In continuing with our "on Biden" series, today we look at Joe Biden's views on drugs. All are from ontheissues.org except where otherwise linked. First, the good:
- Supported eliminating the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine.
- Supports the idea of drug courts and focus on treatment, and theoretically opposes increased penalties for drug crimes.
- Recognizes the fact that America's gun problem is largely a drug problem (though he doesn't recognize that it's a drug law problem, not a drug problem).
- Coined the term "drug czar" while championing the new office.
- Against lowering the drinking age from 21.
- Is proud of having enacted legislation that increases penalties for those caught dealing drugs within 1000 feet from a school.
- Championed the RAVE Act and its identical eventually-passed boringly-named version, which he snuck through without debate. This anti-ecstasy law (broad enough to be used to persecute NORML) was perhaps spurred by the infamous "holes in the brain" article which alleged that MDMA was highly neurotoxic – i.e., really bad. Only, it turns out the research was bad and the authors had to retract it. Oddly enough, I don't remember Joe Biden ever reconsidering his vote in light of the evidence. Funny how that works.
They follow the standard Democrat line – support specific marginal changes to the way we process criminals, emphasize the treatment part, but leave the bigger picture unchanged.