Rep. Frank Calls for Shift in Nations Drug Policy

  Rep. Frank Calls for Shift in Nations Drug Policy

Posted by FoM on October 15, 2000 at 09:09:43 PT
By Clive McFarlane, Telegram & Gazette Staff  
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette 

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Newton, said last night that the country was ready for a public revolt against the way in which drug policies are being enforced.     Speaking at the annual meeting and awards banquet of the Worcester Country Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, held at the Holiday Inn, Mr. Frank said many lives have been ruined by the country's harsh and punitive drug laws.
    “Nowhere have we spent money and engaged in more effort and have less to show for it than in combating illegal drugs,” he said.     Mr. Frank said he was not calling for complete legalization, because the country was not ready for that.     “But there are people in prison today for doing what I believe Al Gore and George Bush did, when they were younger,” he said.     “It is not that I mean Al Gore and George Bush should be in prison. It does mean that young, uneducated, poor and particularly minority youngsters should not be in prison either.”     Mr. Frank, who is running against a Republican and a Libertarian to retain his district seat, quipped that he was wary of saying anything to alienate voters in his district, or those in the audience.     But, he said, conservatives have failed to recognize that “the market is a powerful tool.”     “Millions of free people with money who want something are very likely to get it,” he said.     “It is possible for a sophisticated society to protect people from other people. It is very hard in a free society to protect people from what they themselves determine to do to themselves.”     Fighting the country's harsh drug policies, according to Mr. Frank, will require a shift in tactics by the Civil Liberties Union and others.     “The Civil Liberties Union and others have been very good in stepping in and protecting people's rights, but collectively we have not done enough to change the climate that leads to the violation of those rights,” he said.     “It is our sacred duty to vindicate the rights of individuals in judicial proceedings, but it is a very incomplete defense if we do not dedicate ourselves to change the political climate that led to the offense in the first place.     “It means going to town meetings, it means getting on these stupid talk shows, it means writing letters to the editors, it means getting out there and trying to change the minds of your fellow citizens.”     Last night the ACLUM recognized Worcester public school teacher Elizabeth Molinari. The group said she “acted vigorously to protect the civil rights of the children under her partial protection in 1994, when she was a teacher aide in the Worcester public school, by speaking out against a teacher that was abusing her students.”     “She is a shining example to other teachers that they have a primary responsibility to protect students in their care,” according to Ronal C. Madnick, executive director of the Worcester County ACLUM chapter. Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)Author: Clive McFarlanePublished: Sunday, October 15, 2000© 2000 Worcester Telegram & GazetteContact: letters telegram.comAddress: P.O. Box 15012Worcester, MA 01615-0012Fax: (508) 793-9313Website: Articles & Web Sites:A.C.L.U. A.C.L.U. Barney Frank Barney Frank Not Necessarily For Legalization Frank Discusses Drug Policy at U.Mass-Boston Justice Archives:

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Comment #3 posted by eco2 on October 15, 2000 at 22:18:54 PT

Nader for President. Greens/Democrats for congress

*U.S. Rightist Republican-led (GOP) Drug War. GOP fascists lead, Democrat flunkies follow. Huge LINKS list! Amnesty 2000. Revised edition. GOP's holy war. Drug war leaders: rabid right, hate radio, hate television, NRA (National Rifle Association), religious right, (snortin') George Bush the hypocrite, etc.. *Greens and the Drug War. Worldwide. LINKS. Green Party candidates, positions, platforms, etc.. Concerning the Drug War, cannabis, marijuana, harm reduction, etc.. Ralph Nader info, links. and *9-00. MAP/DrugNews SEARCH SHORTCUT for many press articles about RALPH NADER's September 8, 2000 press conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he called for legalizing cannabis/marijuana, and for harm reduction drug reform. Ralph Nader "called for the legalization of marijuana as part of an overhaul of the nation's 'self-defeating and antiquated drug laws.' ... Legalizing marijuana, Nader said, would allow the government to regulate and potentially tax its use like tobacco products." -Albuquerque Journal, September 8, 2000. And of course, we should vote for the rare good Republican such as Gary Johnson.And Jesse Ventura, the independent. 
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on October 15, 2000 at 10:13:38 PT:

Stage 3 beginning?

The philosopher Shopenhauer once said that truth goes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed (Barry: Cannabis is Cheech-and-Chong medicine!"); second, it is violently opposed (Barry, again: I'll lock up every doctor who recommends cannabis!); finally, it is accepted as being self-evident (I'm waiting for Barry to pull his foot out of his mouth.)I think we are about three quarters of the way through the second stage, and are about to enter the third.Granted, Barney Frank has always been on our side in this issue, but now, he has gone the vital step further: he has openlycondemned the *entireDrug War apparatus* . He's the first mainstream (sorry, but Ventura and Johnson are just too progressive to fall into that category; they are out on the bleeding edge of politics, not back at the herd) pol to speak up and offer a blanket condemnation of the Drugwar. And now that the cat's out of the bag, we can expect to see more of this.Like I said before, this winter could become unseasonably warm, and quickly, too. 
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Comment #1 posted by Scott on October 15, 2000 at 09:36:12 PT

Blah blah blah

We're losing the war on drugs, people are being put in prison for using drugs and they shouldn't be, but the country isn't ready for legalization? What a bunch of horse shit.
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