Guess How Many Senators Opposed Saving Kids From Dangerous Drugs


Here is a complete list of the senators who had the sense, honesty, and (sadly needed) courage to vote against the moronic Saving Kids From Dangerous Drugs Act, which doubles penalties for people who sell controlled substances "combined with a candy product" and "marketed or packaged to appear similar to a candy product":

Yep, it passed the Senate yesterday by unanimous consent. The latest version (PDF) no longer includes adults (18-to-21-year-olds) in its definition of kids, and (as I noted on Wednesday) it requires that a drug be modified "with the intent to distribute, dispense, or sell" it to a minor. Although people who are deemed to have that intent will face the same sentence doubling as people who actually sell drugs to children, it's not clear how the intent would be proven. Is colorful packaging enough? Will anything that looks and/or tastes like candy be treated as ipso facto appealing to children? And is Firedoglake's Michael Whitney right to worry that the bill will be read as covering pot brownies sold by medical marijuana dispensaries as well as their cannabis candy bars? On one hand, brownies are baked goods, not candy. On the other hand, they contain chocolate, which is a kind of candy, and it is "combined with" the cannabis. Perhaps the crucial criterion will be the brownie's consistency: If it's caky, it's a baked good; if it's chewy, it's essentially fudge, which is candy. (If you think a drug offender's punishment couldn't possibly hinge on such an arbitrary distinction, recall that it took Congress more than two decades to address the equally senseless distinction between smoked and snorted cocaine—and even then, it shrank the gap instead of eliminating it.)

Already I have put more thought into this bill than its two chief sponsors, Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), did. They still claim to be fighting the mythical menace of candy-flavored methamphetamine. Whitney argues that medical marijuana is Feinstein's real target, but I think that gives her too much credit.

[Thanks (again) to Joe Leibrandt for the tip.]