CHARLOTTE—Rep. Rose DeLauro (D-Connecticut) claims Democrats care about reforming the War on Drugs, but she is unable to name any evidence for this. When asked about the Obama Administration's drug policies, she changes the subject, insisting that voters need to look at the totality of President Obama's time in office.
"Take a look at what Barack Obama has done since he took office. Taking a nation that was on its knees financially, something he had nothing to do with, the prior administration had a lot to with losing 700,000 jobs a month, trying to put the country back on track again was a very big undertaking," she said when asked about the administration's dismal record on drug policy reform.
DeLauro wasn't particularly interested in talking about the specifics of Obama's drug policy, returning again to his domestic policy agenda.
"He did an incredible amount for the ability of kids to go to school, get their opportunity for an education," DeLauro said. "We passed a transformative piece of health care legislation. These are very, very big items. He signed the first bill that talked about paycheck fairness for women, all kinds of efforts that have been successful. Sometimes you can't get to do everything that you stated you wanted to do. But people need to take a look at the direction that nation is going in and its economic stability and its growth for the future. That's where they ought to make their judgment."
She rejected the suggestion that the Obama administration was a disappointment on drugs, saying "I don't buy that, no."
Obama's drug policy has been no less punitive than George W. Bush's. The president has repeatedly violated his own pledge to respect the will of voters in states that have allowed medical cannabis use, launching raids on dispensaries in Colorado, California, and other states. In forums where he speaks with the public, he is usually bombarded (despite very tight restrictions on participation) with questions about reforming America's draconian drug policy, but so far he has replied to all of these with ridicule or silence.
DeLauro, however, assured me that reforming America's drug policy is a high priority to the Democratic Party.
"Of course it is," she said, before listing off reforms implemented because of Obamacare.