Senator Rand Paul caused heads on the left and the right to explode Wednesday night as he went on the Stephen Colbert Show and shattered the stereotype of a typical politician. Unable to steer the direction of the Kentucky senator into the typical left versus right divide, Paul had the audience cheering as he exposed the drug war for the racist fraud that it is while dropping a bombshell on the government’s ability to spy on its citizens.
As the show opened up—after Paul talked about the crazy year he had in 2017, being shot at and ‘mugged’—Colbert asked the senator about his stance on marijuana. the reply was nothing short of bombshell and set to expose the horrific nature of the prison industrial complex and its ties to racism and the drug war.
Paul told Colbert that he is all for the legalization of marijuana and supports states and adults making their own decisions in legalizing it.
“Then how do you feel about Jeff Sessions?” Colbert asked, citing Sessions insane renewed war on this plant.
“Imagine Congress, and imagine a bunch of octogenarians who just watched Reefer Madness for the first time in 1937,” Paul said, “and they think it’s the gateway to the end of the world, and so they think they should lock these people up…. It’s very expensive to lock people up, but it also ruins young people’s lives,” and overwhelmingly the lives of brown, black, and poor people.
In that statement, Paul is mentioning what his father has been talking about for years. In spite of drug use being equal among races, black and brown people are disproportionately targetted and suffer far more grave consequences than their white counterparts.
“And one of my complaints about the war on drugs is that four out of five people being arrested are black or brown. It’s poor people. It’s people that don’t have the resources to get a good attorney that are getting arrested. Even though you look at the statistics,” said Paul. “Whites smoke marijuana just as much as blacks or Hispanics. However, if you look at the prisons they’re full of Hispanics and African Americans because we disproportionately arrest poor people and there are disproportionately more poor people among minorities.”
Paul then goes on to explain how the drug war ruins lives by making otherwise innocent people unhirable, stripping them of their voting rights, and setting them on a path that is destined to fail.
“It’s stark,” Paul said. “You go to our prisons, and then when people get out, you can’t vote again, you can’t be hired again.”
This revolving door of creating and processing criminals also fosters the phenomenon known as Recidivism. Recidivism is a fundamental concept of criminal justice that shows the tendency of those who are processed into the system and the likelihood of future criminal behavior.
The War on Drugs creates criminals every single minute of every single day. The system is set up in such a way that it fans the flames of violent crime by essentially building a factory that turns out violent criminals. And when cops respond to situations, their training teaches them to treat everyone like they are one of these violent criminals.
“It should be about second chances,” Paul said. “Most of us, for religious reasons, believe people should have second chances. I think the law should give you a second chance.”
Indeed, every single non-violent drug offender should be freed—today—and issued an apology and have their record wiped clean.
Bravo to Rand Paul for pointing this out. However, he wasn’t done yet. Before the show would end, Paul would explose both the drug war and the American police and surveillance state.
“My biggest concern is over something that [James]Madison said in the beginning of our country. He said men are not angels and that’s why we need more oversight of government,” said Paul, paving the way for his bombshell admission on government spying.
“Our intelligence community has the ability to listen to every phone call. Every one of your phone calls could be listened to if they wanted to,” Paul said. “Every one of your emails can be tracked. Who you call and how long you speak can be tracked. Every bank transaction can be tracked.”
“So, continued Paul, “I think because men are not angels and women are not either, there could be bias entering into the intelligence community and we have to be very, very careful that someone gives them a check and a balance. And that check and a balance should be a judge and warrant.”
Thank you, Rand Paul, for standing out in Washington D.C. In a place filled with parasites and criminals, your dedication to freedom and liberty—although not perfect— definitely shines through.