Va. Race Turns to War on Drugs 

Va. Race Turns to War on Drugs 
Posted by FoM on May 09, 2000 at 03:27:27 PT
By R.H. Melton and Craig Timberg
Source: Washington Post 
U.S. Senate hopeful George Allen (R) accused incumbent Charles S. Robb yesterday of having done nothing to advance America's war on drugs, saying the two-term Virginia Democrat and the Clinton administration lack the stature to wage the fight against illegal narcotics.
"The Clinton-Gore-Robb crew have brought no moral authority whatsoever to this issue," Allen said. "They've done nothing."Allen told the Kiwanis Club of Richmond that he would support new federal programs and tougher penalties to stem the flow of drugs into the country, and he sharpened those comments later in talking to reporters.Robb replied through a spokesman that Allen, as a member of Congress in 1991, voted against the kind of new funding for drug interdiction he proposed to the Kiwanians yesterday."Such hypocrisy," said James F. Mulhall, Robb's campaign manager. "In his fleeting moment in Congress, when he had not just the moral authority but the authority of a voting card as a member, he failed to act. He dropped the ball."Mulhall said Allen voted against drug enforcement measures, border patrols and new agents that would have cost a combined $100 million, as well as other efforts to combat drugs in schools, the centerpiece of Allen's address yesterday.Since the Senate campaign began in earnest this year, Robb and Allen have concentrated mostly on education and taxes, but the two former governors dwelt yesterday on ways to control crime. Robb focused on firearm restrictions, meeting in Vienna with a dozen activists who plan to push for new gun controls Sunday at the Million Mom March on the Mall.Robb offered few specifics on how he would stem gun crime but told the group he favors "common-sense firearm safety.""I will do my best to try to carry your message," Robb said.Allen and Robb largely disagree on gun issues, with Robb generally favoring gun control measures and Allen generally opposing them. The two agree on trigger locks to make guns safer, Robb said.Otherwise, "we're on opposite sides," Robb said. Later, he told reporters: "You do not have an unlimited, unfettered right to purchase any gun at any time, with any magazine capacity."Joan Fredericks, whose husband, U.S. Marine Band trombonist Dale H. Fredericks, was shot to death in a Fairfax County car theft in 1993, showed Robb, a former Marine, a family picture taken before the shooting."This is what my family used to look like," she said before switching to a picture of her and her young son. "This is what my family looks like now."In Richmond, Allen said he would push for a federal program modeled on the local Exile initiative against illegal guns, which is credited with helping to cut record homicide rates in the capital and other urban centers. Felony convictions for gun crimes under Exile carry mandatory five-year sentences, and Allen said the same could work against illegal drugs.Allen said the federal government should be more active against drugs, but he added that Washington could let local agencies plot strategy and "should not dictate how every program should be run."Allen said he was proud of his record as governor, when an increasingly Republican legislature abolished parole and altered Virginia's juvenile justice system at his request. He said he wanted to increase dramatically the mandatory prison sentences for those convicted of selling drugs to minors."We ought to punish these pushers as severely as we would if they forced our children to take rat poison," Allen said.Robb could have been far more aggressive in battling drugs, Allen said. "I haven't detected any strong resolve, any strong leadership or any moral authority or effort whatsoever to make this a front-and-center issue," Allen said. By R.H. Melton and Craig TimbergWashington Post Staff WritersTuesday , May 9, 2000 ; B07  2000 The Washington Post Company CannabisNews Articles On The War On Drugs:
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Comment #4 posted by Rainbow on May 09, 2000 at 13:19:10 PT
Ventura? I wonder
""Sadly, very few of those pols yet have the courage of Governors Johnson or Ventura to speak out ""I think the jury is still out on Ventura. I voted for him but am really concerned about his recent laisions with Clinton and Gore.He has visited Gore and Clinton several times and is playing golf with Clinton this weekend.Strange bedfellows at best something sinister we will see.Mr Ventura has not said much about MJ lately and most of that is about Hemp.Rainbow 
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Comment #3 posted by observer on May 09, 2000 at 13:10:01 PT
re: Whipping the dead horse
> Va. Race Turns to War on Drugs "Having run out of phony 'issues' to beat each other with, in an attempt to appear 'different' from each other, they have both fallen upon the hoary old 'soft on drugs' epithets."Well put. The candidates of the two factions of this one-party (The Republican/Democrat Party) system are so very similar. They and their mainstream media mouthpieces are forced to put the microscope on their miniscule differences. They must magnify and expand upon and continually play up these tiny, little differences. Vote for either faction of this party: the results shall be the same. More rights ceded to The State, more power and control given to The Government. The end results of this farce are predictable as always.``When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other in order that the people may require a leader.'' (Plato)
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on May 09, 2000 at 07:07:24 PT:
Whipping the dead horse.
As George Wallace once said, "There's not a dimes's worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans". This latest bit of blather proves the truth of that. Having run out of phony 'issues' to beat each other with, in an attempt to appear 'different' from each other, they have both fallen upon the hoary old 'soft on drugs' epithets. Which is sure to garner some votes among the less educated and more easily led segments of the population. This is one dead horse that almost every pol feels safe in beating.But this dead horse is more than just dead; it's starting to smell, too. And the stench is beginning to cause even the more open-minded (even among pols!) to begin to question the wisdom of keeping it around. Because the smell is getting to the point where it is overpowering all the perfume the DrugWarriors have been spraying on it to hide their failure. Sadly, very few of those pols yet have the courage of Governors Johnson or Ventura to speak out on the matter from a civil rights point of view; despite its' validity, the position is too often seen as being too 'liberal' (why did that become such a dirty word?) and therefore suspect. Nope, the only real concern many pols have for is (of course) money. Cost/benefit analysis, the mealy-mouth wording of bean-counting, is what many of these pols take the most notice of. Since that seems to be the only language that the pols can safely take notice of, perhaps that's how we should be targeting our efforts; we can't expect those who blithely trample our rights to suddenly develop a conscience, but if we appeal to the money-grubbing portions of their souls, perhaps we will prevail. 
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Comment #1 posted by observer on May 09, 2000 at 06:32:55 PT
MJ Users: `Force Our Children to Take Rat Poison'
"We ought to punish these pushers as severely as we would if they forced our children to take rat poison," Allen said.Doublespeak translation: "We're going to scapegoat, steal the property and money of, and incarcerate more adult marijuana users than ever!"Disgusting little demogogues. (Robb/Allen) May the punishments that they heap upon innocent cannabis users be swiftly returned upon their own heads. Mandantory sentencing guidelines are ruthless. A first offense of simple marijuana posession now carries a five-year federal penalty.234 Escalator clauses take advantage of the repetitive nature of drug use. First-time possession of crack can be punished by five to twenty years if the amount exceeds five grams. A second offense brings the same punishment if the weight exceeds five grams. And a third offense brings the same punishment of the weight exceeds one gram. "Three felony convictions for drug offenses carries mandantory life with no parole, and it is a felony to commit a drug offense within 100 feet of a pinball or video arcade containing more than 10 games."235 Possession of a marijuana cigarette is such a felony. Federal law permits a $10,000 fine for possessing one marijuana cigarette.236 An Oklahoma man received a life sentence for felony possession of marijuana, 0.005644 of an ounce.237 (Richard L Miller, Drug Warriors and their Prey, 1996, pgs.63-64) 
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