Rand Paul Doesn’t Want to Jail Nonviolent Drug Offenders and “Ruin Their Lives”

U.S. Senator Rand Paul was recently on the interview show Fox News Sunday and he made some headline-making assertions about the War on Drugs and what he sees as the best course of action concerning nonviolent drug offenses.

“I don’t want to promote that but I also don’t want to put people in jail who make a mistake,” Paul told host Chris Wallace. “There are a lot of young people who do this and then later on in their twenties they grow up and get married and they quit doing things like this. I don’t want to put them in jail and ruin their lives.”

A rather common-sense approach from a national political figure on the issue of drug policy. And speaking of national figures:

Rand Paul“Look, the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use, and I really think, you know, look what would have happened, it would have ruined their lives,” Paul added. “They got lucky, but a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don’t get lucky. They don’t have good attorneys, and they go to jail for these things and I think it’s a big mistake.”

Some would say luck had less to do with it than other factors – especially in the case of Bush and his father’s extensive and powerful connections. But the facts remain; would they have been President with a drug arrest on their record?

How many promising young people have had their lives ruined by a simple possession charge? An offense that involves them harming no one else.

Senator Paul has said before that he favors letting states decide drug policy, particularly when it comes to marijuana. “States should be allowed to make a lot of these decisions,” Paul said back in November. “I want things to be decided more at a local basis, with more compassion. I think it would make us as Republicans different.”

In 2016 Rand Paul will be on the short list of GOP Presidential contenders and his views on drug policy will get much attention. Whether his position will evolve over the next few years is a question that comes with every politician.

In any case, this issue needs to be in the news as much as possible. We are wasting so much money on arresting nonviolent people while violent crimes go unsolved. And for what? Are drugs less available now than in the past?

The time for ending the policy of arresting nonviolent drug offenders passed long ago. Let’s hope more politicians catch up with this way of thinking.

– Joe Klare

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  • Maddy

    I wish I could have him stand up for my son next month