Newt Gingrich on Drugs

Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House


Marijuana legalization would tear America apart

Gingrich now says that pot legalization would tear America apart: "Every place drugs are legalized the net effect is more people on welfare, more people who are dependent, more people with bad health care outcomes, fewer people who are able workers able to pay attention on the job and a drain of money into illegality, because immediately behind legalized marijuana comes cocaine and heroin."
Source: Tim Murphy in Mother Jones magazine , Apr 20, 2011

International drug traders use network for terrorist traffic

The tragedy of Sept. 11 has revealed that gangs are also a threat to our domestic security. The deep infiltration of gangs in our society is extremely attractive to terrorist organizations. We must listen to the warnings of Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich: "Fueled by the global nature of the drug trade, gangs are increasingly international operations. With the infrastructure in place to move and distribute Drugsacross the border, the danger exists that they will use their network to, for the right price, traffic terrorists and weapons into the country."

Florida should increase funding for additional law enforcement resources to combat gang activities. Florida should pattern its gang elimination program after the successful Gang Resistance Education And Training (GREAT) program. GREAT is a curriculum-based program aimed at teaching students skills to help them avoid gangs, violence, and drugs.

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas, by Marco Rubio, p. 71-72 , Nov 1, 2006

Narcotics trafficking funds terrorism and corruption

Even small terrorist organizations can have global reach through the global criminal system of the Gray World: illegal narcotics and drug-dealing, illegal transportation across borders, international arms dealers, traditional international crime, and people smuggling.

This Gray World is made even more dangerous by the fact that it can produce income for the terrorist networks. The dramatic increase in heroin production in Afghanistan is a major threat to the pro-Western government in Kabul. In 2004, heroin producers were probably earning as much foreign currency as the Kharzai regime. It is likely over the next few years that Afghan heroin processors will increase their purchasing power and technological reach much faster than the bureaucracy in Kabul. Unchecked, this Gray World could become a major threat to the efforts to create a free, modern Afghanistan.

Source: Winning the Future, by Newt Gingrich, p. 9 , Oct 1, 2005

Increase penalties for illegal drugs

Source: Congressional 1998 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1998

Drug-free society focuses on both drug supply & demand

It is essential that we find the means to create a drug-free society for our children. As everyone knows, this has not been an easy matter for us.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, with its constant efforts at persuasion & education, and Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign had a real effect on drug use between 1984 and 1992. In fact, drug use declined by 2/3 in 8 years. Drug use began to rise again when the educational ad campaigns were dumped by the Clinton Administration. Now we have to launch a full-scale torrent of antidrug education, in schools, in churches, in youth organizations, in after-school programs, and everywhere else that young people hang out.

We must also raise the cost of buying and using drugs. We must find a number of economic and social penalties--not just the threat of prison which we know does not work--that will make drug use socially unacceptable. We must seal off the American border by combining [various agencies] into one focused border agency.

Source: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, by Newt Gingrich, p.204-205 , Jul 2, 1998

No sympathy for addicts; no legalization

A considerable number of sophisticated people argue for the legalization of drugs. They are exhausted by the seemingly futile struggle to deal with drug dealers and their violence.

I take the opposite view. I do not believe that a drug addict passively waiting for the next fix is capable of being a free citizen. I do not believe an American that accepts widespread drug use is going to retain the spirit of optimistic individualism that has been our hallmark. Massive drug use may be acceptable in a more passive society, but it is antithetical to a free nation of self-reliant individuals.

The epidemic of poverty, dysfunction, and violence brought on by the drug trade is so much a threat to our children and our society that I believe we should design a thorough effort to destroy it.

We should have no sympathy for addicts and every sympathy for recovering addicts. We should work with every recovery program to develop low-cost detoxification programs.

Source: Renew America, by Newt Gingrich, p.178-179 , Jul 2, 1996

Admitted to smoking marijuana, coming of age in 1960s

It has been popular to conjure up in just how many ways Newt Gingrich is like Bill Clinton. Superficially they share much. Both came of age around the same time--the '60s, the Vietnam era. Each owns a vintage '60s Mustang. Each admitted to smoking marijuana and neither served in the military. Each is an indefatigable politician who has come back from crushing defeat.
Source: Newt!, by Dick Williams, p. 19 , Jun 1, 1995

Permissive attitudes lead to considering legalizing drugs

Look at the preachments of the Surgeon General [Joycelyn Elders] and ask yourself how could a President have a surgeon general who has suggested we consider legalizing drugs, who said at one point that she didn't see that selling cocaine was necessarily an illegal act, who has basically taken positions that are not just anti- Catholic but they, in effect, represent an attitude towards permissive sexuality that by any reasonable standard in a middle-class sense is destructive, and ask yourself why does the President keep her? I assume he shares her values. I assume he thinks it's okay.
--Elders was fired by President Clinton a few days later when comments she made at a UN conference about masturbation were about to be reported. Meet the Press, December 4, 1994
Source: Quotations from Speaker Newt, by A.&P. Bernstein, p. 90 , Jan 1, 1995

I used marijuana at a party once; it had no effect

The historical record is that 19 years ago, I used marijuana once at a party. in New Orleans. It didn't have any effect on me. As a matter of fact, I never went back and revisited it.
--The Washington Post, November 8, 1987
Source: Quotations from Speaker Newt, by A.&P. Bernstein, p. 11 , Jan 1, 1995

Mandatory minimum for drug & gun crimes

The Taking Back Our Streets Act establishes a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for state or federal drug or violent crimes that involve possession of a gun. Penalties increase to 20 years for a 2nd conviction and life in prison for a 3rd. For those who discharge a firearm with intent to injure another person, the 1st offense is punishable by a minimum of 20 years in prison, 2nd offenses are punishable by a minimum of 30 years, and 3rd violations get life in prison.

Finally, possession or use of a machine gun or other destructive device during the commission of these crimes is punishable for no less than 30 years. Second time offenses are punishable by life in prison.

Source: Contract With America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 47 , Dec 26, 1994

Replace drug courts with Block Grants

The crime bill passed by Congress in 1994 contains so many compartmentalized programs for prevention and so many strings to grants to hire police officers, many cities and states have given up on these funds. The Taking Back Our Streets Act authorizes a total of $10 billion over 5 years for local governments to fund law enforcement programs. These block grants replace the police, prevention, and drug courts titles of the recently enacted crime bill. Under the bill, money may be used to:
  1. hire, train, or employ law enforcement officers
  2. pay overtime to police officers
  3. purchase equipment and technology directly related to basic law enforcement purposes
  4. enhance school security measures (for example, police patrols around school grounds, metal detectors, fences, closed circuit cameras, gun hotlines, etc.)
  5. establish citizen neighborhood watch programs; and/or
  6. fund programs that advance moral standards and the values of citizenship and involve local law enforcement officials.
Source: Contract With America, by Newt Gingrich, p. 49 , Dec 26, 1994

Other candidates on Drugs: Newt Gingrich on other issues:
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Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
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Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021