Monday, June 11, 2007

Not a Drug Warrior After All???

Following a series of links today, I found myself on Wikipedia's page listing all the people pardoned by Bill Clinton. Curious about the current president, I noticed that there is a page for him too. Of course, there are much fewer pardons on Bush's page, but then Clinton did most of his on his last day in office, so there's plenty of time for Bush yet.

What I find interesting about Bush's pardons is that a great many of them have to do with "moonshining" and "conspiracy to possess marijuana." I mean...WTF, right? If anything, this administration has earned a reputation as fierce drug warriors. As if Ashcroft wasn't bad enough, Gonzales has got to be the most by-the-book, letter-of-the-law drug warrior we've seen in a while, right?

And yet, if you go through the list and count all the pardons or commutations that have to do with drug or alcohol, there are 17 (out of 79) - meaning they account for just over 1/5 of the total. WOW!

I mean, not that I'm complaining. The War on Drugs is stupid and counterproductive by any practical assessment, indefensible on moral grounds, and is in many ways a blatant abuse of federal power besides. I'm all for simply ending it. So I guess I'll file this in my "plus" column in drawing up an overall picture of the Bush Administration. It's just...

Well, I don't get the MPS going on here. Why is the right hand prosecuting with such zeal when the left hand is freeing people convicted as long ago as 1959 (no, really) for the same crimes? Don't make a whole lotta sense...


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