Gary Johnson Agrees With Eric Holder. Sort Of.

"Well, I never thought I'd agree with that guy."Credit: foter-Gage-Skidmore-CC-BY-NC-SAU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder denounced America's “outsized, unnecessarily large prison population" yesterday and called for a shift in the federal government's approach to drug-related crimes and mandatory minimum sentences. Holder's statements have created a buzz among many lawmakers, and has even found some otherwise unlikely allies. Namely, former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM).

Johnson's Communications Director, Joe Hunter, explains the former governor's take on the war on drugs and Holder's announcement.

Reason: What is Gov. Johnson's current position on the war on drugs?

Hunter: Gov. Johnson's position remains that the so-called war on drugs is an abject failure.  The prison overcrowding, costs and discrimination that Attorney General Holder referenced in his announcement are all largely the result of a modern day Prohibition that has worked no better, and in many ways is far more harmful, than the one America rejected 80 years ago.

Reason: Is Holder's announcement a step in the right direction?

Hunter: Holder's announcement is a very small step in the right direction, but it does not even come close to addressing the problem.  In reality, the number of Americans who are arrested for drug offenses and to whom his directive will apply is only a small slice of those who are being prosecuted every day. And, his directive does nothing to reform the underlying and flawed drug laws.  Legalization of marijuana is the first step that will really begin to make a difference.

Reason: What does Gary Johnson like or dislike about the policy/announcement?  

Hunter: Obviously, anything that reduces the unfair and unnecessary impacts of wrong-headed drug laws is good.  Likewise, to the extent his announcement helps stimulate a meaningful discussion of mandatory minimum sentences, it is helpful. However, given the very limited practical effects of this policy change, there is always a concern that it will distract us from the need for truly meaningful drug law reform. 

Johnson was the 2012 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, and current chairman of Our America Initiative, whose aim is to "redefinie the liberty movement in America."

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...there is always a concern that it will distract us from the need for truly meaningful drug law reform.

    In this case the good could get in the way of the perfect.

  • Adam||

    I'd rather say, in this case the "very small step in the right direction" could get in the way of actually doing something that will make a noticeable difference to more than a handful of lives, leaving most of the lives ruined in ruins.

  • Hugh Akston||

    However, given the very limited practical effects of this policy change, there is always a concern that it will distract us from the need for truly meaningful drug law reform.

    Isn't that kind of the point?

  • Loki||

    Yeah, that sounds like a feature, not a bug. At least as far as the drug warrior asshats are concerned.

  • creech||

    "Holder's announcement is a very small step in the right direction, but it does not even come close to addressing the problem."

    The esteemed Fox commentator, Bill O'Rielly, begs to differ. On his show last night he was proclaiming Armaggedon, pushers selling your kids heroin, and other b.s. I really believe O'Rielly would seek the
    death sentence for anyone selling even an ounce of marijuana. But alcohol, already being legal but causing more deaths than other drugs, is not something O'Rielly is willing to condemn and prohibit.

  • Almanian!||

    I recently started watching O'Reilly again - briefly - mostly for Dennis Miller on Wednesdays, but then cause it seemed he'd come back from his grand mal.

    He's heading back to Derpville apace of late.

    And while I admire his absolute confidence in himself, troubling and scary though it is, I've stopped watching again because he's just so WRONG so often.

  • Calidissident||

    "But alcohol, already being legal but causing more deaths than other drugs, is not something O'Rielly is willing to condemn and prohibit."

    He's Irish, what do you expect?

  • Loki||

    He was probably drunk when he said all that shit.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, I've agreed with words that have come out of Holder's mouth or even Obama's. Usually not the words in the order they used, but sometimes little phrases are okay. But words are worse than useless when they come out of politicians mouths, especially when even the words are inadequate.

    Want to scale down the WoD? Then change the laws, don't promise to change your arbitrary enforcement of unjust laws.

  • Almanian!||

    But we're not going to enforce the law. We just want it on the books, ProL.

    We're just going to enforce the law for the REALLY bad cases - not for everyday people.

    We're going to enforce the law fairly and apply it to everyone.

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse! We face an existential threat - nothing less than the maximum sentence in ALL cases!

  • Loki||

    Then change the laws, don't promise to change your arbitrary enforcement of unjust laws.

    But without arbitrary enforcement of unjust laws how will they selectively punish their enemies? Besides having the capability to randomly lock up anyone on a whim is the closest thing they ever get to orgasm.

  • A Serious Man||

    Then change the laws, don't promise to change your arbitrary enforcement of unjust laws.

    The Leviathan reserves the right to punish people arbitrarily. Because fuck you, that's why.

  • Bobarian||

    Real difference is Holder wants to release these people out of jail on a 'Fast and Furious' trip to Mexico.

  • MappRapp||

    Holder is a d bag and is corrupt as the day is long.

    www.AnonTactics.tk

  • JeremyR||

    Well said, anonbot

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