Booker Rand Drug Reform 02
Booker Rand Drug Reform 01

It’s Official: Senators Booker, Paul Are Working Together on New Drug Law

The two men don't share much politically, but they do agree on this: Mandatory minimum sentencing has to go

The poster boy liberal and the face of libertarianism—together at last.

The staffs for Sens. Rand Paul and Cory Booker officially confirmed to Vocativ on Friday that they are planning to work together on new legislation to reform drug laws. Murmurings of a partnership began on New Year’s Day, when the Star-Ledger reported on a cheery Twitter exchange between the two senators.

Now Read This

24 May 2012, Frankfort, Kentucky, USA --- In this May 24, 2012, photo, John Ramsey, center, accompanied by Preston Bates left, and Doug Lusco, right, young Republicans involved in the Liberty For All political group, stand in front of the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. John Ramsey stands out in a new campaign finance world order filled with big names like Republican casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Democratic Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. The little-known senior at Stephen F. Austin the founder of a team of college-aged Republicans that liberals have dubbed the “Brat PAC,” which helped propel one congressional candidate to victory and intends to get involved in other House races. And he’s just the latest wealthy individual to try to influence federal elections in the wake of a series of federal court decisions that deregulated the campaign finance system and dramatically changed the country’s political landscape. (AP Photo/Roger Alford) --- Image by © Roger Alford/ /AP/Corbis 

Dec 23, 2013 14:45 UTC@SenRandPaul

@CoryBooker how about mandatory minimum sentencing reform instead?

| |

Dec 23, 2013 14:50 UTC@CoryBooker

Yes, If u throw in reforming Fed Hemp & Marijuana laws u've got a deal! RT @SenRandPaul: How about mandatory min sentencing reform instead?

| |

Dec 23, 2013 15:48 UTC@CoryBooker

I know. U told me last week. Here is to a 2014 where we take on the failed war on drugs RT @SenRandPaul: I'm the Senate author of Hemp bill!

| |

Sens. Paul and Booker are unlikely bedfellows. Paul, for example, has proposed blocking funding for food stamps, while Booker, a year ago, spent a week living on them to “reduce the stigma” for those enrolled in the program.

Tweet at us: Do drug laws need to be reformed?

It’s not the first time Paul has tackled drug laws. Last March, he and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act. It would allow judges to use their own discretion when sentencing certain federal crimes, like drug offenses, rather than complying with mandatory minimums, which tend to be disproportionately harsh and lead to overcrowding in prisons.

Booker and Paul share the view that the 1970s-era War on Drugs is a failed policy that has mainly functioned as a black hole for taxpayer money. What shape their new bill will take is unclear, but it could involve reducing criminal penalties for drug possession or, in the case of marijuana, eliminating jail time as a punishment.


Respond Now
  • We as a society need to take a stand and say ‘ENOUGH is enough”..approx 60% of federal prisoners are nonviolent drug offenders. I think we should worry more about keeping pedophiles And sex offenders in prison.. THE WAR ON DRUGS cannot be won by any side and its another fleecing of tax payers moneys..we cant build new schools but steadily building new

Activists of the Right Sector movement and their supporters gather outside the parliament building to demand the immediate resignation of Internal Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov, in Kiev March 27, 2014. A prominent Ukrainian far-right activist, part of a hard-line nationalist movement that played a leading role in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovich, was shot dead by police overnight, authorities said on March 25. The Interior Ministry said Oleksander Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bily, was killed by officers of the 'Sokol' special unit as he tried to escape from a cafe in the western Ukrainian region of Rivne. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3IWHV

Organizing a Right-Wing Ukrainian Militia? There’s an App for That

Rachael Levy
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila sit in front of the Taj Mahal while touring city of Agra October 4, 2000. Building on the first day of a visit aimed at rekindling Soviet-era amity, Putin told India's parliament that ties with New Delhi would remain a key element of Moscow's foreign policy. - RTXK1TW

Meet the Putins

Vocativ Staff
Shoppers walk past an advertising billboard for shoes in the central business district (CBD) of Beijing November 3, 2008. A measure of Chinese manufacturing activity showed factory output shrank sharply in October in the face of waning orders, while officials pledged further steps to boost domestic demand to keep the economy from slowing too much. Capital controls and the relative conservatism of China's banks have largely insulated the world's fourth-largest economy from direct hits from the global financial crisis, but its reliance on exports to the United States and Europe makes it vulnerable to a drop-off in Western demand.    REUTERS/David Gray    (CHINA) - RTXA6ZX

New Strike Breaks Out at China Factory That Michael Jordan Made Famous

Versha Sharma
Snoop Fancy

Living a Snoop Dogg-Curated Life

Emily Levy

Brazil’s By-The-Hour Love Hotels

Ramon Iriarte
Lionel Gonzalez (16) dreams of crossing the border and reunite with his family in Denver, Colorado. In the background dowtown El Paso

Teens Caught in Cartels’ Trafficking Crossfire

Jan-Albert Hootsen
Ana Paula Maciel Playboy 05

Greenpeace’s Brazilian Playboy Jailbird

Mac Margolis
NASA Selfies 01

NASA Spaces Out Its Social Media Orbit

Emily Levy
Join the Fray
“You Own a Toilet?” A New Marriage Test for Men in India