Pete Buttigieg wants to decriminalize possession and use of ALL drugs including ecstasy, coke and meth as he says the harsh criminal justice system has worsened what is a ‘public health problem’
- Pete Buttigieg has said he wants to decriminalize all drugs including ecstasy
- He said it’s ‘a justice problem and its form of a health problem when you think about the adverse aspects on a child’
- Buttigieg said children growing up with parents behind bars ‘makes them dramatically more likely’ to have ‘an encounter with the criminal legal system’
- The South Bend Indiana Mayor said ‘in an effort to deal with what amounts to a public health problem—we have created an even bigger problem’
Pete Buttigieg has said he would decriminalize all drugs if he were to be elected president.
The Mayor of South Bend, Indiana opened up during an interview in Iowa where he championed alternative programs as a way to tackle what he describes as a ‘health problem’ the criminal justice system has worsened.
While some Democratic 2020 candidates have expressed views that align in regards to marijuana possession, Buttigieg said that even those with class A drugs were not deserving of being locked up.
‘I would not have said even five years ago what I believe now, which is that incarceration should not even be a response to drug possession,’ Buttigieg told the Des Moines Register Monday.
Pete Buttigieg said he wants to decriminalize all drugs including ecstasy and meth, Monday. The South Bend Mayor and Democatic presidential candidate is pictured at the Knoxville Skate Pit in Iowa on Sunday
When asked ‘is that across the board?’ including ‘meth or coke or ecstasy’, by the editor of the Des Moines Register, Buttigieg replied about his view against incarceration for possession: ‘That’s right.’
‘What I’ve seen is that while there continue to be all kinds of harms associated with drug possession and use, it’s also the case that we have created—in an effort to deal with what amounts to a public health problem—we have created an even bigger problem,’ The Navy Reserve veteran continued.
‘A justice problem and its form of a health problem when you think about the adverse aspects on a child.’
Buttigieg made the comments during his more than 40 days in Iowa as part of his campaign for the White House.
He shared concerned about overpopulated prisons and statistics that suggest loved ones of those incarcerated are more likely to end up behind bars.
The South Bend Indiana Mayor said ‘in an effort to deal with what amounts to a public health problem—we have created an even bigger problem’. Pictured the Val Air Ballroom Saturday. Buttigieg is the leading with Democratic caucusgoers according to a mid-November Mediacom Iowa Poll
‘We have kids in South Bend who have grown up with the incarceration of a parent as one of their first experiences,’ Buttigieg continued.
‘That makes them dramatically more likely to wind up themselves having an encounter with the criminal legal system.
‘So I’ve always been skeptical of mass incarceration, but now I believe more than ever we need to take really significant steps like ending incarceration as a response to simple possession.’
In mid-November the publication’s collaboration with CNN and Mediacom Iowa Poll revealed that with 25 percent, Buttigieg was the leading with Democratic caucusgoers.
He has shared his views on a Criminal Justice Reform page on his PeteForAmerica.com website, writing that he wants to ‘eliminate incarceration for drug possession, reduce sentences for other drug offenses and apply these reductions retroactively, legalize marijuana, and expunge past convictions.’
On the website he quotes experts agreeing that ‘far too many people are locked up unnecessarily in the United States’ and notes the country having the highest incarceration rate in the world.
Buttigieg tells readers that in some cases, incarceration leads to an increase in crime and says the country needs to invest in social services and diversion programs, and allow people to rehabilitate.
His stance is that closing down prisons won’t solve the problem but the US needs better ways to address crime and poverty, ‘both in the criminal justice system and in society’.
‘We will ensure more people are free by reducing the number of people incarcerated in the United States at both the federal and state level by 50 percent,’ he promises voters, adding that even if ‘we were to reduce this rate by 50 percent, we would still have the 28th highest incarceration rate globally–just after Nicaragua’.
His key policy is to double funding for federal grants for states that commit to criminal justice reform, eliminate mandatory minimums and establish an independent clemency commission that sits outside the Department of Justice.
Buttigieg is determined to fight the ‘profit motive in the criminal justice system’ and reduce what he calls the ‘criminalization of poverty’ and its link to incarceration.
As part of the plan, Buttigieg aims to appoint U.S. Sentencing Commissioners, an Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General deeply committed to achieving this goal and nominate judges from under-represented backgrounds, including women, people of color, public defenders, and civil rights attorney.