: http://tinyurl.com/luo7lh2

  • Truthfully I feel as though it is a danger to the safety and well being of our country to have Senator Charles Grassley as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during this period in our country’s crisis.

    It’s a crisis to have the United States of America leading the world in the statistic of: highest number of incarcerated citizens of any civilized country or nation. The USA, the land of the free and the home of the brave. I stood and pledged allegiance to that flag every day for eight years while going through grade school.

    Senator Charles Grassley is helping the United States become something that makes me regret those eight years of pledges. He is not fit by reason of his destructive and insensible position to support prohibition and heavy incarceration despite all good reason and common sense not to. I think he is unfit to be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I don’t think what’s left of our justice system can hold up to him. With him as chairman and that woman who is the asset forfeiture queen as Attorney General, this country sounds like it is heading into the dark ages.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Have you ever heard of Strom Thurmand? He was one of the U.S. Senators from South Carolina for 48 years. I was a little bit disappointed as I couldn’t find his acceptance speech for his 1948 nomination as the Dixiecrat nomination for POTUS. It may well be political correctness run amuck because it was one of the most dastardly pieces of racism ever spoken. It may be very disturbing but burying it doesn’t help to keep it from repeating.

      Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrat Days: Newsreel — 90 second video, “sanitized” clip from the speech mentioned above in the last 20 seconds. Yes, I do understand the commonly accepted definition of the word sanitized.

      Strom Thurmond on states’ rights 23 seconds

      Senator J. Strom Thurmond fights nomination of Abe Fortas 1968 110 seconds
      Senator Thurman’s hatred of black people is still screwing our Country because there are so many idiots who are confused and think that it was State’s rights, not a bunch of racist crackers that was the cause of racism in the South.

      I am not prejudiced against the Negro. When I was governor, I did more to help the Negroes in our State than any previous Governor, and I think you can find Negro leaders in the State who will attest to this fact.
      ——————————
      “I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there’s not enough troops in the army to force the southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.”
      Strom Thurmond’s Swimming Pool 15 seconds

      None of this post should be construed as an endorsement or a call for acceptance of Senator Grassley’s heinous opinions.I’m attempting to point out that our Country has endured worse and still managed to make significant progress in the furtherance of individual civil rights.

    • B. Snow

      ChuckyG can barely stay awake in committee meetings, and frequently has a heck of a hard time reading the prepared statements his staffers have to hand him (from the chairs behind him) as inconspicuously as possible…

      Because he can’t keep a stack of paper organized well enough for him to reference when he realizes its his turn to act *Concerned* = in a manner that is pretty nuch ‘crying wolf’ in meeting after meeting.

      I have no idea who actually believes that crap = beyond the handful of people (roughly) his age in old-folks homes.

      The people who don’t remember his previous ‘crying wolf’ about each successive topic or issue that comes before “his committee”… *sigh*

      Fortunately, he regularly either makes no sense whatsoever or he makes it readily apparent that his views are offensive, prejudiced (or flat-out racist), completely denying accepted reality & science.

      As well as the overall impression that he formed all his opinions some time before the turn of the millennium…

      You can also tell the last time he was fully coherent about modern or “pop culture” was the mid to late 90’s. And that his hobbies focus on bitching about “hip-hop” (the music & the culture) which he doesn’t realize aren’t the same thing -NOR inextricably linked. And that = rap music being played in a car driving thru a neighborhood doesn’t actually literally *mystically* force teenager’s pants to start sagging = via a satanic/pagan force of evil.

      And lest we forget the likelihood that his biggest pet-peeve is “young men with unacceptably long hair” – those same “damned hippies”- ruining the country with all the tech advancements that make it possible for him to pretend he is still doing his job…

      Thus hiding that his staffers basically use him as a meat-puppet, that YES – it really is that technology that’s (almost literally) keeping the puppeteer’s hand out of his ass… So to speak.

  • jean valjean

    Where’s impeachment when it’s really needed? Oh, it only applies to sexual impropriety or attempts at healthcare reform.

    • Windy

      Impeachment of Obama is off the table because, as Boehner said, “Have you met Biden?”
      My preference would be arresting Obama’s entire administration and Boehner and McConnell, too. Then have a new election for president, instead of going down the line of people already in the government to fill the seat.

  • Servetus

    Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.

    ― Étienne de La Boétie, 1552-3

  • thelbert

    i was listening to the public radio and learned about this web site about inland check points and the people who like to defy them: https://www.checkpointusa.org/