Where Obama Should Listen to Rand Paul: Legal Pot
As the nation's capital prepares to open its first legal medicinal marijuana dispensary and Sen.
Until now, the president has been remarkably adept at taking positions that seemed to be ahead of their time -- and getting ahead of them.
For example, when he declared his full support for the right of same-sex couples to marry, there were fears among his supporters that he would lose important votes before his re-election campaign, particularly among black churchgoers. Those fears proved to be exaggerated.
But four years after his
At the other extreme, November ballots in
And, on another front, Sen. Paul, a famously libertarian
In a recent interview with
"Our prisons are full of nonviolent criminals," Paul said. "I don't want to encourage people to do it. I think even marijuana is a bad thing to do. ... But I also don't want to put people in jail who make a mistake."
He spoke forcefully of the many young nonviolent offenders like President Obama, who has written about his teen drug indiscretions, and possibly former President
"Look, the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use and I really think, you know, look what would have happened," he said. "They got lucky, but a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, they don't get lucky, they don't have good attorneys, and they go to jail for these things, and I think it's a big mistake."
On that note regarding nonviolent drug offenders, Paul strikes a nerve with me and numerous other African Americans and civil rights advocates. As
The result is a new form of second-class citizenship that traps them in "a parallel social universe, denied basic civil and human rights." That includes the right to vote, to serve on juries and to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and other public benefits.
And the financial cost on top of the social cost of the failed "war on drugs" has caused such big conservative names as anti-tax lobbyist
With the trends moving in such a productive direction, I'm hardly alone in wondering what President Obama is waiting for. As with the issue of same-sex marriage, his support could get ahead of the trend and help move it along. He can even claim it was his idea all along.
Read the latest political news.
- We're Surrendering Our Civil Liberties
- Breakout from Politics of the Past
- Freedom: The Unfolding Revolution
- Another Do-nothing Congress
- When Government Can't be Trusted
- The Press and Dr. Faustus
- Snowden Out in the Cold
- National Security vs Privacy
- Too Many Secrets Spoil Our Safety
- Secrecy Scandal? Not So Much
- More Big Brother Snooping
- The Two Centers of Unaccountable Power in America
- America's Challenge to Wield Smart Power
- The Path and Price of Citizenship
- Republicans Head for New Defeat in 2016
- A Congress Divided
- Immigration Wedge Issue Splits GOP
- The GOP's Immigration Tussle
- Republicans: Avoiding a Death Spiral
- Civil Rights Assaulted by Supreme Court
- Supreme Court Decisions Rattle SCOTUS Credibility
- Polling Disenfranchisement will be more difficult to flag
- Supreme Court: Affirming Voting Action
- Supreme Court: No Standard
- Supreme Court: 'Diversity' Means More than Race
- Obama Sitting Short in the Saddle
- Snowden a Fool, Not a Spy
- Snowden Leak Reveals the Ridiculous Reach of Federal Power
- Edward Snowden and The Dangers of Amateurism
- NSA's PRISM Program Falls Victim to an Ego Trip
- Time to Dial Up Some Healthy Skepticism
- Why the GOP Can't Learn
- Divided Government: Washington Closing, States Moving in Opposite Directions
- Your Government on War
- Obama's Lame Attempt to Justify His Old, New War
- The Triumph of Progressivism: Graduation 2013 and 1968
- What Obama Legacy?
- We Cannot Trust Obama
- Bugnut 'Reporter' Makes Mental Health a Political Issue
- Holding the National Security Course
- Advice for the GOP: Chill
- Reinventing Watergate
- America's Vast Margin of Error
- Abortion Rights Not Synonymous with Women's Health
- Leaking Attorney General Holder's Meeting
- Foreign Affairs
- How to Spell Success
- Bob Dole: America's Veteran
- (Dole)ing Out Blame for Gridlock
- Bob Dole Takes His Turn in Political Parlor Game
- The Old Order is Dying
- Bye-Bye to Michele Bachmann's Twitter-Era Politics
- Bye-Bye, Bachmann
- Conservativism Needs to Purge Eugenics Obsession
- When Untruth Undermines Democracy
- Niall Ferguson's Blooper
- Damage Control Again
- Boxing Obama In
- Scandals Put Presidential Credibility on the Line
- It's 1973 All Over Again
- The President's Morehouse Address
- Press Shield has Holes
- What Next? A Drone War Against The Press?
- On Press Freedoms, Obama Races Nixon to Bottoms
- First Amendment Clause-Trophobia
- Obama's Uncertain Trumpet
- Obama's Second-Term Blues
- A Challenge to Young Obama Supporters
- Paranoid or Prescient?
- Obama's Revealing Reflections
- A Stain on the Democratic Brand
- Obama's 'Idiot' Defense
- Memo on IRS Scandal
- IRS Went After Small Fry, But Let The Big Ones Get Away
- The Buck Stops Short
- Right-Wing Reflex: Blame Obama First
- IRS Follows Obama's lead
- Tyranny is No Longer 'Lurking'
- What was the IRS Thinking?
- Sanitized Society Puts Hygiene Hypothesis to the Test
- The Coming Obamacare Disaster
- Taxing Internet Sales
- It Takes Two to End a War
- It's Too Easy to Become a Terrorist
- Benghazi, IRS: Son of Watergate?
- Benghazi's Smoking Guns
- Bad Faith and Benghazi
- Should the United States Continue to be the Indispensable Nation?
- The Dilution of Journalism
- Global Domination and Databases
- Dick, Ike and Ted
- Usual Suspects Using Terror Attacks to Bludgeon Immigration Reform
- Deportation: The D-word
- The Case Against Cutting Social Security and Medicare
- Useless Baggage
- Flying Over an Act of Monumental Stupidity
- Drone World
- Where Our Democracy Works and Where It Doesn't
- America's Just Not That into Obama
- 2017: After Obama
- Beware Public Opinion
- Why Do Liberals Fear Success?
- The Stealth Sequester
- 'Right wing' Does Not Equal 'Terrorist'
- Dubya's Library Opens Debate About Presidential Record
- Obama Eye-Candy Comment Leaves Sour Aftertaste
- Where Obama Should Listen to Rand Paul: Legal Pot
- Rand Paul Gets Schooled at Howard University
- Rand Paul has Explaining to Do
- Conversation Starters Paisley, Paul are Taking Their Lumps
- An Odd Push to Privatize Marriage
- Fear of Gay Marriage Backlash Overblown
- Can GOP Reverse the Damage Done by Iraq?
- Hagel's Challenge
- Wasn't Sandy Hook Enough?
- Gun Vote Reveals New GOP Divide
- Marco Rubio Comes Up Short on Gun Control
- Obama's Limited War on Guns
- School is a Battlefield, and NRA Determined to Keep it that Way
- Gun Laws and Human Nature
- Grief Without Borders
- Immigration: Of Athens and Jerusalem
- Chasing Infinity
- Why the Boston Bombers Succeeded
- Pollution in the News Stream
- Banking on the Poor
- Austerity Leaves Us Crying '96 Tears'
- A Shortage of Mercy
- The Separation of Profit and State
- The Morality Brigade
- Big Sugar's Subsidy -- How Sweet It Is
- Gun Control's Timid Advocates
- Gun Lobby Defends Their Cynical Business Model
- Obamacare: Unhappy Anniversary
- Fighting the Last Political War
- The Demise of Moderate Republicanism
- The Downside of Conservative Orthodoxy
- Gilded Class Warriors
Where Obama Should Listen to Rand Paul: Legal Pot | Politics
(c) 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc