I heard an interview with Senator James Webb last week and I'm ready to vote for him for any position he wants. He's being mentioned as a VP possibility but I think he's too smart to fall for that. We should be so lucky.
In the middle of the interview Webb said the War on Drugs is a disaster and has to be completely restructured. He cited the deplorable statistics for how many Americans are in jail and said this has to stop. There should be a new system of drug courts and we should stop locking up addicts. He made the common sense point that if we don't arrest alcoholics, why does it make any more sense to lock up other drug users?
Webb is able to say things like this because he doesn't give a damn if he gets reelected or not. He is so confident in himself that he doesn't have to pander to the Law and Order crowd. If he loses his Senate seat, he'll go back to writing novels. This is the kind of leadership needed in this country; politicians who will advocate for what is best for the country, not what is required to get reelected.
The relevance of this to Michigan is obvious. We spend more money on prisons than on higher education. We lock up more people on a per-capita basis than any other Great Lakes state. We have another budget deficit and need to find a way to save money. Releasing non-violent drug offenders from jail might be a way to do this.