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Progressive Voter Guide To Drug Issues

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Progressive Voter Guide to Drug Issues

Find out how Obama and McCain compare on everything from drug sentencing laws to drug use in politicians' personal lives.

By AlterNet
Posted October 10, 2008

For full story see...
Progressive Voter Guide to Drug Issues

Twelve states now have medical marijuana laws on the rolls, and hardly a week goes by without the announcement of a medical study touting the healing effects of cannabis. Yet the drug war in the United States keeps on rolling: More than 870,000 people were arrested on charges relating to marijuana last year, and Congress approves larger budgets each year for the White House drug czar.

What can we expect from Obama on drug issues if he's elected? "Bottom line," marijuana policy expert Paul Armentano recently wrote, "no administration since Jimmy Carter's has proactively taken steps to liberalize federal drug penalties, and there's little indication that Obama and Biden will possess either the desire or the political will to buck this long-running trend." We can expect even less from John McCain, given his history of statements on issues relating to the war on drugs.

Nevertheless, nuance does matter at the scale of the presidency, and there are some major distinctions in the positions of the two candidates on drug-related issues. Read below to find out how Obama and McCain compare on everything from drug sentencing laws to drug use in politicians' personal lives.

1. FEDERAL RAIDS ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA USERS, DEALERS AND GROWERS

In the 12 states where medical marijuana laws are on the books, the federal government has continued to conduct raids, arrest dealers and issue harsh fines and penalties.

Solution: The president can redirect law enforcement away from this issue and signal other priorities to law enforcement agencies.

Obama's position: Obama has said he wouldn't use federal funds on raids in the 12 states where medical marijuana has been legalized.

McCain's position: When asked in April 2007 if he would end the federal raids on medical marijuana patients, he answered, "I will let states decide that issue." However, his voting history in the Senate and his record on drug issues indicate that McCain would "stay the course."

Learn more: Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana -- McCain, Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana -- Obama, Drug Policy Alliance Center

For full story see...
Progressive Voter Guide to Drug Issues

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