Senator Paul v. Over-Criminalization
Senator Paul (R-KY) has placed holds on S. 409, S. 839, and S. 605, three bills that add dozens of synthetic drugs to the list of federal Schedule I narcotics. His hold has angered the bills’ sponsors, Sen. Schumer, Sen. Grassley, and Sen. Klobuchar. What Senator Schumer and his colleagues fail to realize, however, is that we already have too many federal laws on the books, and criminalizing even more behaviors and products won’t lead to the ends they seek. Senator Paul placed the holds due to his constitutional/federalism concerns with the bills, as well as his concern that these bills have the effect of expanding current mandatory minimum sentences. We need more Senators like Dr. Paul, who understand the limits the Constitution places on federal power, and who understand the political, social, and cultural failure of the federal War on Drugs and the destructiveness of over-criminalization at the federal level. Hopefully, he will be able to convince other senators of the wisdom of his thinking.