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Toke One For The Gipper: Preckwinkle Says Reagan Deserves “A Special Place In Hell” For War On Drugs

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Aug 21, 2012 9:30PM

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle defended the city's move to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana by saying former President Ronald Reagan deserves "a special place in hell" for "making drug use political." Preckwinkle has been an outspoken advocate of decriminalizing pot because she says drug laws unfairly lead to minorities behind bars.

Preckwinkle has never shied from making her drug stance known, and she didn't mince words with the crowd attending the conference led by former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs in Urbana-Champaign. It sounds like there were more than a few Republicans in the audience, who might be big fans of the Gipper.

The Tribune writes:

Republican state Rep. Chapin Rose questioned whether such an approach includes drug treatment for those who are ticketed. Preckwinkle said no, arguing that drug treatment should be part of health care system, not criminal justice. She said Reagan deserves a "special place in hell" for his involvement in "making drug use political."

"What? You didn't like that?" Preckwinkle said after members of the audience gasped.

Preckwinkle has said drugs should be treated as a public health issue instead of filling prisons with nonviolent offenders. In the summer of 2011, the Chicago Reader analyzed data that showed 86 percent of those arrested for marijuana possession are black men, while studies show all demographics partake in pot.