Congratulations, Senator Dodd

Thank you for having the courage to say the right, sensible thing tonight on the issue of marijuana decriminalization. You took a bold stand on a risky issue, and that’s (sadly) rare, even among the candidates for high office and most especially on the gravest of issues.  You deserve kudos (and web traffic.)

When Tim Russert asked the candidates who among them disagreed with Dodd – Biden, Edwards, Clinton and Richardson raised their hands.  Obama seemed to – however unenthusiastically and only about a quarter of the way – raise his hand. What did that mean? I’d like to hear Obama speak out more clearly on this issue and encourage you all to ask him about it.

Edwards said that he was against decriminalizing marijuana because it “sends the wrong message to young people.”

Dodd said,

“We’re locking up too many people in our system here today. We’ve got mandatory minimum sentences that are filling our jails with people who don’t belong there. My idea is to decriminalize this, reduce that problem here – we’ve gone from 800,000 to 2 million people in our penal institutions in this country. We’ve got to get a lot smarter about this issue than we are, and as President I would try to achieve that.”

I’m glad it was brought up tonight.  The decriminalization issue and the penal system rot of our young people is an urgent matter that begs open, mainstream discussion.

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