Congressman Ron Paul called for an end to the Drug War and a repeal of “most” Federal drug laws last night during the PBS Republican Presidential Debates hosted by Tavis Smiley.
“We have already spent over $400 billion since the early 70s and it’s wasted money. Prohibition didn’t work; prohibition on drugs doesn’t work.”
Ron Paul cited the unfair disparity between the relative percentage of black drug users and blacks imprisoned for drug use . He called for equal justice under the law, giving example to the system’s race-based “punishments.”
“Blacks make up 14% of those who use drugs, yet 36% of those arrested are blacks and it ends up that 63% of those who finally end up in prison are blacks. This has to change. We don’t have to have more courts and more prisons, we have to repeal the whole ‘War on Drugs’– it isn’t working,” Paul said.
While many other candidates admirably agreed that blacks were treated unfairly under existing drug laws, many of their solutions included suggestions for new courts, arbitration and rehab programs, not a scaling-back of the failed and hypocritical ‘War on Drugs’ or a repeal of drug laws.
“So we need to come to our senses…it’s a disease. We don’t treat alcoholics like this. This is a disease and we should orient ourselves to this,” said Ron Paul.
Paul was also asked about his support for the death penalty in regards to waning public opinion. He again cited unfair prosecution in the justice system.
“You know, over the years, I’ve held pretty rigid all my beliefs, but I’ve changed my opinion about the death penalty. For federal purposes, I no longer believe in the death penalty. I believe it has been issued unjustly. If you’re rich, you get away with it; if you’re poor and from the inner city, you’re more likely to be prosecuted and convicted. And today, with the DNA evidence, there’s been too many mistakes, so I am now opposed to the federal death penalty”