House Dems criticize new meth bill
It's unlikely to stop its passage, but it's a good sign that at least some high profile Dems are speaking out against the bill.
The hitching point in the bill is an expansion of the types of meth cases in which defendants could receive 10- and 20-year mandatory minimum sentences. For example, current law imposes a 10-year sentence for trafficking in 50 grams of meth. Under the bill, possession with intent to sell 5 grams of meth would draw a 10-year term. Five grams is about 50 doses of meth.Meanwhile Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the committee's top Democrat, forced the DEA shill who was testifying to admit that mandatory minimums had done nothing to diminish crack use.
..."Whether it's crack or meth, we've got a drug problem in America, and it's not going to be solved with mandatory minimum sentencing," said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., the committee's top Democrat, said Congress has repeatedly tried the punitive approach with meth and other drugs -- and failed.
Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., said punishment should be balanced by additional money to treat addictions. "There's no reference in the legislation about treatment," Delahunt said. "You've got to attack this on the demand side."
Head House prohibitionist Mark Souder isn't worried though. He says the bill has enough support to sail through the Congress (thus making his job secure).
[hat tip Doug McVay]