Chains we can believe in


For the last few days, Minnesota Congressman Jim Ramstad's name is being floated around to head the National Drug Control Policy. (Politico has the scoop).

Ramstad has a few things going for him. A recovered lush, he's supported treatment for alcoholics and addicts. Having said that, he's also kind of a mindless hardass when it comes to the criminalization question, so don't expect much of anything to, umm, change by way of drug policy should he fill the post.

In the past (as in before the whole "run for president" thing), Obama demonstrated a rational grip on reality in calling our current drug policy an "utter failure" and advocating the decriminalization of pot. Which makes Ramstad something of an unlikely candidated, even beyond his Republicanism: while in Congress, Ramstad consistently voted against medical marijuana, which is to say he voted to allow federal agents to raid herb-dispensing shops and harrass cancer patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. (Within certain bamboozled-by-inspirational-claptrap circles, this is what's known as "change we can believe in.")