Points Toward the Presidency: Rick Santorum

Editor’s Note: As we mentioned in our recent valediction for Jon Huntsman, this week sees the beginning of a timely new series at Points, where we map the republican presidential candidates’ stances on a range of drug and alcohol issues.  A new and  zealous staffer is dedicating herself to bringing Points readers profiles of all the remaining candidates before the Florida primaries: she is Kelsey Harclerode, a 3rd-year University of Florida double major in Political Science and Women’s Studies. Depending on how closely you’ve followed the primaries thus far– or how much you believe that party affiliation determines policy positions– you may not learn a lot that’s new.  But you’ll now have a go-to source for all the details on topics ranging from access to medical marijuana to mandatory minimum sentences.  Plus, our unique “Points Inhale-Scale” will position each candidate relative to Bill Clinton’s “I didn’t inhale” and Barack Obama’s “Of course I inhaled– that was the point.” Our series starts off with a look at that paragon of values conservatism, Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum.

Santorum, Santorum, Santorum. Do not Google his name. (Trust me.) Instead, what you should Google is his approach to drug policy because that is truly an interesting read. Known for his staunch Catholicism and Evangelical Christian base, Santorum is probably one of the most dependable candidates running in the Republican primary. Whether he’s dependably good, bad, or somewhere in between is up for you to decide– we hope the points below will help you with that determination.

First and foremost, although he admits to having smoked pot himself in college, Santorum is wholeheartedly against drugs of any sort and he has consistently framed his drug policy stances as moral positions. This theme has followed him from his days as a Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives (1990-95), to the U.S. Senate (1995-2007), and ultimately into his campaign for President. Throughout the past two decades, he has stood strong as an ardent drug warrior. Let’s review his scrappy anti-drug tactics.

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