Ron Paul

Voter Guide for Critics of the War on Drugs

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The Drug Policy Alliance has a new voter guide–the first of its kind, as far as I know–that rates members of the House based on their positions vis-à-vis the war on drugs. It declares F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) a "villain" (no surprise there) and identifies nine "heroes": John Conyers (D-Mich.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), and Bobby Scott (D-Va.). Those choices were based on several criteria, including support for reform legislation that never made it to the floor, but the guide focuses on six votes:

1. House Vote 245—Amendment to HR 2862 on Justice Assistance Grants: increasing funding to the corrupt and troubled Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program (DPAN [Drug Policy Alliance Network] opposed);

2. House Vote 255—Amendment to HR 2862 on Medical Marijuana: prohibiting the DEA from undermining state medical marijuana laws (DPAN supported);

3. House Vote 264—Amendment to HR 2862 on Racial Conviction Distribution: requiring local narcotics taskforces that receive federal money to ban racial profiling and report their convictions by race (DPAN supported);

4. House Vote 329—Amendment to HR 3057 on the Andean Counterdrug Initiative: cutting funding to the counterproductive Andean Counterdrug Initiative (DPAN supported);

5. House Vote 344—Amendment to HR 3058 on the National Youth Anti-Drug Campaign: increasing funding to the failed anti-marijuana media campaign (DPAN opposed); and

6. House Vote 435—S 45: Drug Addiction Treatment: lifting the 30-patient limit on group practices for treating people who struggle with addiction to heroin and other opioids through buprenorphine-assisted approaches (DPAN supported).

According to DPA's Bill Piper, "One is about states' rights, another is about the deregulation of drug treatment, three are about increased funding for federal programs, and one is about racial profiling. Five out of these six issues could be seen as boosting conservative goals, yet Democrats were overwhelmingly more likely to vote the right way than Republicans."

[via the Drug War Chronicle]

NEXT: Congress' Message to the Nation's Youth: Do Your Drugs Before You Start College

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  1. So, I wonder how these guys stack up on the report cards of GOA, NRA, JPFO, etc.
    I’d be willing to bet they’re gun banners one and all.
    If these f*ing polititians aren’t trying to
    control what we watch, ingest, use for defense,
    etc. (i.e. control our lives to the extent possible) they just aren’t happy.

    I guess the choice left up to the individual voter
    is simply to decide WHICH liberties he’s most
    willing to give up since they are all after one or
    more of them.

  2. So, I wonder how these guys stack up…

    Jeff Flake is a decent guy.

    In 1992, Jeff and his family moved back to Arizona where he was named Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute. In this role, Jeff worked to promote a conservative philosophy of less government, more freedom, and individual responsibility.

  3. Yes, Flake seems like one of the few politicians who isn’t a total jackass, as I’ve pointed out around here a number of times.

    Unfortunately, he’s pledged a term limit on himself, so he’s not planning on running again.

  4. “I’d be willing to bet they’re gun banners one and all.”

    I’ll take that bet – how much money do you have? I’ll match any sum you wager. (Shhh, everyone! Nobody tell him about Ron Paul!)

  5. Lowdog,

    That’s terrible news. In his votes and proposals, Jeff Flake is a consistant defender of the principles of limited government.

  6. Unfortunately, he’s pledged a term limit on himself, so he’s not planning on running again.

    I agree with term limits in general. But it makes no sense to martyr yourself on the term limit stake. You’re better off fighting from within and simply making term limits a top item in your agenda. If you consistently push the legistation and vote for it, you aren’t being unprincipled, even if you stay in office for 50 years.

  7. Off topic here, but anybody else see this story? It was on my local news last night. I can’t imagine better PR for the WOD. Why do drug dealers hate puppies?
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11132226/

  8. I’ll admit I’d like to play soccer with Sheila Jackson Lee’s head most days, but dammit if she isn’t doing something worthy of praise (albeit the only thing).

  9. The term limit thing with Flake is just further proof that he’s actually read the constitution and understands the thoughts of our founding fathers. In their minds, being a politian was simply your duty, not your career. You get in, do what you believe is right for a while, then go back to the private sector to live your life.

    Most of these other assholes think it’s some divine calling.

    (Generalising here, of course, but I think ya’ll catch my implications.)

  10. “Off topic here, but anybody else see this story? It was on my local news last night. I can’t imagine better PR for the WOD. Why do drug dealers hate puppies?”

    It’s only “good PR for the WoD” for the vast minority of people with no understanding of supply and demand nor understanding of the idiocy that was Prohibition.

    Oh, yeah, that’s right…

  11. [quote=Kip]Off topic here, but anybody else see this story? It was on my local news last night. I can’t imagine better PR for the WOD. Why do drug dealers hate puppies?
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11132226/

    Comment by: Kip at February 3, 2006 01:15 PM
    [/quote]

    Why would this be good PR for the WOD (besides the obvious assumption that the populace would think that the WOD is to protect puppies)? Is anybody here denying the various drug cartels are pieces of shit but that the WOD is wrong headed? It’s also not like the cartels themselves would benefit from the end of the war on drugs, so they both have something to gain from keeping it going.

    I have an idea, how about pushing for drug legalization/decriminalization while pushing for bounties on the heads and members of various criminal organizations to give incentives for DEA/FBI or even a third party like Blackwater to hunt them down even when they’re no longer threats?

  12. Maybe as a follow up to the puppy story they could run a piece on animals and farmers sickened or killed by the tons of herbicide we’ve dumped on Colombia.

  13. “Maybe as a follow up to the puppy story they could run a piece on animals and farmers sickened or killed by the tons of herbicide we’ve dumped on Colombia.”

    Don’t expect to see that in the MSM, let alone Fox News. They all have a vested interest to keep this travesty going, and they can’t let it be ruined by a bunch of poor Columbians.

  14. “Maybe as a follow up to the puppy story they could run a piece on animals and farmers sickened or killed by the tons of herbicide we’ve dumped on Colombia.”

    There is an interesting article related to that. Apparently the coca farmers in Colombia are using an old agriculture technique so that the herbicide does not harm the coca plant. Basically, every time they spray the fields with herbicide it kills everything but the coca plant, which yields stronger cocaine because the coca plant does not have to compete for nutrients.

    Link to the article: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.11/columbia.html

  15. …herbicide it kills everything but the coca plant…

    Hot damn, RoundUp Ready coca, fucking Monsanto’s thought of everything. 🙂

  16. I think term limits are a great idea, and I also think keeping your promises to the voters is a great idea. But Lowdog will be pleased to hear that Jeff Flake has decided to break his promise and keep running for re-election.

  17. Actually, for any rational person, I believe the WOD is the actual CAUSE of any said puppy abuse. The WOD creates the need for smuggling.

    The Govt is to blame for harming those puppies.

  18. “Maybe as a follow up to the puppy story they could run a piece on animals and farmers sickened or killed by the tons of herbicide we’ve dumped on Colombia.”

    Don’t expect to see that in the MSM, let alone Fox News. They all have a vested interest to keep this travesty going, and they can’t let it be ruined by a bunch of poor Columbians.

    Explain how the mainstream media & Fox have a vested interest in that.

  19. Do You sorry bunch of sadistic suckers have a positive thought a day?
    You suck up all the so called news and you just succumb to the sad negativity of it all.
    Think Positive, You are still vertical in this world

  20. Why do drug dealers hate puppies?

    Why does anyone still believe anything the DEA has to say?

    It’s too bad the Constitution doesn’t mention anything like a “right to privacy,” because it’d be the best of the many reasons why the WOD is illegal.

  21. Mr. F. Le Mur sez,

    “It’s too bad the Constitution doesn’t mention anything like a ‘right to privacy,’ because it’d be the best of the many reasons why the WOD is illegal.”

    Oh, but it does!

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” -Amendment 4, US Constitution

    “No person … shall be compelled in any
    criminal case to be a witness against himself…” -Amendment 5, US Constitution

    While I would conclude that, taken together, these two provisions do not establish a broad, general “right to privacy,” they do establish a right to privacy for acts and information that the government would have to commit trespass to determine. The right is abridged whenever the trespass would be “reasonable,” but the definition of “reasonable” (warranted, justified by probable cause, sworn before a court) IS given, and the standard for official violation of privacy is pretty high (if only our elected leaders would respect it!).

    I think that there really IS “something like” a right to privacy in the Constitution. Indeed, I would go so far to say that the Constitution protects a right to privacy, subject to specific limitations. Because of this, I think it is also safe to say that the Constitution necessarily implies a presumption of privacy, much as it implies a presumption of liberty. (If you think about it, liberty and privacy go hand-in-hand; it is hard to imagine broad, true liberty in a human society, without the ability to keep some things out of public view. “The Invisible Man” illustrates the argument that being completely invisible, thus able to act without having to take responsibility, is the ultimate liberty and the ultimate, terrible power.) Obviously, the goal of the Constitution in general is to limit the government and uphold individual liberty. Just as obviously, to me at least, the goal of the provisions quoted above is to safeguard personal privacy — at least against government intrusion. So in cases that push the envelope, I would hope that the Supreme Court would give the benefit of the doubt to the presumption of privacy, and not let the government violate a citizen’s privacy merely because that is the convenient or efficient thing to do, but only as necessary to carry out a properly warranted search or seizure. The point is that it is UNREASONABLE to violate individual privacy unless someone is personally suspected, with sworn, probable cause, of committing a serious offense. Otherwise, the government is to leave hands off.

    I agree that, in a just world, the right to (and general presumption of) privacy should be a cornerstone of the compelling argument against the War on Drugs. So should the Constitution’s clear presumption of liberty. So why isn’t it, already?

    I don’t know about you, but I actually hold out a little bit of hope (not much, but a little), that reservations about stare decicis, which figured so prominently in the hearings prior to Justice Alito’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, could someday figure prominently in the overturning of court precedents that ran counter to the presumption of liberty, the presumption/right to privacy, and a common-sense interpretation of the Commerce Clause. It’s a scary thing for the Roe supporters, to think that their favorite decision might be overturned, although, having read the decision, I cannot see how Justices would negate the right to privacy I mentioned above, on which Roe relies. I think Roe is safe on that basis, though time will tell. On the other hand, if the court is willing to revisit and toss out old precedents, AND it is willing to acknowledge and uphold the right to privacy and presumption of liberty that any fool can see, AND the court can have the courage to abandoned the tortured logic that has contorted the Commerce Clause for nearly a century, we might begin to see some sanity in the War on Drugs. I grant you, that’s an uncomfortably long list of IFs and ANDs. I have been so disappointed by recent court holdings (Raich and Kelo at the top of the list), that I can’t say I am very optimistic. Still, there might be no chance at all of relief from the courts, if Mr. Bush’s nominees were slaves to precedent.

    Talk of the Courts aside, I am now of the belief that, if we want sanity in our Federal and State governments, we must do the very hard work of changing Congress and the Legislatures. The first step is to “hit them upside the haid with a 2-by-4, just to get their attention.” To me, that means firing all incumbents, “good” and “bad” alike. To the “bad” ones, we say “good riddance.” To the “good” ones, we say, “thanks for your service … time to live in the world you made as the Founders intended … come back next time if you want to ride again.”

    Step 2 is to elect new guys, who are pledged to some sanity. For example, and at the top of the list: ending the War on Drugs and changing national course so we can end the War on Terror soon. Candidate guides, similar to the DPA’s incumbent guide will help with this effort.

    Step 3 is to fire incumbents who don’t measure up. Future editions of the DPA’s Voter Guide and similar publications will help.

    Step 4 is to periodically return incumbents to private life, so we can get fresh blood, and they can live in the world they created.

    Again, this is an uncomfortably long list of contingencies. Obviously, the public has shown little memory or stamina to pursue a program like this for very long. But to scoffers I ask: doesn’t this beat terrible war or bloody revolution, which seem to me as if they may be very close around the corner, if things don’t change for the better fairly soon? Our system provides a means of relief, but we must USE it, and quit whining that there is nothing we can do.

  22. I still think that term limits aren’t exactly the way to go. I’d rather have a rule against consecutive terms. Eliminates the problem of trying to be rid of an incumbant, and allows people to re-hire politicians they like. Now if we could only do something about what people liked.

  23. I agree with term limits in general. But it makes no sense to martyr yourself on the term limit stake. You’re better off fighting from within and simply making term limits a top item in your agenda. If you consistently push the legistation and vote for it, you aren’t being unprincipled, even if you stay in office for 50 years.

    The problem is that the Supreme Court has said that term limits are unconstitutional, so it’s virtually impossible to work for it. If you don’t step down voluntarily, it doesn’t happen.

  24. “3. House Vote 264 — Amendment to HR 2862 on Racial Conviction Distribution: requiring local narcotics taskforces that receive federal money to ban racial profiling and report their convictions by race (DPAN supported)”

    We’re sorry, but we can’t arrest the drug dealer that shot your son. You see, we’ve already arrested our limit of black drug dealers and we’re having trouble finding the white ones here in Harlem.

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