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Jim Jeffords on Drugs

Independent Jr Senator (VT, retiring 2006)


Decriminalize medical marijuana

Source: 2000 National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 2000

Drug efforts in Colombia OK if joined with society-building

We have two vital tasks in our relations with Colombia. We are obligated to help a neighbor that is struggling to build democracy & civil society, and it is in our best interest to assist them in halting the flow of lethal narcotics from the Andes of Colombia to American communities.

With the remarkable success of US Government antinarcotics programs in Peru and Bolivia, 80% of the heroin consumed in the US is now cultivated in Colombia. We have no choice now but to focus our antidrug efforts in Colombia. While I realize that we must bring pressure to bear on the drug cartels, [I am] very skeptical about the utility of the military response to social and political problems. My chief concerns with it have been the Colombian military campaign against narcotics cultivation, and the abysmal human rights record of paramilitary groups that have frequently been linked to the military forces. I am also concerned that we not get dragged into a major, longterm counterinsurgency effort.

Source: Senate statement, “Plan Colombia” , Jun 22, 2000

Voted NO on increasing penalties for drug offenses.

Vote to increase penalties on certain drug-related crimes. The amendment would specifically target the manufacturing or trafficking of amphetamines & methamphetamines and possession of powder cocaine, and set stronger penalties for dealing drugs
Reference: Bill S.625 ; vote number 1999-360 on Nov 10, 1999

Voted NO on spending international development funds on drug control.

Vote to add an additional $53 million (raising the total to $213 million) to international narcotics control funding, and pay for it by taking $25 million from international operations funding and $28 million from development assistance.
Reference: Bill HR 3540 ; vote number 1996-244 on Jul 25, 1996

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Page last updated: Oct 09, 2013