So Ron Paul has been getting lots of press for his beliefs on drug policy reform- namely that he believes the “Drug War” has failed and legalization of all drugs would be better. That trating drugs as a personal choice- and a personal/public health issue makes more sense then making them a criminal justice issue.
And while I agree with this- I can’t support Ron Paul at all. First of all- it is one of the only positions of his I agree with. And I think many of his other positions would have a devestating effect on society. And really- many of these issues can not be seperated from drug use, and especially from drug abuse.
And let’s face it- really, what can the president really do? They have no power to make law. And paul has shown- in his decades in congress, that he has no ability whatsoever to build consensus and get things done.
Sure- he could try and call off the enforcers from the drug war. But we have seen Obama try this re: medical marijuana, and it seems the agencies have by and large done an end run around him. And really- with international treaties in place regarding drugs it would likely prove impossible to do anything meaningful without congressional or high court action.
And I fear that Pauls insistence on returning power to the states would produce devestating effects. Yes- it could prove a boon for medical marijuana, and maybe even marijuana legalization and expansion of harm reduction such as needle exchanges and safe injection rooms in the more liberal states. But honestly- we would likely see the majority of the states, the “red states”, do nothing, or crack down even harder, especially on drugs such as crack that are associated with “those” people.
There is also the very real issue that the election of ANT republican president would also likely mean control of both houses of congress going to the republicans. And the simple fact is the republicans overwhelmingly do not support drug policy reform.
I fail to see how Ron Paul could accomplish any meaningful reform. At best I think he might try- and have things tied up in the courts until after his first, and likely only term, is over.
While I am happy for the publicity drug policy reform has gotten with him on the campaing, I don’t believe he is the man to accomplish anything important as president, just as he has failed to accomplish anything in congress. And the libertarians are too few to have any impact, and the republicans will do nothing positive for drug users- they are far more prone to move in the opposite direction.
As it has been for decades- democrats are sadly our best hoe to move forward on this issue.