Chris Dodd, in the debate last night discussing marijuana, medical or otherwise:
“We’re locking up too many people in our system here today. We’ve got mandatory minimum sentences, they are filling our jails with people that don’t belong there. My idea is to decriminalize this, reduce that problem here. We’ve gone from 800,000 to 2 million people in our penal institutions in this country. We’ve got to get a lot smarter about this issue than we are. And as president, I’d try and achieve that.”
I really don’t understand how this is not the default position of everyone running for President. This is such a tremendous waste of resources. Watching Dodd during the debates last night, it became clear that there are bunch of people running for President as Democrats, whereas Dodd is running to lead this country.
Obligatory troll protection:
No. I don’t smoke marijuana.
*** Update ***
In what is surely a sign of the coming apocalypse, I provide you with this link to Atrios’s Actblue donation to Chris Dodd.
Not anymore, you Grateful Dead loving hippie!
Ya coulda done a snarkier job on the title:
Dodd’s Diddy on Dope
Chris Cracks the Chronic Critics
Meddy MaryJane Merits Dodd’s Diss
Dodd’s quickly moving to the top of my list. He’s got the smarts, and he’s got the stones.
Oh, and by the way…
Chris Dodd is still by far the most impressive candidate to me. He not only talks the talk, but he walks the walk. It is truly a fucked up state of political affairs that has the best candidate not even registering in the polls while the stuffed suits and talking heads dominate.
The more I hear him, the more I like him.
Conversely, the more I hear Hillary, the more afraid I am. Why do people like her? I just don’t get it. I sure wished I liked her, because I think I’m going to be stuck with her.
if you like Dodd, then show him some love $$$$.
I have, and I hope more people will, too.
FWIW, Atrios has been directing people to reward his good behavior on Act Blue. I hope it helps.
Jim Webb has been coming close to making similar statements, but he hasn’t managed to use the word “decriminalize” yet.
I certainly agree with Dodd, but I don’t understand what you don’t understand about why this isn’t the default position, especially among Democrats. They obviously have a perfectly rational fear of Republican demagoguery painting them as “soft on crime” and not “thinking of the children”. Republican consultants could write the ads and attack speeches in their sleep, and unfortunately they’d be effective.
One of my students asked me who I liked for president, and when I told her, “Senator Dodd,” she only looked puzzled and said, “Who?” But she’s a Korean university student; maybe his name recognition is better over there where you guys are.
Historically, the whole reason marijuana became criminalized was because a 30-s era prosecutor/politican wannabe latched onto and propagandized this as a no-lose “clean up moral cesspools” type of issue to whip up a crusade on. This was pre-Civil rights era, and marijuana was mainly regarded as a recreational drug of black musicians and ghettos, and some delinquents in the white community who could be portrayed as corruptible by the influence of the degenerate portion of the black community. This was back in the era when underneath the surface, a large portion of the white population regarded blacks as atavistic and inherently far more prone and susceptible to illicit sensual impulses. Wouldn’t want white high school, college , or young adults corrupted by that, now would we?
And so, the stage was set for the criminalization of marijuana. We almost reached a stage in the late 60s/early 70s where sense was taking hold toward decriminalization and preception grew among a substantial portion of the population that this was far less than the gravely dangerous and corruptive substance and irresistible gateway toward heroin etc. that it had been often portrayed as being. Say, compared to other known dangerous gateway drugs such as alcohol.
Unfortunately, the politico/industrial complex that saw itself as having a deeply vested interest in remaining “hired on” and politically benefitting from anti-crime, anti-moral/physical corruption crusading led a too-successful counter-revolution. This was also coupled in timing with the ascendency of Nixon/Agnew/Ford and Reagan/Bush Sr. and the “moral majority” political dynamic, which saw much to gain with their core consituency of people who felt threatened by cultural/social change, and little to lose.
And so here we are, years later, still foolishly wasting lives, resources, and money on the “marijuana” problem, generating far more corruption, lawlessness, and degeneracy than it ever solved or will solve.
The worst part is that I had no idea Dodd said this until John Cole pointed it out. The MSM simply don’t care and just flat-out fail to perform the duty of reporting on anything genuinely important! said by a candidate – this qualifies!
they obviously have a perfectly rational fear of Republican demagoguery painting them as “soft on crime” and not “thinking of the children”. Republican consultants could write the ads and attack speeches in their sleep, and unfortunately they’d be effective.
This is BS. It might have been true in 1976, but there’s no one alive I know who think our current drug posture makes sense, except people in the FBI. Right-wing bloggers don’t even think it makes sense. I’ve been living in the South for some time and most of the islamo-fearing, immigrant-suspicious, Jesus & Toby Keith guys I know down there were pot smokers or had friends who were pot smokers.
Maybe the 60-90 year old demographic has different opinions, but this issue is an overwhelming winner.
There’s a discussion of whether weed is worse than booze over at the NYT’s Freakonomics Guy’s Blog.
It’s pretty astonishing how the arguments for prohibition are, well, substance-free. One former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse compares smoking marijuana to driving drunk. Hmm, let’s spot the logical flaw there. (Hint: it involves the operation of large chunks of metal weighing thousands of pounds in public areas).
This is the Atrios link to donate to Dodd.
Having said that, Dodd is just too far behind to have a shot. The system may suck, but it has its own rules.
Besides, I think he’d have significant general election liabilities.
What is needed is for someone out there- is anyone there- in the Obama or Edwards camp to pick up this low-hanging fruit and **drive** it!
If you don’t like the fact that marginal candidates have no shot two months out from the primaries, then you should support full public financing of elections. The reason Dodd has no shot are 1) early polls 2) the need for lots of money and 3) the effect of both on coverage.
No wonder the guy doesn’t have more name recognition and support. He’s a non-candidate in the eyes of the MSM. Worse than Kuccinich, who they at least choose to acknowledge as “running to lose”.
Even Edwards takes flak on this. It’s ridiculous how the media likes to paint people into a corner, when they choose to lift a brush.
Dodd is by far the most qualified and intelligent candidate in the race, and if he doesn’t win outright, I pray that whichever of the big three does get the nod takes him on as Veep.
Sad you have to throw that in to protect yourself from the personal attacks from “small government” right wingers. How on earth someone can argue that mandatory minimum sentences are not unnecessary bureaucratic meddling is beyond me.
It also beats the hell out of me why a rightie can say “If abortion was illegal, we would not need cheap immigrant labor”, yet support the unnecessary incarceration of two million Americans, many of them fathers of children in state-supported “families”.
Perhaps it’s because so many imprisoned Americans are black, but would have been pinkish if they were aborted. Or maybe it’s because you can’t really tell if a child is albino until it’s born.
Obligatory anti-troll cruise missile:
I do, and have absolutely no problem excelling at a high-income IT job and taking care of a wife-and-kids family.
Good for Dodd. His star’s been rising in my eyes lately.
Wasn’t Jimmy Carter registering as low in the polls at this point in 1975 as Dodd does now?
Let me put here a reminder that Dodd was the first senator to announce he was putting a hold on retroactive immunity for the telecoms.
I’m a little bit skeptical. I’ve heard enough anecdotes, for example, about social conservatives who are anti-abortion who have actually had abortions themselves: their concern is for the morality of others rather than themselves. That is, there’s a little bit of Newt Gingrich in a lot of people, I’d think enough to make a smear campaign successful against a pro-pot legalization candidate. Stupid, I know, but consider how having an affair constitutes a political scandal in a country where the divorce rate for first marriages is upwards of 40%.
John I knew it was a sign of the apocalypse last night when you were saying you liked dodd and were going with him and the fact that Atrios has been a dodd supporter for a while.
Congratulations Mr. Cole. Assimilation is now complete. You are now free to remove the electronic ankle bracelet and move about at will.
Legalizing Marijuana effects 4 major lobbies, this is why its so difficult to get through.
1. Christianist/Moral Crusaders
2. Big-Pharma (though I think its in their best interest to let it happen, and use it as a compliment to their meds.)
3. Cotton (they’re deathly afraid of the Hemp industry)
4. Privatized Prisons. There’s big money in keeping millions locked up.
Countering these is a massive battle. I’d like to see Dodd and Schwarznager get together and start a crusade to end this stupid policy.
Oh dear, I had to look at Dodds Environmental Policy, he’s as solid as I can wish for :)
A quote from Salon
That keeps him as a strong candidate for me. He’s been the leader in the Senate at stopping the destruction of the constitution, he has sound policies for environment and prison. Great Iraq policy.
I guess the main thing going against him, he’s a straight white old male. When we were supposed to be breaking boundaries, the only boundary we’d break here is having an Intelligent, Respectable leader as President.
Oh yeah, that’s good enough for me. Too bad the MSM doesn’t like focusing on the actual Policies and Plans, but on looks and feelings.
Evinfruit, your list is spot-on, but you forgot one; the law enforcement business. Every time someone mentions marijuana, even in the context of medicinal use, the law-enforcement unions rear up and begin to scream about the slippery slope and the awful wrath that would descend upon our children if the devil weed were let loose.
The fact that both private and public law-enforcement officials make money over and under the table on this issue is not mentioned.
Yeah, it’s insane.
If I was an American I would vote the living shit out of the Doddster.
If pot were decriminalized, the dirty hippies would be smoking it at the inaugural and that would offend Osama bin Laden (he’s allergic), so it must obviously remain illegal.
No Blue Horse amongst the Four, so it looks like the Apocalypse has been postponed.
Imagine putting a realist (Dodd) in the White House. That would make too much sense when we could have a third Clinton term. Just imagine, by the time HRC finishes her eight years, Chelsea, Jenna and Barbie will be ready to ascend to the family office. OK maybe they aren’t going to be quite old enough by then, but c’mon, isn’t the Constitution just a set of guidelines? Woohoo! Good times for all.
Chris Dodd’s strong stance on telecom immunity really moved him up the list for me. While Obama has had a bad few weeks.
It is sad and pathetic that the most attractive candidate’s platform basically consists of “the Constitution” but that’s the times we live in.
Talking about decriminalizing marijuana is a very un-serious activity. MSM only covers real issues, not crackpot ideas millions of Americans would vote for, or would if they could, but they can’t because they’ve been busted for smoking marijuana.
As I have said here before, Dodd is my man (disclaimer: But not if Gore steps in!), and I have sent him some financial love already and he deserves more. Ditto on holding down a good job and providing for a family, all the while being a stoner. This so-called war on drugs is a waste of money and lives. Marijuana is not a Schedule 1 drug, end of story.
Pot smoking could lead to driving while stoned, which is supposed to be as bad as driving drunk?! Shit, I have been driving stoned for the last 35+ years. NOW they tell me! I could have had an accident!
Whew! That was close. Time to load another bowl…
No pot for a guy in academia hailing from Appalachia and having spent years in the military? Jesus H., that’s like the Perfect Storm for crippi abuse.
I call shenanigans.
the former police chief of seattle, Norm Stamper, is on record as supporting decriminalization of pot (and more). he wrote a book about it. he also spoke at hempfest this year along with TV travel guy Rick Steves, who speakes out often on this issue. so things WILL change. but why not sooner than later?
it would be cool if Dodd got on the ticket.
Ah, but have you ever smoked pot before? And if you have, did you inhale?
This is a great test for the netroots. Big Tent Democrat was almost the only Dodd supporter out there for a while, but the Dodd bandwagon is absorbing more and more big-time bloggers. Although Edwards had a head start, the netroots can show how much influence they actually have by making one of these two candidates competitive.
Sign of the Apocalypse? Or sign of your sudden and unexpected conversion (that even you didn’t realize at the time)?
Come on in … the water’s fine.
Alas, that’s how it works these days. Serious Democratic candidates all try to prove they are “electable” by being Republican-lite. The Democratic wing of the Democratic Party is maginalized. Dodd will never win the nomination, but he is having some luck forcing the others to show some spine. What a shame it will all disappear once the primaries are over.
Smoking dope while driving is just as bad as drunk driving? What a fucking laugh. I once drove 90 miles an hour drunk and about 35 mph while stoned.
I kept wondering why people were flying past me and flipping me off and screaming cuss words at me.
And marijuana was portrayed as a Mexican drug. Plus DuPont didn’t want the competition from hemp.