The Long Beach Press-Telegram editorial page today endorses Orange County judge Jim Gray, the Libertarian Party candidate in the U.S. Senate race. The paper cites his vocal opposition to the drug war:
Gray won't win, of course, though he is qualified and we'd be pleased to have him as a member of the Senate. Rather, a vote for Gray is a powerful way to force the two major parties to acknowledge where they've gone wrong.
One of those places is the drug war. In his 20 years on the bench, Gray has seen first- hand the astounding misuse of taxpayer dollars under drug prohibition, and the many lives discarded when nonviolent drug offenders are given harsh prison sentences instead of the treatment and rehabilitation they need.
Gray's platform calls for the federal government to allow states to create their own drug policies, and in California, the decriminalization of marijuana. In California, Gray says, the legalization of marijuana would save the state about $1 billion a year that now goes to arrest, prosecute and jail nonviolent drug uses, dealers and growers. Under a strict system of regulation and taxation, similar to alcohol, the state would stand to gain an additional $1.5 billion.
(Via Brian Doherty at Hit and Run)