Democratic Convention 2008

Dem Delegates on the Drug War

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Denver is slowly, slowly emptying out as 70,000 pilgrims head to Barack Obama's Address to Occupants of Interplanetary Craft. As they go I've been asking them about stuff that no speakers or panels have really addressed. For example, the drug war,

Domingo Lopes, a black Obama delegate from Florida, wants the Democrats to "fight it the right way" by funding prevention and education instead of enforcing unfair drug laws. He hopes Obama and the Democrats will end sentencing disparities. "We always get the shit end of the stick. My people, I mean."

Sara Burlingame, an Obama Montana delegate and athiest pushing a stroller carrying her mohawked son, says the drug war "isn't in my top 5 issues," but basically agreed with Lopes. "I think we can decriminalize marijuana, certainly, and use some of those funds we save on treatment.

Madeleine Kunin, a former Vermont governor and Hillary delegate-for-Obama, backs decriminalization while worrying about the political risks. "I once voted for it in the legislature and took a little flack for it. Not then! But later, when the Republicans needed something to attack me with."