Rand Paul Last Week: 'I Want to End the War on Drugs'



On his HBO show last Friday, Bill Maher asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) about remarks he made in 2000 concerning the war on drugs: 

Maher: You said in 2000, "The war on drugs is an abysmal failure and a waste of money." Are you still on that page?

Paul: I'm absolutely there, and I'll do everything to end the war on drugs….The war on drugs has become the most racially disparate outcome that you have in the entire country. Our prisons are full of black and brown kids. Three-fourths of the people in prison are black or brown, and white kids are using drugs, Bill, as you know…at the same rate as these other kids. But kids who have less means, less money, kids who are in areas where police are patrolling…Police are given monetary incentives to make arrests, monetary incentives for their own departments. So I want to end the war on drugs because it's wrong for everybody, but particularly because poor people are caught up in this, and their lives are ruined by it. 

It is encouraging to hear Paul reiterate his opposition to the war on drugs in general, as opposed to particular aspects of it (such as overfederalizaton, mandatory minimum sentences, and civil asset forfeiture). Although it is still not entirely clear what he means by ending the war on drugs, the disparities that worry him cannot be fully addressed as long as the government continues to arrest people for supplying arbitrarily proscribed intoxicants.

NEXT: Why Is California Fighting the Release of Non-Violent Inmates? Cheap Labor.

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  1. Can we get a ruling on the t-shirt + sports coat look? I have mixed feelings about it. I've seen it work, but I'm not sure Rand is really pulling it off here.

    1. We need GILMORE.

      *lights the *GILMORE signal *

    2. I think it's a mock turtleneck, which incites in me an inexplicable desire to run up to the wearer, give a double purple-nurple and then punch them in the trachea.

    3. Hey, if it's good enough for Charles Barkley, it's good enough for a presidential contender.

  2. Paul: I'm absolutely there, and I'll do everything to end the war on drugs....The war on drugs has become the most racially disparate outcome that you have in the entire country.



      /TEAM RED SOCON piece of shit

      1. More likely he's a secret stooge of the California public employees union, trying to increase their ranks.

    2. Why bring up "racially disparate outcomes"? It's a bad idea even without that.

      1. Possibly because he's learning to frame issues from a populist view to compete with potential contenders.

  3. Paul: I'm absolutely there, and I'll do everything to end the war on drugs....

    That's a good start. Want this to become mainstreamed. I hope more of the voters like and agree with this sentiment.

    1. "I hope more of the voters like and agree with this sentiment."

      With the escalating theft (asset forfeiture), harassment, and attempting to give every voter a criminal record, the criminal justice system is trying very hard to get all voters to agree with that sentiment.

      I predict this will sell well.

      1. I agree. It's just a shame that a lot of people are going to be hurt by our criminal "justice" system before it gets reformed.

      2. I predict this will sell well.

        I like your optimism. I can not help but think of the hysterics I know who will go into full panic mode (in spite of the fact they partake of the Mary Jane). I don't expect a miracle by 2016, but I would like to hope that momentum will build.

        1. As ridiculous as the anti-medical marijuana ads were in FL during the midterms, I can only imagine the disinformation campaign that Paul's position would create.


          This was almost word-for-word what they were claiming about freaking medical marijuana, so anyone seeking to end prosecution of harder drugs is going to get the old people and law-and-order SoCons really riled up.

  4. Like ALL career politicians, Rand Paul speaks in generalities. They never tell you exactly how they are going to do anything. They never give you a plan of any kind. What this means in reality, is that it never really gets done. Speaking in generalities is their trademark.

    1. You mean a specific action like this:

      On The Road To Mandalay|9.30.14 @ 12:34PM|#

      Looks like someone (since yesterday) has assumed my posting identity, thus having me as posting things which I did NOT post, and do not originate with me.

      Well, you got your wish. Have to hand it to you. You are clever. You are getting rid of someone only because you don't like their opinions.

      Looks like you win, and I really will have to QUIT this site. Have fun kissing each others' libertarian assholes.

      1. I like to watch you guys kiss each others' assholes.

        1. Luckily no one can kiss yours because yoru neck is blocking access.

          1. You must be a Rand Paul devotee. Like many, many others, you are deluded in your belief that he is going to launch some sort of libertarian utopia for you. Dream on.

            Your post in itself tells me that anyone who criticizes your hero will be dealt with by nasty rebuttals. Typical of those who think that a bunch of politicians are little messiahs or devils depending on their party affiliations. Again, dream on sucker.

            1. You must be a psychic. You know, the kind that advertise Palms Read Here, the charlatans separating fools from their money.

              I have seldom encountered anyone with as much knowledge of me, my politics, my beliefs, and my intentions.

              Your career is waiting at the next carnival which comes through your area.

              1. Scarecrow DipShit

                You are right. I really don't know what your politics, beliefs, and intentions are. Forgive me.

                However, I do know that your are a fucking moron for sure. Your future is waiting when my carnival arrives in your town, at which time you can lick my asshole.

                You have a nice evening you fucking shit head.

    2. Except for Obumbles, who is the most honestest, brilliantest, smartestest genius of all. Huh?

      Fuck off Mary.

      1. I thought this one was Tulpa?

      2. Obumbles? Not to mention all of the other names he is called by fucking morons like you. You should take a lesson from former President George W. Bush who recently stated that he has never criticized Obama because to do so would undermine The Office of The Presidency. Anyway, Obama is President. So what short of work do you do?

        1. The kind that pays his paycheck. You?

    3. You're right, but it's also how you get elected. He answered that question very well. Focusing on the racial disparities is a great way to peel off independents that like to feel like they are on the enlightened side of racial issues.

      He's put forward a few specific proposals and actually worked on advancing them in the Senate, so he has that to fall back on when talking to those who care about the details. Obviously, we would like to see him go further, but baby steps. This is going to take time.

    4. I know, some specifics will be nice. A good starting point:

      1. repeal or greatly reform federal civil seizure laws

      2. repeal and replace the Schedule classification system with something that actually allows doctors to prescribe what they think is best for their patients

      3. decriminalize all drug use; allow states/localities to regulate the sale/distribution however they see fit (not including criminalization)

      1. 3) is going to take time. Rushing it and pushing it through is likely to cause a backlash before there is a strong enough base to keep moving forward.

        Learn from the SSM movement. Go State by State, and keep the Federal government out of it. Start with MJ. Once you have enough States on board, you can officially decriminalize at the Federal level and move onto some other drugs. In the meantime, work the culture to mainstream drug users and convince people that they are not scary.

  5. I know a guy a work, a big time liberal Democrat. He hates the war on drugs, hates America playing world police, and thinks the police have grown too militarized, and yet why do I think that if it came down to Rand Paul or Hillary Clinton for president that he would still vote for Hillary?

    1. If you're up for being that guy, start working on him now.

    2. I have the same experience with a co-worker, except he has already decided, and I paraphrase only very slightly, Rand Paul is an "uneducated, racist moron, who hates poor people and believes in a fairy tale story [Atlas Shrugged] to form the basis of his philosophy". Give you 1 guess who his preferred presidential candidate is.

      1. Bill Clinton 2, electric boogaloo?

        1. If only...

    3. Dude, nice handle. Blind Guardian fan?

  6. The War on Drugs is a poison on our society (not just poor people), an excuse to tear down any sort of financial privacy we used to have without any due process protections, and seems to be leading to the collapse of government authority in Mexico (seriously, why is this NOT getting any sort of attention? Mexico is literally RIGHT next to us).

    It needs to be ended, root and branch. This should be the TOP priority for anybody who actually cares about "fixing" America (I know, politicians aren't generally in that group).

    1. It's like drugs are the progressive's, and socon's white whale.

    2. It is amazing how people manage to ignore Mexico and how closely its problems are connected to US drug policy. The violence in Mexico is even pretty prominent in the news, but it's always "drug related" not "prohibition related" violence and death.
      It really is an incredible blind spot. Most people just seem to assume that certain drugs are just supposed to be illegal and that's how it is.

      1. That is why I love this chart

    3. bassjoe,

      It's not getting any real attention because all too many politicians are getting paid off with big drug bucks to side step it.

  7. I'd rather hear something like "punishing people for possessing, using or selling any drug is completely immoral and cruel" or even "the federal government has no authority to criminalize drugs", but I guess this will do for now.

    1. Not to mention the idea of self ownership. I would just like to get every single fucking asshole who thinks that the government has any business telling you what you may or may not ingest and still claims, in some abstract way, to believe in liberty to admit that they don't believe you own your own body. That admission makes any claim to believing in freedom complete bullshit. No one who does not believe in self ownership can legitimately claim to advocate freedom at all.

  8. Even if it didn't mean an end to Prohibition, stopping the use of the "war on drugs" as a rhetorical device would be an improvement. It is not the government's job to wage war on social problems. It is its job to enforce the law, whatever that is.

    1. Great comment!

      1. Not my comment, but that of a fucking coward who takes my posting name and uses it. Nice work you fucking fool.

        1. He took your name, but unfortunately neither your suckiness nor your presence.

  9. I'm happy to hear him state it so forcefully, and I'm happy to hear him frame it in a way that should make lefties uncomfortable. Could possibly force the opposing candidate to stake out a similar position in response, instead of just ignoring the issue as usual.

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  11. This what bothers me - What on God's green earth can Rand possibly mean by ending the war on drugs while still holding that prohibition should continue? You can not have one without the other.

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