The Drug Policies of 2016’s Presidential Candidates, Part 2

Back in May we detailed the drug policies of presidential hopefuls. A month and a half later, the amount of candidates seems to have multiplied. Keep track of their stance on drugs here.

Recently, The Fix ran a piece detailing thecandidates’ positions on drugs and drug policy.Now, just a month and a half later, the candidates seem to be multiplying like rabbits, so it’s time for an update. In early May, there were just four candidates who had officially declared, but now that number has skyrocketed up to 16. Here’s a look at where the new candidates stand on issues that matter to readers of The Fix.

Rick Santorum

rick-santorumAlthough the former U.S. senator has supported tough-on-crime policies in the past, Republican Rick Santorum says that’s not what he’s about anymore. That being said, as recently as 2012, he didn’t seem to have a real grip on the scope and effects of the War on Drugs. At a campaign event in New Hampshire leading up to the 2012 election, one questioner asked Santorum if, as someone professing to be a supporter of family values, he would as president still “destroy families by sending nonviolent drug offenders to prison.” Santorum somewhat delusionally responded, “The federal government doesn’t do that.”

In fact, some of the candidate’s own votes have sought to do just that. When he was in the Senate, representing Pennsylvania, Santorum voted in support of an amendment (to bankruptcy legislation) to increase penalties on certain drug crimes. Of course, that was more than 15 years ago, back when supporting the drug war was still a good idea politically.

Recently, Santorum clarified that although he has supported zero-tolerance policies in the past, he would no longer do so now. He told Fox News that he thought it was time to take a look at the high incarceration rate for drug offenders. Read more “the fix”…

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