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Bush Endorses Treatment, Ending Mandatory Minimum Sentences for First-Time Drug Offenders

In an interview with CNN taped a few days before his inauguration, President George W. Bush said he knows that "a lot of people are coming to the realization that maybe long minimum sentences for the first-time users may not be the best way to occupy jail space and/or heal people from their disease. And I'm willing to look at that."

President Bush went on:

"But my point to you on drug use is that one of the things we've got to do a better job of in our society is helping people cure themselves of an illness. Addiction to alcohol or addiction to drugs is an illness. And we haven't done a very good job, thus far, of curing people from that illness. And it's one of the reasons why I believe so strongly in faith-based programs to help people first change their lives, which would then change their habits."

The President spoke of his opposition to the disparity between sentencing for crack vs. powder cocaine, saying flatly "that ought to be addressed by making sure the powder-cocaine and the crack-cocaine penalties are the same. I don't believe we ought to be discriminatory. I mean, I think we ought to be sending a clear signal." The US Sentencing Commission has often in the past called for the current 100-to-1 ratio to be reduced significantly.

Another major initiative for which the President expressed support is data collection to measure instances of racial profiling.

The MAP media archive contains several articles on President Bush's drug policy.

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copyright © 2001, Common Sense for Drug Policy,
Kevin B. Zeese, President -- Mike Gray, Chairman -- Robert E. Field, Co-Chairman -- Melvin R. Allen, Director -- Doug McVay, Editor & Research Director
Updated: Thursday, 09-Jul-2009 16:43:37 PDT   ~   Accessed: 12228 times
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