Let's Imprison Everybody!
"The idea that we can 'solve' our complex drug problem by simply legalizing drugs raises more questions than it answers," Walters wrote. "For instance, what happens to the citizenship of those legally addicted? Will they have their full civil rights, such as voting? Can they be employed as school bus drivers? Nurses?"
Drug prohibition foes quickly countered. Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Foundation, called Walters' statements "absurd." "Walters' extreme views regarding the denial of basic civil liberties to drug users demonstrates how truly out of step he and the Bush administration are with both the majority of Americans and the world when it comes to crafting an effective drug control policy," St. Pierre said. (He might well have asked exactly what Walters has been smoking.)
On July 25, according to San Francisco Chronicle columnist Rob Morse, Walters met with his paper's editorial board to discuss medical marijuana. Earlier that week, a city supervisor had suggested San Fran might consider growing its own pot to supply medical marijuana users, as nonprofit dispensaries increasingly have come under fire from fed-led raids despite a statewide medical marijuana initiative passed by California voters in 1996. But the ultimate irony took place outside the front doors of the daily's offices, Morse noted. "Thursday morning the Bush administration's drug czar, John Walters, pulled up in front of the Chronicle with a California Highway Patrol and Secret Service escort," Morse wrote. "Two minutes after the drug czar went into the building, a homeless guy staggered by smoking a joint. The CHP and Secret Service guys didn't bat an eye."