Ron Paul: Radel shows need to reform drug laws

Former Rep. Ron Paul said the conviction of Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) on a drug charge highlights the need to reform America’s “broken” drug laws.

Paul was commenting in a short video on the Ron Paul Channel, his subscription-based media venture that seeks to promote libertarianism.

ADVERTISEMENT
The former congressman made the case that the war on drugs often leads to wildly inconsistent punishments, noting that while Radel got off lightly with one year of probation, violators in states with stricter laws could receive life in prison for a non-violent, first-time drug offense. Paul also said racial minorities are far more likely to receive lengthy prison time for drug infractions.

He criticized what he called the government’s practice of “entrapment” to catch drug purchasers by posing as sellers. Paul said the government ought not have a “license to lie,” and said such operations induce lawbreaking by members of the public.

Radel purchased cocaine from an undercover cop in a sting operation.

In a “free society” without drug laws, Paul said, politicians who developed an addiction to drugs would be judged by voters rather than a court of law.

“If a member [of Congress] is found with alcohol, drinks too much or uses drugs too much, which is the same thing … who would decide whether he’s guilty of something? The voters,” Paul said. “It would be handled completely differently.”