A couple of weeks ago I swiftly shed some light on a few of the 2012 Presidential Candidates’ position on marijuana/drug policy. Amongst that list was declared Republican Presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich with his views of how smoking pot is “illegal AND immoral”. Today Chris Moody released an article where he sat down with Gingrich one on one and asked some voter important questions. When it comes to drug reform Gingrich wants policy to be more aggressive. How?
Expand on what you mean by “aggressive.”
In my mind it means having steeper economic penalties and it means having a willingness to do more drug testing.
In the interview Gingrich states that he would continue with our current federal drug policy. “Largely” because of the mixed signals legalization sends about harder drugs. Gingrich also mentioned how California has shown; through example, that “medical marijuana becomes a joke”. He believes that giving states control would pose more of a problem. Why shouldn’t states have control over marijuana laws? Gingrich says…
Because I think you guarantee that people will cross state lines if it becomes a state-by-state exemption.
I don’t have a comprehensive view. My general belief is that we ought to be much more aggressive about drug policy. And that we should recognize that the Mexican cartels are funded by Americans.
In Howijuana I mentioned the 1996 bill introduced by Gingrich that would have sentenced drug smugglers to the death sentence. When asked if he still stood by this ideology Gingrich found a round about way to say yes. He believes that we need to send a message that makes it “radically less likely” that we have the presence of drugs in this country. Dropping the name of Singapore to further explain himself…
Places like Singapore have been the most successful at doing that. They’ve been very draconian. And they have communicated with great intention that they intend to stop drugs from coming into their country.
In Singapore there are penalties for both possession and consumption and the ONLY penalty for trafficking is death. Draconian is just another way to say harsh. Yes, they have done very well on sending a clear message to their people about drugs and indeed have harsh testing policy, but at what cost?
Gingrich wants to make it so it’s “expensive” to be a drug dealer. His words on this particular matter are better than mine so there’s no need to paraphrase.
I think that we need to consider taking more explicit steps to make it expensive to be a drug user. It could be through testing before you get any kind of federal aid. Unemployment compensation, food stamps, you name it.
It has always struck me that if you’re serious about trying to stop drug use, then you need to find a way to have a fairly easy approach to it and you need to find a way to be pretty aggressive about insisting–I don’t think actually locking up users is a very good thing. I think finding ways to sanction them and to give them medical help and to get them to detox is a more logical long-term policy.
Sometime in the next year we’ll have a comprehensive proposal on drugs and it will be designed to say that we want to minimize drug use in America and we’re very serious about it.
I’m curious how much more money we’ll spend on this drug war when we’re drug testing every citizen that looks for any type of federal or state help. I find this extremely interesting when put in contrast with the nation’s health care issues and its pharma-dependency. To take these steps to eradicate what could possibly be the only means of medication for those without health care and/or insurance. Then what? Gingrich’s full name is Newton Leroy Gingrich, I want to call him “Newton Leroy!” just so he knows he’s in trouble. Til the next time!
Image Via Mother Jones