NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
World Wide Web: http://www.LP.org
For release: September 11, 2002
For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has moral obligation
to pardon every drug offender, Libertarians say
WASHINGTON, DC -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has a moral obligation to
pardon every nonviolent drug offender, Libertarians say, after
insisting on Tuesday that his daughter's latest drug episode should be
treated as a "family matter" rather than as a criminal matter.
"Why is Noelle Bush sitting in a rehab center while other drug-law
violators are rotting in prison?" asked Ron Crickenberger, Libertarian
Party political director. "The answer is obvious: Because her father
happens to be a hypocritical governor who believes in one standard of
justice for his family and another standard for yours."
Police were called to the Center for Drug Free Living on Monday after
employees reported finding a "white, rocklike substance" believed to
be crack cocaine in Noelle Bush's shoe. The 25-year-old daughter of the
Republican governor wasn't immediately arrested, police say, because
clinic supervisors refused to cooperate with police and wanted the
matter handled "in house."
Gov. Bush, whose daughter has had previous drug violations, told the
Associated Press: "This is a private issue as it relates to my
daughter and myself and my wife. The road to recovery is a rocky one
for a lot of people that have this kind of problem."
But the question Libertarians are asking is: Why shouldn't every
American get the Noelle Bush treatment?
"Gov. Bush is exactly right that drug abuse should be treated as a
private, medical problem rather than as a criminal problem,"
Crickenberger said. "Unfortunately, Bush is an ardent drug warrior who
believes in throwing ordinary individuals in jail for committing the
same 'crime' as his daughter ^Ö which makes him a despicable Drug War
hypocrite as well.
"Why does Bush believe that other young men and women should be locked
inside steel cages for years for doing exactly what his daughter has
"Why should other Americans have their lives ruined and their careers
destroyed by a drug conviction while he hands his daughter a get-out-
"And why must other families be torn apart when a loved one is dragged
off to prison while he visits his daughter in a cozy rehab center?
"The fact is that individuals with drug problems harm only themselves,
and perhaps their families. But a politician with a hypocrisy problem
has the power to tear everyone's family apart."
But there's a way that the governor can redeem himself, Libertarians
"Gov. Bush should grant every nonviolent drug offender in the Florida
state prison system a full and immediate pardon," Crickenberger said.
"Then let them join his daughter on the road to recovery."