Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday offered some praise for President Barack Obama’s recent efforts to scale back the war on drugs.
During an interview with former Obama adviser David Axelrod at the University of Chicago, Paul said that white people were a majority in the United States and used drugs at the same rate as minorities.
“But three out of four people in prison are black or brown,” he continued. “So I think the war on drugs — not purposefully — but inadvertently has had a racial outcome. This is one thing I’m happy to compliment the president on. The last couple of days, and really over the last year he started commuting some sentences and letting people out.
The Obama administration recently issued new guidelines for nonviolent drug offenders that are expected to make thousands of inmates eligible for clemency.
“For a long time we punished crack cocaine different than powder cocaine, so you could have the same amount, but crack cocaine tended to be used more in the African American community — you had ten and twenty year sentences, and the rich white kid was getting out in six months or not going to jail at all,” Paul said. “So, yeah, there is a problem and it is something I’ve actually spoken to [Attorney General] Eric Holder on, I’m willing to work with the administration on a second chance for people — kids should not have their future taken away.”
He concluded his point by saying that while drug use was a mistake, young people shouldn’t have to face life-long legal consequences for simple drug offenses.
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