NY Governor Used Cocaine, Doesn't Apologize

How refreshing to hear a politician, in this case David Paterson, the new Governor of New York, acknowledge using drugs in their youth and rather than apologize for it or calling it a mistake, point out:

"More Americans have tried a lot more during that period of time and gone on to lead responsible lives and hopefully have lived their lives to their fullest," he said.

Here's what Obama said about his drug use:

"I was a confused kid and was making a bunch of negative choices based on stereotypes of what I thought a tough young man should be," he said of the period depicted in that section of the book. "Those choices were misguided, a serious mistake.

I'll take more like Paterson please.

Update: The New York Times has a list of politicians and their comments on past drug use.

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    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by tek on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:47:33 PM EST
    as a baby boomer who didn't get into the drug scene but lived with it all around me, I wish we could get away from politicians who have all these skeletons in the closet.  I wonder how very young people feel when they see headlines that the governor of New York first admits he was unfaithful--several times-- and now admits he took illegal drugs.

    There must be millions of Americans who don't have this history.  Someone should do a study on why so many politicians seem to fall into this group.  (The findings would probably be totally disturbing)!

    Yeah, he said it (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by sonya on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:20:17 PM EST
    Good for him.  

    He tried drugs, and then he moved on.  A lot of people have done the same. It's called experimentation and is a part of growing up.  I don't know anyone who's made it to adulthood after having led a "perfect" life.

    What's the point, though? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Exeter on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:26:07 PM EST
    Actually the one thing I agree with Dubya on was his handling of the drug question.

    Oh give it a rest... (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by proseandpromise on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:31:06 PM EST
    Why isn't Bill Clinton's response up there.  If Obama's  is contrived, then Bill's is obscenely ridiculous.  

    How is Obama calling drug use a mistake somehow a bad thing?  

    I know plenty of people (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:44:25 PM EST
    who would describe their early drug experiences exactly as Obama did.  That is how they feel about them and I have no reason to think that his response is not honest.  If you are going to make a negative comparison to Pattersons's statement Bill Clinton is the obvious one.  That was a ridiculously dishonest response.  Does this most indicate that you think asking Hillary about drug use would be appropriate?

     It is seeming more and more like Jeralyn has to put everything in an anti-Obama frame, no matter how ill fitting it may be.  To bad.

    I have to say I am puzzled (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by thinkingfella on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:47:16 PM EST
    by the level of antipathy towards Obama expressed on this blog. Criticizing policies, positions, and attitudes is one thing, but criticizing an expression of regret over prior drug use?
    As someone who is willing to support either candidate in the General Election, I find this to be a bit over the top.

    It appears that some people are losing sight of the big picture: either candidate is going to be immeasurably superior to McCain, and their policy positions are much more similar to each other then in any way shape or form to McCain. This wanton hyper criticism isn't leading anywhere positive. I get that we all want our preferred candidate to win, but let's not engender enourmous damage to our country out of pure spite.

    I still want to hear (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:07:42 PM EST
    what the candidates think of high fructose corn syrup!  That and trans fat are much worse than weed.  

    I am just happy to hear somebody admit to anything (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Dancing Bear on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 06:52:46 AM EST
    There are few politicians who probably sat with their friends planning campaign strategies in high school.

    3 million citizens are in jail. Many for personal use issues and other non- violent offenses. When people at the top admit things it makes it easier for all of us to step back and examine how and why we have some of the laws we do.

    We need a collective head scratch and a very loud "what were we thinking" when it comes to drug laws. Prison ruins your life just as effectively as drugs do. Having a record afterwards ruins lives for even longer than casual use or experimentation does.

    Funny how confused people get when a politician is honest. That should be the rule, not the exception.

    This site opposes the war on drugs (1.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:55:49 PM EST
    and politicians who call their own limited experimentation a mistake can hardly be expected to be progressives on the war on drugs.

    A politican who realizes and expresses that many people use drugs without having their lives fall apart or be adversely impacted by it later in life is more likely to pursue a sane and rational drug policy.

    Most of the comments here are an embarassment to read. I'd expect to find them on an ultra right wing blog.

    You are overstating your case (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by thinkingfella on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:22:36 PM EST
    I am opposed to the war on drugs as well. But there is a difference in my mind between being opposed to the war on drugs, and being opposed to regret over using drugs.

    I have used drugs. I have had positive experiences, and negative ones. I am a productive and responsible member of society.
    I am close to the radical side of progressive politics.

    I can appreciate and relate to Paterson's viewpoint, and Obama's as well. I don't see one as being superior to the other. I just don't see Obama's expression of regret as being something worthy of criticism unless you have some evidence he was deliberately misleading or dishonest, and like many of your readers, I think you are over reaching a bit on this one, with all due respect.


    My views are based (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:55:14 AM EST
    solely on my 30+ years of defending persons charged with drug crimes.

    I (none / 0) (#74)
    by Claw on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:24:32 AM EST
    Have fewer years defending against drug crimes but many of my clients regret their drug use even as they continue to use.  I'll take more Paterson, too, but there was no reason to slam Obama for expressing regret over his cocaine use.  

    true and sanity also includes (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:04:02 AM EST
    help for those who are addicts. if this addressed early on, then perhaps our prison rates would drop.

    true sanity also includes the traffickers (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 02:09:10 AM EST
    30 years to life is excessive for any drug offender.

    the drug laws in new york are (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:06:49 AM EST
    partiuclarly offensive. it brings nothing to society that i see. the stats on prisons in the usa is an embarrassment.

    which is why the Paterson remarks (none / 0) (#79)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:30:19 PM EST
    are so interesting. Is he willing to spend political capital on repealing the Rockefeller laws?

    I mentioned that the day it was announced he would be taking over.


    i sure hope so! (none / 0) (#82)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 02:03:37 PM EST
    Of course... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:07:53 PM EST
    ...politicians that have problems with retroactive applications of sentencing reform "in principle" are unlikely to be vigorous advocates of drug law reform.  I have yet to hear a single frontrunner call for what could accurately be called an abolition of the drug war, although if I remember correctly Gravel was adamantly opposed to it.  
     Ultimately, it will be the sinking costs of the drug war that end it, as it will be with our new security state.  The problem with the Democrats has always been that they are too cowardly to support reform for fear of being labeled soft on crime. See, for example, the great state of California, home to some of the most draconian sentences on the planet, enabled by the state Democratic Party.          

    It is interesting how (none / 0) (#76)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 11:07:45 AM EST
    "few elite" from the so called left wing people seem they have the right to layout the case for every progressive to define him.
    who call their own limited experimentation a mistake can hardly be expected to be progressives on the war on drugs.

    May I ask how will loose canons stop the war.! Progressive doesn't mean to have liberty to do "anything" that was called imporper in the past.


    It ought to be legalized. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Joelarama on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:51:14 PM EST
    But, short of that, I really, really dislike this "it's ok if you're young" theme that seems to be developing.

    The fact is, there are those who use cocaine and other drugs at many stages of their life, and some who don't, and it has nothing to do with whether they have lead a "valuable" life and contributed to society.

    The age at which one uses drugs is irrelevant.  What's relevant is that it is illegal at any age.  

    Um, no, cocaine should not be legalized. or meth (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:13:44 PM EST
    Heroin? Maybe, or medicalize its use.
    Cocaine and meth are far too damaging to legalize.

    I have trouble believing that (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Joelarama on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:17:18 PM EST
    the costs of cocaine or meth use outweigh the costs to society of outlawing them.

    Alcohol is extremely dangerous.  The above cost-benefit equation is the only reason to legalize it.

    Except of course for the liberty of adults to make their own choices in such private matters, which reason applies to alcohol and the other drugs you mention.


    As someone (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:21:12 PM EST
    who has been around a lot of drug use as well as alcohol use, I can tell you that cocaine and booze  are not comparable.   It is extremely debilitating and becomes so very quickly..

    I've seen people simply stop living life in order to be consumed by coke.  It's very bad news.  I haven't really seen much in the way of heroin but from what I understand it is even worse.

    I believe that pot needs to be, at the very least, decriminalized if not outright legalized.  But some of the harder drugs are really really bad news.  The social costs for allowing them are pretty severe.


    When you start picking and choosing (none / 0) (#27)
    by Joelarama on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:37:46 PM EST
    between cocaine and pot and alcohol, you are really talking about whether you approve of the people, or based on one's own anecdotal experience, the "type" of person who uses it and the perceived cultures that use them.

    Frankly, science and social science are not clear at all that so-called "harder" drugs, pot, ecstasy, alcohol or prescription drugs used off-label  are worse or "worser" for individuals or society in general in terms of social cost, addiction, etc.

    And, there is personal choice and freedom.  There are drunk driving laws.  There are standards that discourage parents from abusing alcohol.  There are professional and workplace standards that limit impairing uses of alcohol.  The law need not  outlaw other drugs across-the-board.

    If our society outlawed alcohol possession and distribution, and prosecuted such to the same extent that it did cocaine use, our jails would be full of white people in nearly same proportion as African-Americans.


    I completely disagree (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 06:52:11 AM EST
    It has absolutely nothing to do with approving of the people.  It has to do with the results.  Yes alcohol can be bad news and can be destructive.  But cocaine and heroin are far more likely to be destructive than alcohol.  

    I'm not sure why you think that science is unclear about how much more dangerous heroin is than alcohol.  Science has some pretty clear links between death and hard drug use and it doesn't take very long.  

    And your last comment is just plain silly.  This has nothing to do with white or black.  More white people use cocaine than black people and alcohol is pretty much pervasive in our society.  While more white people may go to jail because of alcohol laws that is only because there are more white people in this country.


    Seriously Doubt It (none / 0) (#75)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 10:51:42 AM EST
    If our society outlawed alcohol possession and distribution, and prosecuted such to the same extent that it did cocaine use, our jails would be full of white people in nearly same proportion as African-Americans.

    It is not that AA use more drugs it is that they are arrested more frequently, and jailed more frequently. If alcohol were made illegal we would not see more white people in jail we would see even more Black people in jail.

    Otherwise I completely agree with what you said.


    I am usually in total disagreement with you (none / 0) (#72)
    by MMW on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:38:06 AM EST
    politically, but on drugs I agree completely with your opinion.

    I think this push to normalize hard core drug use because of the costs to fight it are not logical or considerate of the fact that some things are worth fighting. Like, I think it was tek who said or implied this, millions may have tried / experimented with hardcore drugs but many more millions have not. What does it say to the youth that the best we can do is admitted drug abusers? How do we say to the young don't do this, when our leaders experimented with these drugs? It's not all do it today and turn your life around tomorrow, it's hard and too many lose the battle.


    I (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by tek on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:27:07 AM EST
    guess I can't accept the "just legalize all of it" argument, because my husband is a law professor and plaintiff's lawyer.  He tells his students that every society has a drug of choice and in the U. S. that drug is alcohol, that's why it's legal.  We tried to outlaw it, too late.  Couldn't do it.

    He has handled several cases (the appeals) that are too sad to even talk about wherein one party was so drunk he/she didn't even know what they were doing and got in a car and killed whole innocent families including tiny babies.  Always, these offenders have their licenses suspended from earlier offenses, but get drunk and drive anyway.  It's more common than people generally think.

    If we have this much trouble with the one drug that's legal, think if we legalized lots of mind-altering drugs.  Of course we have people on drugs doing lots of dangerous things and we don't know about it, but I just think legalizing something won't control it and to me, it seems like giving in to the problem instead of trying to solve it.


    Cocaine and Meth cause permanent (none / 0) (#15)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:21:59 PM EST
    brain damage that is unlike anything alcohol does, except in the most heavy use, and it does it much faster. And what about other drugs that are much worse?
    Alcohol has been part of human culture since the beginning---in fact, alcohol is thought to have been the CAUSE of agricultural civilization by some anthropologists. You cannot eliminate it from human existence.

    How do you think they use Coca in Colmbia? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:28:34 PM EST
    There's more than one kind of cocaine, just as there's more than one kind of alcohol.

    Do you think Wine and Everclear are comparable?


    Yes, that is an excellent point---one (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:33:25 PM EST
    which I agree with, btw.
    Purified drugs are more dangerous.
    Refine sugar, for that matter, is hard for human appetites to deal with.

    Maybe alcohol works more slowly (none / 0) (#70)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:31:53 AM EST
    but the effect is just as horrendous.

    Trust me, I had a father, and have a sister, brother and sister in law who are serious alcoholics.

    For me, it's no better, and certainly no less likely to harm OTHERS.


    And BTW, alcohol DOES cause neuro damage (none / 0) (#73)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:47:37 AM EST
    My father,  at 45 could hardly walk due to neurodegradation from alcohol.  It wasn't the alcohol itself, it was the chronic malnutrition that goes with alcohol consumption.  

    In addition, my father also had alcohol-induced dimentia at about 60.

    I've known many teens who were alcoholics, some from essentially the first drink.

    It's a distortion (perpetuated by huge-dollar alcohol-based marketing campaigns) to believe that alcohol is somehow better than other addictive, brain-destroying drugs.

    Yes, alcohol has been part of culture for eons.  So have opiates.

    My point is the huge inconsistency in our drug policies.  Alcohol okay/other drugs not.  For the safety of society, I think all drugs should be decriminalized/legalized, and any penalties should be tied to harm done to OTHERS.... we certainly don't see driveby shootings in the name of alcohol, but we certainly did during prohibition...

    Of course I also think all pharma drugs (except things like antibiotics that could harm others in society) should be dispensed over-the-counter-PLUS-education, but that's a discussion for another day.


    Hillary is a bit nanny state (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:30:43 PM EST
    But I think being that way is probably necessary for a Democrat at the national level.

    I agree with you about that (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Joelarama on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:39:22 PM EST
    as a political matter, of course.  

    This discussion, and Jeralyn's post, of course, gets to the meat of the matter:  these are politicians, and no one should cast their vote for someone based solely on a promise that they are not a politician.


    I agree (none / 0) (#77)
    by Claw on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:20:07 PM EST
    And one of the big costs to society is the fact that we make it very hard for those convicted of drug crimes to get their lives back on track.  So they use/sell again, get caught again, etc.  

    So is alcohol (none / 0) (#11)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:16:51 PM EST
    So is alcohol my friend.

    Drugs are drugs (none / 0) (#3)
    by silly on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:59:55 PM EST
    I find it weird that Jeralyn seems to be pointing to Obama's idea that drugs are a mistake is less honest than the Gov.'s.

    Drugs are drugs.  If the Gov. was still doing them, well, let's face it, that would be a mistake (or, more to the point, an addiction).

    Using drugs in your youth is more forgivable only because you are less experienced in the world and less formed.  Most, not all, youths are subject to peer pressure in a way adults are not (the most, not all here refers to the comparison to adults, not the kids, as many adults, cough, congresspeople, cough, are more than subject to peer pressure).

    And doing drugs is not, in my mind, a bad thing necessarily.  But it is illegal, and drug use often leads to destroyed lives.  So those that experiment, good on you.  You are lucky that you can "experiment" while not getting involved in the legal system, and not getting hooked (esp. with something like cocaine, which is very addictive, but not as bad as heroin, or as some person will point out, nicotine according to some studies).

    In any event, nice attempted dig at Obama.  Did Hillary do drugs?  I could not care less, but if she did, will she say it was a mistake and gain Jeralyn's disdain, or proudly say it was a part of growing up and therefore prove she won't knuckle under to public opinion and public laws?

    I'm not going to address your (none / 0) (#6)
    by Joelarama on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:06:54 PM EST
    remarks about Hillary and Obama.

    But, I might add that alcohol is a drug, a legal drug, that destroys lives and can create addiction (old or young).  


    More Americans are (none / 0) (#5)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:05:44 PM EST
    in rehab too and did not live responsible lives.

    Drugs are only one of the "uses" he speaks of. Obviously there is a problem with sex also.

    Obviously? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:29:40 PM EST
    So everyone that has a rocky marriage and affairs during that period has a sex problem?

    Yeah, that's right (none / 0) (#64)
    by MichaelGale on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 07:02:53 AM EST
    I have no idea what this means (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:31:12 PM EST
    If (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by tek on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:29:32 AM EST
    your marriage is so bad that you have to get someone else, maybe you should first get out of your marriage and not draw an outside person into your bad situation.  Just a thought.

    It's going around. nt (none / 0) (#36)
    by Joelarama on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:05:25 PM EST
    Do Not Feed the Trolls (none / 0) (#7)
    by white n az on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:11:40 PM EST
    DNFTT as it is often put on various mail lists...

    What is the point of all of this candor emanating from Paterson?

    He is on the hot seat as it is and his removal gets another Republican governorship without the bother of an election.

    I'm guessing (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:13:58 PM EST
    that this was low hanging fruit and he is trying to nip it in the bud before the oppo uses it against him.  

    Bloomberg will be the next governor of New York.  That is a done deal.  


    Yeah, it basically looked like that (none / 0) (#19)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:28:12 PM EST
    from what I saw. He prob knows there's sharks out there. I got that there were rumors about his affairs and his coming forward was to take control.

    I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a person or 2 looking for more dirt, so this was prob just another round of take control. His college buddy or whoever doesn't need to dust the cobwebs off and go on camera and say he partied with the Gov back in the day now.

    Geeze. Really, if the guy has a drug problem, please tell us. Otherwise, please leave the college party days off the table if it's a no harm no foul situation. I'd say a good bunch of us don't care that he smoked a joint or did coke a couple times. It's shouldn't have anything to do with his aprox 30yr career.


    That's the better place for Bloomerg, not (none / 0) (#35)
    by Joelarama on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:57:25 PM EST
    in a run for President.

    At least he won't be running as a Republican.  And, he might be quite a good governor.

    And, I have a feeling on an issue that is dear to me, we would see gay marriage in NY if Bloomberg is governor.  With the divisions left by Spitzer, I doubt it will happen sooner.


    have you heard that is his plan? (none / 0) (#54)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:07:00 AM EST
    i have only heard about the presidential election so far.

    Obama paints a scenario... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Exeter on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:24:11 PM EST
    ... where he was using cocaine to deal with the pain of his hard life, which apparently came after his days as "street urchin" in Jakarta. But, there is no evidence of this hard life. He attended an elite private high school and lived with his wealthy grand parerents in the tropical paradise of Hawaii. And before that, he lived with his mother and wealthy stepfather in Jakarta and there is no evidence that he was a "street urchin."

    Frankly, that is what angers me about Obama's attempt to completly immerse and identify himself with Chicago's poor south side African American community. This community's anger is justifiable and it is what makes Rev. Wright's absurd statements forgivable, but Obama never had the same or really even simiilar experiences as this community.

    And his mother from Kansas... (none / 0) (#61)
    by ineedalife on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 06:43:06 AM EST
    ...who left Kansas when she was 13. Another big chunk of the Obama myth. Trying to paint himself as a child of the heartland.

    Drugs are a mistake (none / 0) (#17)
    by magster on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:24:48 PM EST
    Even if you get away with it and lead a productive life later.  I can think of two classmates who did not get away with it in terms of dropping out of college with substance abuse problems.

    Obama's not the anti-Christ you know.  If he regrets his past drug use, what's wrong with that?

    I'll be honest (none / 0) (#29)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:40:09 PM EST
    I do wonder how much of Obama's take is drama or trying to justify or make a point.

    Some people just tried drugs. No peer presure, no conflict. Just tried them.

    I didn't hear the Gov advocating them. It was more like don't condemn attitude. A lot of people HAVE tried drugs and moved on. Good or bad, it happens. I think late 70's was long enough ago that we should be able to move on.

    Uhhh.... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:45:11 PM EST
    ...while I appreciate Governor Paterson's candor about his affairs (and those of his wife) and his cocaine use, how exactly does this make Senator Obama's admissions, written while he was in law school, somehow politically calculated and self-serving?  Because that appears to be the implication...that he views it as a "mistake" only because he is seeking the presidency.  Plenty of people, even those seeking decriminalization, view their youthful use of drugs as a mistake, particularly those who used harder drugs.  Why anyone would think marijuana was anything other than a pointless mistake is beyond me, since I cannot conceive of why anyone would want to smoke it, but I digress.  
        I have rarely seen cocaine do quite the damage that can be wrought by meth, heroin and our longtime global vice, alcohol.  Perhaps I just didn't know enough people with serious cocaine problems when I was in high school or undergrad.  
        In any event, the candor is useless unless Governor Paterson comes out in favor of decriminalization of all drugs.  Since I have not seen any indication that he plans on doing that, thanks for not saying "but I didn't snort."  

    That's because cocaine is a rich drug (none / 0) (#40)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:13:19 PM EST
    The kind of people who get hooked on cocaine can afford expensive private clinics that will help them get off of the drug quietly and without unwanted attention. Meth is a poor man's drug. The people who get hooked on it can't afford private clinics and end up in more public trouble. Heroin is just nasty, but, again, it's something that can be afforded by poorer people, who "fall under" it's control and become poorer.

    I don't actually begrudge Obama his teenage fun, but I think that Clinton should get some credit for being interested in improving the world at an age when Obama was interested in finding himself.


    Oh... (none / 0) (#55)
    by Alec82 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 02:02:04 AM EST
    ...were that only true.  The people I knew with what I regard as a "cocaine problem" were either Hispanic or lower class whites.  Most white people I knew seemed only to dabble in the drug.

     I just think this kind of debate is a waste of time.  Neither senator is an ideal candidate in the "drug war."  Neither will end it.  Which makes this entire topic pointless.



    that's why this thread (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 02:08:10 AM EST
    is about Paterson, with hope that more politicians in the future will express his view. It's not about the candidates in the presidential race. Since Hillary hasn't acknowledged using drugs, Obama was the ready example that came to mind. But again, as I've said many times here, neither presidential candidate shares my views on criminal justice issues and they are so similar it's not something I dwell on.  Paterson is the point here.

    about patterson? (none / 0) (#67)
    by mindfulmission on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 08:59:10 AM EST
    Sure... I agree that it should be about Patterson, but then why bring in the Obama quote?

    First, I have absolutely no problem with the Obama quote, even though I agree with you on the war on drugs.  

    Second, I truly do not understand why you attempt to bash Obama while saying this post is about Patterson.  If you wanted this to be about Patterson and not Obama, I don't get why you brought Obama into the discussion.


    Silly Logic (none / 0) (#39)
    by brad12345 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:11:09 PM EST
    and politicians who call their own limited experimentation a mistake can hardly be expected to be progressives on the war on drugs.

    A politican who realizes and expresses that many people use drugs without having their lives fall apart or be adversely impacted by it later in life is more likely to pursue a sane and rational drug policy.

    It's really not hard to distinguish between a personal mistake--i.e., this was bad for me personally--and a statement like "let's lock up everyone who tries this."  

    That said, it is probably the case that Obama, were he elected, wouldn't be great on the war on drugs.  But I don't see why we'd assume any different from Hilary Clinton which seems to be the implication of the original post.

    The implication is that Obama has (none / 0) (#42)
    by Joelarama on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:20:44 PM EST
    tried to have it both ways, pretending to be a politician while actually, of course, being a politician.

    Jeralyn's post is not silly.  The context is that Obama used to support decriminalization of marijuana, and he has gone back on that.


    Correction: pretending NOT to be a (none / 0) (#43)
    by Joelarama on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:21:22 PM EST
    politician while actually being one.

    this post has nothing to do with Hillary (none / 0) (#49)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:44:42 PM EST
    Too many Obama trolls out tonight. Go home to wherever you came from. I'm going to be deleting your comments misrepresenting what is written here and recasting the argument to another topic. You've all been very tiresome today. I suspect most of you will be banned within days.

    So... Why Pick Out a Quote From Obama? (none / 0) (#50)
    by brad12345 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:02:45 AM EST
    I agree: Patterson's statement is refreshing.  But why include a quote from Obama unless you mean to imply something about Obama/Clinton?  What are you trying to demonstrate with this quote from Obama?  

    because there are no quotes from Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 02:10:08 AM EST
    since she hasn't acknowledged using drugs.

    I know someone is dying to say (none / 0) (#60)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 03:43:49 AM EST
    "Yeah, right.  Everyone tries drugs."

    I am someone who hasn't.  My logic was pretty simple back in my teen years.

    People on drugs act like fools and worse.
    I do not want to act like a fool(and worse).
    So I will not use drugs.

    And I never did.  I was very curious about drugs.  I did my research and looked up studies and descriptions of drugs and their effects and asked some people I trusted about their experiences.  My conclusion was that drugs were not for me.  


    why... (none / 0) (#68)
    by mindfulmission on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:00:02 AM EST
    ... do you need a quote from either one?

    Neither of them are related to Patterson's drug use.  

    Not everything has to be used to bash Obama or Clinton, especially those things that have nothing to do with the candidates.


    Patterson IS NO MAVERICK. Obama paved the Way (none / 0) (#41)
    by BuddyD on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:20:01 PM EST
    ITS NOT FAIR TO COMPARE THE TWO.  Obama admitted it first, was honest first, and paved the way for other politicans to do so.

    The last Democrat before OBAMA to speak about drug use was Bill Clinton and he claimed not to inhale.  He didn't help.  Obama said inhaling was the whole point.  

    Patterson IS NO MAVERICK.  He would not have been as open about admitting drug use and assured that it would be ok to do it, if it was not for Obama.  Don't compare the two.

    In the interest of accuracy... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by thinkingfella on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:27:04 PM EST
    Both Gore and Kerry admitted smoking pot in their youth.

    and Paterson admitted it in 2006 (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 02:11:02 AM EST
    a journalist reminded him which is why it's in the news today.

    Um, heh (none / 0) (#45)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:25:15 PM EST
    I'd say Bush paved (none / 0) (#71)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:34:09 AM EST
    the way.  So what if he wasn't a Democrat.  He made it okay to say "I used".  That's why the others could come out and say it.

    Bill Clinton would have been crucified for saying the same thing.


    used what? (none / 0) (#78)
    by mindfulmission on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:26:23 PM EST
    Bush still has only said that he used alcohol, but not drugs, right?

    I don't recall Bush ever admitting that he used drugs.


    Voters want to hear (none / 0) (#46)
    by Natal on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:26:07 PM EST
    repentance and owing up to mistakes and not more and more people are using it with no effects.

    Ummm (none / 0) (#48)
    by jarober on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:28:06 PM EST
    You mean: "More like the kind of guy who cheats on his wife, tells her it was all in the past, then we find out that 'past' means a month ago, and then we find out that he arranged to get his girlfriends work with the state, and that he paid for hotel trysts with campaign funds"?

    More like that?  Forget his drug use - what about his basic honesty and trustworthiness?

    What is the cause of Gov. Paterson's (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 12:12:57 AM EST
    need to "share" all this info with the public.  Truth serum.  Psychoanalysis.  Political death wish.  Unreal.  

    I just don't get (none / 0) (#80)
    by teachermom on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:07:32 PM EST
    how politicians can square their own past use of drugs with the fact that so many other people not as privileged or fortunate as they are imprisoned. These politicians aren't hounded or driven into prison for their drug use; the media accepts it and moves on. This is a gross injustice and hypocrisy.
    No one should be jailed for using an herb.
    And the ritual "youthful folly" defense is getting old.

    Unfortunately (none / 0) (#81)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 01:40:56 PM EST
    US voters tend to be puritanical and many want a nanny state to  punish those that would sell drugs to their children. Yes the very same children that they are too busy to educate, inform and monitor. What are taxes for if not to keep the children safe.

    Any Pols, who are on principal for legalization, fear that there would be great retribution from this irrational bunch of voters, and they would lose their jobs going against them.