Bobby Jindal on Drugs

Republican Governor; previously Representative (LA-1)


No legalization; but focus on rehabilitation for addicts

Jindal's vision of modern social conservatism contains some updates. Rather than moralizing about the pernicious evils of drug culture and the need to crack down on addicts, he has followed some of his Republican colleagues in adopting a softer--and, perhaps, more Christian--stance. He said he doesn't favor legalization, but, "I'm absolutely in favor of making sure that, especially [for] nonviolent offenders, we're providing drug treatment, rehabilitation, instead of just continuing to lock them up." He added, "The reality is that I think it's better for those individuals to get back as productive members of society."
Source: Buzzfeed blog 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 20, 2014

We lock up too many people for casual drug use

Q: Is it time to look at the laws in your state for use of small amounts of marijuana and maybe crank down those punishments?

JINDAL: Sure--we've started not just last year, but since I've been governor. And last year, we accelerated that--looking to lower those penalties. I agree with the president that we lock up too many people for casual drug use. What I mean by that is that non-violent, non-repeat offenders, those that aren't committing other crimes, we should look at treatment and rehabilitation. I'm not for the legalization. The full legalization of marijuana has been done in Colorado. But certainly, I think that it makes sense. We could use our resources more effectively. We passed some pretty good laws last year. There's more work that we can do there. I do think when it comes to medical marijuana, I've said that I'm open if it's tightly regulated, for legitimate medical purposes. We don't need to be locking up people who aren't the dealers, who aren't committing other crimes

Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 2, 2014

Never experimented with drugs as a youth

I generally avoided trouble as a kid. In high school, growing up in a college town, there was always the allure of heading off with the college crowd. But the bigger pull was New Orleans, the big city with the big reputation only one hour down the highway. We knew it was the ultimate party town and sometimes we'd take off with friends for a Saturday trip, walking down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter and sneaking into clubs to listen to great music. It was pretty harmless fun. Some people might not think of New Orleans as wholesome, but I have to say, I enjoyed it--and I never got arrested, never experimented with drugs, and generally lived a life that was like Leave It to Beaver with a Louisiana twist.
Source: Leadership and Crisis, by Bobby Jindal, p. 42-43 , Nov 15, 2010

Rated -10 by NORML, indicating a "hard-on-drugs" stance.

Jindal scores -10 by the NORML on drug reform

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NORML scores as follows:

About NORML (from their website, www.norml.org):

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.

NORML is a nonprofit, public-interest lobby that for more than 30 years has provided a voice for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition. We represent the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly and believe the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana should no longer be a crime.

NORML supports the removal of all criminal penalties for the private possession & responsible use of marijuana by adults, including the cultivation for personal use, and the casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts. This model is called "decriminalization."

NORML additionally supports the development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could purchase it from a safe, legal and regulated source. This model is referred to as "legalization."

NORML believes that marijuana smoking is not for kids and should only be used responsibly by adults. As with alcohol consumption, it must never be an excuse for misconduct or other bad behavior. Driving or operating heavy equipment while impaired from marijuana should be prohibited.

NORML strongly supports the right of patients to use marijuana as a medicine when their physician recommends it to relieve pain and suffering.

Lastly, NORML supports the right of farmers to commercially cultivate hemp for industrial purposes, such as food and fiber production.

Source: NORML website 06n-NORML on Dec 31, 2006

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Page last updated: Mar 12, 2016