FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2014
January 24, 2014
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TOP REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS DECLARE COMMITMENT TO DRUG POLICY REFORM
Rick Perry, Chris Christie Join Barack Obama, Kofi Annan and Juan Manuel Santos in Denouncing Current Drug Policy This Week
Politicians from Both Sides of Aisle Support Change
DAVOS, SWITZERLAND–Rick Perry, Republican governor of Texas who ran for the presidency in 2012 and is widely expected to consider a run in 2016, repeatedly recognized state governments’ right to legalize marijuana and touted his implementation of “policies that start us toward a decriminalization” in a drug policy reform panel at the World Economic Forum Thursday.
Perry joins New Jersey governor Chris Christie, another expected candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential primary, who also noted his commitment to drug policy reform this week, saying “We will end the failed war on drugs that believes that incarceration is the cure of every ill caused by drug abuse” in his second inaugural address Tuesday.
“I’ve always said that ending the drug war is neither a liberal nor a conservative issue. It’s an issue of compassion, practicality and justice.” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs. “Having two of the top contenders for the Republican presidential nod in 2016 touting their commitment to drug policy reform the same week Obama praised legalization in Washington and Colorado shows the discussion has shifted from bipartisanship and ‘Can national politicians support reform?’ to ‘Can national politicians afford not to?’”
The panel on which Perry appeared also featured Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who both support ending the war on drugs. This marks the first time drug policy discussions have taken prominence in the forum’s more than 40-year history.