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Rand Paul op-ed: Give kids a second chance after drug crime

by Rand Paul
July 11, 2014

A friend of mine's brother was convicted of a felony for growing marijuana plants in his college dorm. Thirty years later he still can't vote and his felony record prevents him from getting a good job.

Because of his story and others like it, I introduced bipartisan legislation to restore federal voting rights for non-violent offenders upon release from prison.

This week, I introduced another piece of legislation with Senator Cory Booker to make some reforms to the criminal justice system that will help non-violent individuals reintegrate into society and secure employment.

Both of these bills will reform existing federal law to allow low-level offenders a second chance. These ideas will both allow the restoration of the right to vote and the opportunity to remove a permanent blot preventing employment for those released after non-violent punishment.


I am not done. I am working on two more pieces of legislation to reform the federal criminal code and the way the federal government treats accused individuals by seizing property, then never allowing the assets to get back in the hands of the accused, even if the accused is acquitted.


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wolfe's picture

Felonious Gardening!!!

So he can't get a good job... And yes, that can even mean in places like CO where you can't be a grower if you had a previous drug conviction. In other words, you had to have gotten the skill by doing it, but not have gotten caught.

Rand is cute. The arrest/conviction is what matters. Who gives a rats ass about being able to vote or if they are no "longer" felons. That isn't what an employer asks.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Give kids a second chance after drug 'crime'

My, that's mighty white of Rand.

Leges sine moribus vanae

who cares about voting rights

These people didn't do anything wrong in the first place. How about speaking out for legalization?

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

Small moves, Ellie, small moves.

The people he is talking to, the people he's trying to win over, are not quite mature enough for this whole "freedom" thing yet. Give it some time.

“My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.” - G.K. Chesterton

Sick of the baby steps

I am ready for those in the 'law enforcement', 'courts' and 'corrections' to be brought to justice for their criminal conspiracy of levying drug WAR on the people.

That body of men never had the lawful authority to try or throw people in jail for doing things that never had an accuser who invoked lawful agency of 'government' to keep the peace/bring justice.

if the system were to decide to operate lawfully, all 'victimless criminals' would be released from jail immediately and their records expunged. These people are victims of criminal acts by those acting under color of law. Furthermore, if the system decided to uphold the law they would provide the lawful forum of justice and remedy to bring those criminals who threw these people in jail to proper justice.

In short there needs to be justice brought against all of those 'cops', 'judges', and 'prosecutors' who committed the warfare against the people. If I were on a jury I would give the real criminals the death penalty regardless of their claims, 'I was only doing my job'. Committing criminal acts against people is no one's job, ever, regardless of any 'legislation'.

I just can't support anyone who is not willing to speak the real truth about the situation. If Rand doesn't speak the truth then he is either not competent in law or he is not willing to speak out because of political ramifications either of which lacks integrity.

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...

The Drug War Labor Vacuum

The Drug War, while earning the united States the proud title of having the most people per capita locked away in prisons, has had another sinister effect. It has created a labor vacuum. As a result, immigration has soared in order to meet the demand for low skilled labor.

End the Drug War, and kill two birds with one stone.

:-P <--- humor face

His friend's brother should have never been convicted...

in the first place.

You should never lose your 'rights'...

There should be no crime for which you can lose your rights.... NONE. Rights ar not rights if they can them away"...

So, by extension, murders

So, by extension, murders don't go to jail because that would mean they lose rights?

When you say 'murder', what do you mean?

When you say a 'murderer' should not have his rights.... which one would you modify in his case? His right to a jury? His right to be represented in the Republic (his right to cast a vote absentee?) Which would you take (in the name of public safety?) His right to liberty? Then your only concern is that he be detained while he remains a threat, or until the exemplar pound of flesh is used as the deterrent for the others that might engage in any like crime? Just in case you did not know, it is very well established in America, the ONLY 'right' you can take away from a prisoner (and only while he is in jail) are those rights 'which must be amended to facilitate the safety and security of the offender and the institution'. If you do not need to modify the right, why would you? The problem we are seeing here is the ABUSE to which none prisoners have allowed the state to 'modify' the rights of Americans they think are 'bad people'. Now, because the ABUSE is reaching a critical mass (27% of black men in Miss. are forever band from voting) 'we', the 'good guys' now pretend to be concerned. I would give a murder all his rights, and only modify those which are 'required' due to safety concerns. The case law is very logical, and lengthy.

I am saying the idea of

I am saying the idea of prison contradicts your original statement because the detainment itself is a curtailment of rights.

+10 Cool Points for Rand

unfortunately he's still -1000 cool points for endorsing Romney. But, If he keeps this up he might get back to zero one day.


Says the right wing: OMG Rand

Says the right wing: OMG Rand is an isolationist AND he's soft on crime

Says the left wing: OMG he's talking like a liberal so he can try to dupe blacks into thinking he's on their side. So shameful

Says the libertarian: Thank God. Stick to these sorts of issues and you'll be President Dr Paul. Just quit the "stand with Israel" and Iran's a grave threat crap and you'll be great!

As for me personally, I'm a huge Rand critic but he has nothing but my upmost praise on this one. Keep fighting these sorts of battles and Rand Paul will win a landslide victory for the White House.

Asclepius's picture

Another example of winning folks over by doing the right thing

Most of us have no clue how insane the US Justice system has become. This piece below provides some perspective:


Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley



Indeed it is

Excited to hear more. Never even considered this issue and *wham*, there it is. Fantastic bill and the name REDEEM Act might just make sense, unlike the "Patriot Act"...etc etc.