Lincoln Chafee on Drugs

Libertarian presidential challenger; Independent RI Governor; Republican Senator (1999-2007)


Uruguay is leading the way on legalizing & regulating pot

Source: Marijuana Policy Project on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 11, 2015

Taxing legal pot to fix potholes is appealing

Let's take it step by step. We want to see how it's working in Colorado. Certainly, the revenue is enticing for all governors. Somebody was saying to me with the bad weather we've had back home and all the potholes, we should have the revenue go to infrastructure--pot for potholes. Fix up our roads and bridges and fill our potholes.
Source: Green Rush Daily 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 16, 2015

Decriminalized small amounts of marijuana as governor

Chafee would decriminalize possession of small amounts. From the governor's desk in Rhode Island, Chafee signed legislation that decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, making possession of any amount lower than an ounce punishable by a fine instead of as a criminal charge. Last year, Chafee said there is appeal in increased state revenues from legalizing marijuana and he wants to watch how things progress in states like Colorado where the law has changed.
Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 3, 2015

Legalize medical marijuana to relieve pain

Medical organizations throughout the country including the Rhode Island Medical Society and the American Medical Association have come to recognize the potential benefits of marijuana for medical use. Patients, many of whom are in tremendous pain, stand to experience some relief. Governor Gregoire and I are taking this step to urge the Federal Government to consider allowing the safe, reliable, regulated use of marijuana for patients who are suffering.
Source: Rhode Island 2011 gubernatorial press release , Nov 30, 2011

I doubt our culture would allow legalizing hard drugs

In 2002, in Uruguay, I met with President Jorge Batlle, who insisted that our decades-old battle against the narcotics trade was not working. He praised our efforts but urged us to consider legalizing drugs instead.

President Batlle advocated the libertarian approach: legalize drugs to reduce their street value and put the cartels out of business, then regulate and tax those drugs as we do tobacco and alcohol. I doubt that our culture would allow that. Most Americans do not want heroin and crack cocaine sold on store shelves as if they were no more addictive or dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol.

We will probably have this debate in the US, but not because Latin America is having it. The debate will come when we can no longer avoid confronting the destabilizing heroin trade in Afghanistan.

At some point we will have to acknowledge that our new democratic ally in the war on terror is on the opposite side in our war on drugs.

Source: Against the Tide, by Sen. Lincoln Chafee, p.194-195 , Apr 1, 2008

Discuss implementation of "Plan Colombia"

The Congress recently approved President Clinton’s $1.3 billion aid request to fund “Plan Colombia,” which is aimed at promoting stability in the strategically important nation. On February 25th, Chafee -- Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Narcotics and Terrorism -- convened a hearing to discuss the wisdom of Clinton’s request. Chafee will use the one-day trip to Cartagena, to discuss the prospects and implementation of “Plan Colombia”.
Source: Press Release, “Plan Colombia”, August 29, 2000 , Sep 19, 2000

Not proud of trying cocaine as college student

Referring to the media's ''dogged'' pursuit of George W. Bush's possible drug use, the younger Chafee decided to be forthcoming with his own cocaine use when asked about it. ''I had three choices: lie, which was not an option, or evade it and receive the consequences of that, or be honest. And I chose to be honest,'' Chafee said. Chafee said he tried cocaine several times around 1974, as a student at Brown University. ''It's not something I'm proud of,'' Chafee said.
Source: USA Today on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Aug 23, 1999

Lobbied DEA to reclassify marijuana for medical use

If you weren't told Chafee had been a Republican and just looked at all of his positions, you'd think he was a Democrat anyway (pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-minimum wage increases, and eventually pro-Barack Obama). He has lobbied the Drug Enforcement Agency to reclassify marijuana so that doctors could legally prescribe it as medication.
Source: Reason magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Aug 23, 1999

Other candidates on Drugs: Lincoln Chafee on other issues:
2020 Presidential Candidates:
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution-WV)
CEO Rocky De La Fuente (R-CA)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
Gloria La Riva (Socialist-CA)
Kanye West (Birthday-CA)

2020 GOP and Independent primary candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (Libertarian-RI)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Zoltan Istvan (Libertarian-CA)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Ian Schlackman (Green-MD)
CEO Howard Schultz (Independent-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (Green-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)

2020 Democratic Veepstakes Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D-GA)
Rep.Val Demings (D-FL)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
Gov.Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D-NM)
Sen.Catherine Masto (D-NV)
Gov.Gina Raimondo (D-RI)
Amb.Susan Rice (D-ME)
Sen.Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Gov.Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
A.G.Sally Yates (D-GA)
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Social Security
Tax Reform

External Links about Lincoln Chafee:

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Sep 01, 2020