Robert Reich on Drugs

Former Secretary of Labor; Democratic Challenger MA Governor


End sentencing disparity of powder cocaine vs. crack

Buried within the rules are assumptions reflecting the status and power of different groups in society. Powder cocaine, for example, is the drug of choice for many in the elite, while crack cocaine is used by the poor. They are two forms of the same prohibited drug, but before 2010, those who sold or purchased crack cocaine faced sentences one hundred times longer than those caught using the powdered form. This was part of the reason African Americans served as much time in prison for nonviolent drug offenses as whites did for violent offenses. In 2010, Congress enacted the Fair Sentencing Act, reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine to eighteen to one.
Source: Saving Capitalism, by Robert Reich, p. 50 , May 3, 2016

Prohibition failed in 1920s; marijuana ban fails now

Prohibition of alcohol was a notorious failure in the 1920s, just as bans on the purchase and sale of marijuana are today. Black markets are inherently risky and dangerous since illegal contracts can only be enforced through violence, or the threat of violence (which is an argument for regulating sales of things that attract eager buyers but pose minimal harm to the public, rather than trying to prevent them altogether).
Source: Saving Capitalism, by Robert Reich, p. 51 , May 3, 2016

Legalize the medical use of marijuana

Four of the five announced candidates for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination addressed some 300 of the party faithful in Pittsfield.

Responding to a question from an audience member, all four candidates said that they would support legislation that legalizes the medical use of marijuana. Each man also acknowledged that he had smoked marijuana and had inhaled.

Source: D.R. Bahlman, Berkshire Eagle , Apr 22, 2002

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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2021