Senator Rand Paul: Marijuana Smoking Presidents "Got Lucky"

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Republican leader says, "a lot of poor kids... don't get lucky. They  don't have good attorneys. They go to jail for these things."

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has introduced legislation with Democrat Patrick Leahy of Virginia to minimize mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent marijuana possessions and today opined that past presidents that have admitted smoking marijuana "got lucky."

"The last two presidents could conceivably been put in jail for their drug use... It would have ruined their lives. They got lucky." His comments were made on the "Fox News Sunday" show and were accompanied by a standard anti-drug use statement: "I don't want to encourage people to do it."

Paul's statements about marijuana use and removing harsh mandatory minimum penalties were accompanied by standard drug war generalizations that somewhat watered down the pro-marijuana stance he seemed to have taken.

"I don't want to encourage people to do it. I think even marijuana is a bad thing to do... I think it takes away your incentive to work and show up and do the things you should be doing. I don't think it's a good idea. I don't want to promote that.

"But I also don't want to put people in jail who make a mistake. There are a lot of young people who do this and then later on, in their 20's, they grow up, they get married, and they quit doing things like this. I don't want to put them in jail for the rest of their lives."

Paul supports reducing penalties for non-violent marijuana users convicted of crimes. Why? For political advantage, of course. Later in this interview Paul reveals his motivation: "...someone like myself, I think, could appeal to young people, independents and moderates, because, many of them do think it is a mistake to put people in jail for marijuana use and throw away the key."

Paul and Leahy introduced Senate Bill 691, the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, to allow the use of a 'safety valve' clause to empower judges to issue a more lenient sentence in a greater number of federal drug cases. Currently the safety valve is applicable in 25% of those federal cases; mandatory minimums require lengthy sentences for non-violent, and sometimes inadvertent, marijuana offenses.

Federal cases in Michigan have put citizens who were abiding by medical marijuana laws in the cross hairs of federal agents who ignore those state regulations. Federal prison populations have grown 55% since 2000 and spending on federal prisons account for nearly one-quarter the entire Justice Department budget.

read more about The Compassion Chronicles and editor Rick Thompson in an article from "USA Today":

www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/22/expo-to-educate-about-medical-marijuana/2011777/

Source: The Compassion Chronicles

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