Drug Policy

An Early Scalp for Drug Reformers?

|

My native state Indiana closes its polls at 6 pm.  In the past, that and the state's reliably Republican electorate have made it the first state the networks call—generally around 6:01.

This year, the Hoosier state is a toss-up.  But drug war opponents should keep an eye on the state's third district, where incumbent GOP Rep. Mark Souder looks to be in trouble.  Souder is the ranking Republican on the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources, which oversees federal drug policy.  He has made continuing the drug war with Nixon-Reagan vigor one of his pet issues.  

Souder once compared the use of medical marijuana to rape and child abuse.  He added a provision to the Higher Ed act that would bar students convicted of any drug crime from receiving federal student loans.  He has mocked medical marijuana patients, and cheered the DEA's war on prescription painkillers.  Oh, and he had his butt handed to him a while back while defending those awful ONDCP ads on Tucker Carlson's MNSBC show.

Challenger Michael Montagno appears to be closing.  Might be the makings of an early gift for drug reformers tonight.

NEXT: ReasonTV Talkshow with Nick Gillespie, Michael C. Moynihan, Mary Katherine Ham, and Robert Corn-Revere

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. One of you theists, please send a prayer up in my name on this one. Drug warriors or stupid, evil or both.

    Thanx.

  2. He needs to learn “the Barr lesson.”

    Be an asshole about drugs — especially medical pot — and you become an asshole minus your political job. It’s “tough love,” but look how well it worked in Barr’s case. One “you lose” 2 by 4 upside his head was all it took, and he got religion.

  3. What is Montagno’s stance on drug policy?

  4. Shouldn’t call it until Gary comes in anyway.

  5. that clip is awesome!

    ‘well i know a lot of casual marijuana users so that’s wrong.’

    nice.

  6. I don’t want “drug reform”, I want complete legalization. I will accept decriminalization as a compromise. But reform is cop out.

    The Democrats are no better than the Republicans on the drug issue. History, even extremely recent history, demostrates this. Unless Montagno is out campaigning to end prohibition, I won’t expect Hoosier’s Third District to significantly change our Federal drug policies. Replacing one drug warrior with another is not an improvement.

  7. After a 2005 medical cannabis press conference on the Hill, a number of medical marijuana patients and activists were lobbying and briefly occupied his office and explained to his lone staffer present how Souder was hurting sick and dying Americans.

    I protested at Barr’s office in 1999, and was present when the ad with Cheryl Miller was filmed, the “Why would you do that to me, Bob” ad that lost him the election.

    Souder does need to be Barr-ed from office. A lot of sick people’s spirits would be lifted!

  8. Free Press poll in Michigan a couple of days ago gave Medical Marijuana a 2:1 majority. We’ll see this evening.

  9. Replacing one drug warrior with another is not an improvement

    Replacing a virulent drug warrior with a lukewarm one is an improvement. Not as much as we’d like, but it is.

  10. I don’t want “drug reform”, I want complete legalization. I will accept decriminalization as a compromise. But reform is cop out.

    Amen, Brandy!

    I really don’t even like decriminalization. Everything would still be illegal, so we would still have a black market and it likely wouldn’t reduce the crime and violence associated with drugs. I would support it as a step toward legalization, but the final goal should be to create a legal market for all drugs. I mean, really, I want to be able to invest in companies that sell heroin.

    Souder is a fucking lunatic.

  11. How do we end Federal hand-outs to students anyway?

  12. Didn’t mommy tell you? Don’t count your scalps until they’ve been sliced off.

  13. Good to know, I’ll be cheering for him to burn.

  14. Guys like this make my blood boil. A few points:

    1) Maybe those ads would work better if they weren’t filled with hyperbole. I have friends who are very right wing, religious, anti-drug who watch these commercials and just say “what the fuck even I know that is stupid.”

    2) He said thousands have died from marijuana. Really? Where does he get these facts at. To my knowledge no one has EVER died from pot. Now sometimes people get in car crashes or other accidents, and their drug test tests positive for marijuana. Then the COD is marked as accident by intoxication. Unfortunately this is just not the case, for one testing positive does not prove intoxication, especially for weed which can stay in the system for months. For two, at least everyone I know who smokes pot, is perfectly capable of walking, talking, driving and all other forms of higher function while high.

    3) He said the marijuana of today was upwards of 30-40% THC and as addictive and harmful as crack. I say, for the love of god man where do you get your weed? To my knowledge the most potent form of marijuana on the market today is 27% THC. I believe it is the strain Strawberry Haze from Arjan at the Green House Seed Co. in Amsterdam. (a.k.a. the King Of Cannabis)

    4) I can’t believe people still operate on this gateway drug theory. If anything is a gateway it is the cigarettes, alcohol, and prescription pills they can get legally. Seeing as how it’s not really true though it really doesn’t matter. If someone starts “poly drugging” as he termed it, it is by no consequence than their own. They made the decision not the drug. People need to start taking some personal responsibility.

    And finally

    I don’t want “drug reform”, I want complete legalization. I will accept decriminalization as a compromise. But reform is cop out.

    I agree with this. Although all I do is smoke weed I think all drugs should be legal, for medicinal, recreational and whatever other reasons you could possibly think of.

  15. # On whether to discuss drug law reform: “We don’t debate the pros and cons of rape or child abuse. We don’t bring rapists in here to explain their views.”
    # Explaining his opposition to needle exchange programs: “A woman gets raped in the street by a heroin addicts, what are we going to tell her when she finds out that the needle that enabled that addict to get the heroin and then get him on the street to rape her came from” a government needle-exchange program.

    This guy has a thing with rape. Anyone want to bet against him being some sort of deviant?

  16. This is pretty thin gruel. Is there any indication that his opponent called him out for being a lunatic drug warrior? If there isn’t, he is just a drug warrior who happened to lose for other reasons. Further, it is not like there is any indication that the other guy is that great.

  17. This guy has a thing with rape. Anyone want to bet against him being some sort of deviant?

    He’s a politician. I think that’s kinda a requirement or something.

  18. This is pretty thin gruel.

    Well, yeah. I didn’t mean to imply that Souder might lose because of his drug war lunacy. Only that him losing is in general a good thing.

  19. He’s a politician. I think that’s kinda a requirement or something.

    But even for a politician, he can’t stop talking about rape.

    My guess is little Willy, Willy won’t go unless someone thinks it’s a rape.

  20. I’d feel better about Mark Souder being defeated, if I wasn’t afraid he’d run for president as a Libertarian in four years.

  21. I couldn’t listen to Souder through the whole video, but I could tell that he looks like the kind of guy who got a lot of wedgies in middle school. Possibly even by stoners.

  22. Whenever drug policy becomes and election issue the people choose liberty over security.

    Souder sounds like a conspiracy theorist when accusing “liberals” of hijacking the study. “Presumably several thousands have died” of marijuana overdose? Either he’s a liar or he’s ignorant. “No drug user is a single drug user.”

    I’ll tell you Mr Souder, I smoke marijuana every fucking day and I don’t so much as take aspirin. I have a job and I support my family. How dare you disparage my reputation to advance your extremist political views.

    We’ll see who Mr Souder really works for when he gets his first lobbying job. I hear the prison-industrial complex is hiring.

  23. True Radley. I guess one less idiot in government can’t be a bad thing regardless of the reason.

  24. Replacing a virulent drug warrior with a lukewarm one is an improvement.

    I dunno if the Big O is your guy. Drug enforcement ratcheted up under Clinton. Its a cheap and easy way for Dems to polish their law and order cred with the knuckle-dragger crowd.

    Still, you can Hope for Change! Just don’t bet on it.

    I can’t believe people still operate on this gateway drug theory.

    My take is that illegal marijuana is a gateway to black market dealers who will sell you the hard stuff.

  25. The biggest hurdle to drug legalization aren’t the drugs themselves, but the fact that it would be pretty difficult to argue for our current prescription medical non-[ab]usable drug regime if heroin and meth were legal. And if anyone can get their own drugs, that pretty much puts most doctors out of business (how many times do you go to the doctor for drugs for something that you’ve diagnosed yourself?). I’m not one for drug conspiracy theories (quite frankly I think the big pharma is too stupid to see the threat that legal pot could pose to it), but in the case of legalizing all drugs, there are certainly some huge interests at stake.

  26. …but I could tell that he looks like the kind of guy who got a lot of wedgies in middle school. Possibly even by stoners.

    You’ve clearly never smoked pot. The last thing you want to do while high is give someone a wedgie.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.