In an interview with HuffPost Live, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said the high-priced war on drugs is preventing law enforcement from obtaining funding to fight other crimes.
Booker said in the interview that, as evidenced by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal’s efforts to reduce Georgia’s prison population by reevaluating the sentencing of nonviolent offenders, criminal justice reform is “an issue that we can all agree on.”
“You shouldn't be letting this bureaucracy grow so big,” Booker said. “It's chewing up taxpayer dollars, squeezing out money. Would you rather have a nonviolent drug offender with a bunch of marijuana cost us a million dollars for a high mandatory minimum ... or would you rather be able to hire two more investigators to investigate insurance fraud? To investigate other white collar crimes that are costing society? Or to protect us against terrorism?
“We're spending money in the wrong place as a society if we really want to stop the kind of crime that threatens and undermines our economy and our safety,” he continued.
Booker joined HuffPost Live host Ryan Grim to discuss criminal justice reform, and pushed for viewers to read Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow.
“I love when Second Amendment and pro-gun folks say, 'We have enough gun [laws],' enforce the laws that we have,” Booker said. “And I actually say, you know what you're right. We don't actually enforce the laws that we have well because we have anemic ATF group because they don't get the funding they need. Why? Because we're spending so much money funding other agencies prosecuting the drug war.
“So this is an area that should, for all of us who want to be diligent with the use of taxpayer funds and the returns we get for our economy, should begin to agree that we've gone way off the right path.”
Source: Huffington Post / Photo Credit: politico.com, WikiCommons