Like The War On Some Drugs? Thank Dems’ VP Pick Senator Joe Biden!

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director September 7, 2008

    By Dominic Holden, Member, NORML Board of Directors

    Obama selecting Biden is a punch to the gut. Like that sickening feeling you got as a high school freshman, walking up the steps to the big party—and you’re telling yourself, if I fuck this up, my dreams are shot. But if things go well, this could be an excellent four years.

    I am anything but a single-issue voter, but I’m also a die-hard zealot against the drug war. Everything that could have gone wrong has been an unbridled catastrophe: Drug epidemics and cartel routes breeze across the continent, privacy laws are gutted for sport, kids try drugs younger and younger, our prisons are stuffed with young black men…

    And it’s Joe Biden’s fault.As former chairman for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden is the person most responsible for passing a package of laws in the mid-80s that we think of as today’s drug war. Biden presided over the mandatory-minimum sentencing guidelines that required judges to sentence dealers’ girlfriends and small-time peddlers to decades-long terms in state and federal prisons, where thousands are rotting to this day.

    He used hearings “to mislead his colleagues and the public… on drug policy where police, prosecutors and DEA officials got the opportunity [to speak] while opponents were kept out,” says Kevin Zeese, a former director of Common Sense for Drug Policy and a leading drug-law reformer in Washington, D.C. since the 1980s. “Pick a drug law you don’t like from the last 25 years and thank Senator Biden.”

    But, since this is Obama’s campaign, I’m trying to hope—hope that Biden can change.

    Read the rest of this blog originally posted to the Seattle Stranger’s Slog.

    53 responses to “Like The War On Some Drugs? Thank Dems’ VP Pick Senator Joe Biden!”

    1. Andrew says:

      I hate to feel like I’m grasping at straws, but is it possible that Biden’s stance as a “drug-warrior” will be downplayed during his vice-presidency what with Obama advocating major alterations to the current judiciary system in regards to drugs, or at least marijuana?

    2. Mathew says:

      Man were screwed! McCain is no better on drug policy than the next Goverment Hippocrit. They say Marijuana is bad and then go pay for a Hand Job from some Hooker. What are our options? What do we do with a Goverment that is so ignorant? NORML you need to get your name out in the public so more people join your organization and make you stronger!!! PA citizens do not know you exist!

    3. leaving florida soon says:

      My God! Anakin Skywalker, I mean Barack Obama backed the wrong politician.Who could have predicted that?

    4. Lolli says:

      D: They are all ass holes… We need better candidates. Though I have heard that Obama is pro-decriminalization of marijuana.

    5. Dave says:

      The way I see it is Obama could have been caught and would have been one of many of us that have been screwed by the system for a pinch of the herb. They are NO better than we are, they just was not caught is all.
      Maybe if Joe has a kid he will end up behind the bars from Daddys great work.

    6. Mick says:

      But also this could help obama secure the white house as he picks up foreign policy. Also obama has said serval times that he dose not support the war on drugs and it has failed trmedisly. So picking biden may not be as bad as we think.

      Just word from a fellow American and Stoner.

    7. Bob says:

      I mean on the off chance H.R. 5843 makes it to the POTUS desk, who is more likely to sign? Obama or McCain?

      And yet a NORML director actively works to drive votes from the ticket based on the second seat.

      Its like you guys don’t even WANT to win.

    8. I don’t know how you can blame one person, author, but I stopped reading this article as soon as you tried to pin all the blame on Biden.

    9. FF says:

      Bob Barr is a better choice. He’s against the drug war, but sadly, he’ll never be a blip on the radar.

      The inept 2 party system is one major problem. In addition to all the people who earn a living “fighting” the war. All of those DEA agents aren’t going away, nor will they transfer to Border Patrol.

      I agree that NORML needs to be as active and vocal as possible in their efforts to inform the public, which is why I have donated money in the past, and will again in the future. Don’t simply expect them to do the job alone. They need our help.

    10. Jim says:

      It’s true that Joe Biden has been harsh on decriminalization for marijuana in the past, but John McCain and Sarah Palin will never ever, ever even consider policy dealing with decriminalization. They’d rather busy themselves with more important things like telling the American people how they should live their lives, and dictating that point through vetos and policy that only helps their own adjendas.

      Yes Biden has been tough on marijuana in the past, but at least he has some knowledge on the subject, and he is probably more willing to hear opposition to his own previous opinions than the other candidates. There is no way that McCain will ever listen to anyone else’s opinion if he believes he is correct. That is the real problem with the Republicans, once their mind is made up there is nothing talk can do to change that, and any opposition is mocked as calloused stupidity. The result is change we are all sick of.

      If you are voting republican this November and want marijuana reform, you’d have an easier time finding a car that can go to the moon.