Pubdate: Fri, 29 Nov 2013
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Copyright: 2013 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC.
Author: John Fuller


On Oct. 29, Republican congressman and tea party affiliate Trey Radel 
was arrested for the possession of cocaine after allegedly purchasing 
it from an undercover agent outside a Washington restaurant. 
According to The Washington Post, this was not the first cocaine 
purchase by Radel since being elected 10 months earlier.

Radel pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and was sentenced to 
one year of probation, with no jail time and the ability to retain 
his position as a House of Representatives member. This poses the 
question: Why is it that the U.S. jails 750,000 for marijuana 
possession each year, but lets off a politician who has repeatedly 
bought cocaine? Granted, marijuana is a Schedule I drug while cocaine 
is a Schedule II drug, but this does not excuse disregarding the law 
for people who meet a certain standard.

To further complicate matters, Radel recently voted to require 
mandatory drug tests for those receiving food stamps, which seems 
slightly hypocritical at this point considering his current 
situation. If nothing else, maybe this debacle will spark a movement 
to re-examine our position on the scheduling of drugs and fair 
practice of carrying out the law. Why is it allowable for politicians 
and public figures to use illegal drugs and get probation, but when 
the average citizen commits the same offense he or she ends up in 
jail? It is time to hold politicians to the standards that they hold 
the American people to.

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom