Big Government gone wrong.
"It's about time."
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., believes that Congress is "about 10 years behind the public." So Paul said on "Fox News Sunday" as he argued against incarcerating marijuana users.
As recreational drugs go, marijuana is relatively benign. Unlike alcohol, it doesn't stimulate violence or destroy livers. Unlike tobacco, it doesn't cause lung cancer and heart disease. The worst you can say is that it produces intense, unreasoning panic. Not in users, but in critics.
Forty-odd (exceedingly odd, I might add) years ago, who would have envisioned a national war against drugs?
Seventy-five years, millions of arrests and billions of dollars later, we are still living with the consequences of that ignorant, ill-considered decision, which nationalized a policy that punishes peaceful people and squanders taxpayer money in a blind vendetta against a plant.
Forty years ago, the United States locked up fewer than 200 of every 100,000 Americans. Then President Nixon declared war on drugs.
In 1993, a jury convicted Clarence Aaron for his role in two planned cocaine deals. Aaron was a 23-year-old college student. It was his first offense. Unlike his co-defendants, Aaron was not a career drug dealer. He didn't know enough to plead guilty and testify against others to win a reduced sentence. He perjured himself in court. A federal judge sentenced Aaron to three terms of life without parole for a first-time nonviolent drug offense.
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