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Jim Edgar says debate over drug policy needed

Thu, 23 Aug 2012 11:05:58 CDT

     Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle misspoke when she said Ronald Reagan's "War on Drugs" earned him "a special place in hell." Preckwinkle made the comment at the University of Illinois' Urbana campus during a seminar at the Edgar Fellows program, an initiative that brings policymakers of different backgrounds together.
     Edgar says Preckwinkle's remarks could open up a renewed discussion about the nationís drug enforcement policy:


"I understand what her concern was and I think it's a very legitimate issue that we need to have a much broader discussion than we may be have is are our drug policy correct? Are we incarcerating too many people? The big thing driving our prisons is the drug offenders. Is that working? Is that the right strategy?"

Preckwinkle was defending Chicago's recent decision to allow police to ticket people for possession of small amounts of marijuana rather than arresting them. She later apologized for her comment about Reagan, but maintained her critical stance about heightened drug enforcement laws created during his administration.

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