SURE I INHALED: This morning on C-SPAN a caller asked me, after I’d told my seeing-Ted-Kennedy-soused tale, if it bothered me that George W. did cocaine once, or has been alleged to, or whatever. And I said it did, to the caller’s apparent surprise. It also bothers me that Al Gore could admit to marijuana use the way he did while running for president. My problem has nothing to do with the drugs themselves, though, or the use of them, but by the hypocrisy. How come candidates get to admit to crimes that, when they’re elected, they put others in jail for but have not been punished for themselves? The idea of guys who’ve slipped the noose, and are willing to publically admit it, putting others in the noose — by the thousands and thousands — turns my stomach. To my mind, there’s no more vivid demonstration that the drug laws are a cruel farce.
The next time a presidential candidate makes his ritual drug confession, I think they should be given a choice: serve out the prison term or pay the fine that applied when they offended or recuse themselves and their administration from enforcing the same laws. Better yet, let them commit to changing the laws that they were fortunate enough not to have been caught breaking. Fair? I think so.
Andrew Sullivan Blog
Posted by Walter on Friday, August 19, 2005