Noelle Bush's Drug Problem
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 – 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 done?
"Why should other Americans have their lives ruined and their careers destroyed by a drug conviction while he hands his daughter a get-out- of-jail-free card?
"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 say:
"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."