THE LUCK OF THE DRAW
Mr. David Paterson, newly elevated Governor of NY, recently acknowledged (presumably because he realized it would get out anyway!) that he used cocaine and marijuana in his younger years. Had he been unlucky enough back then to get busted for possession of a single joint, or a trace amount of coke, he'd probably be in jail now, or trying to overcome a "criminal record" and find a job, or perhaps dead. Instead, because he had the good fortune not to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, he is responsible for governing NY State - and however one judges his likelihood of governing well, no one has suggested for a moment that he's unqualified in the light of his acknowledgment.
Justice should not hinge on luck. Hopefully, the new governor will reconsider our drug policies in light of his own experience. He has long advocated changing the Draconian Rockefeller Law; now he should push for an even more radical change in how we approach drug use in our state and nation. If any political leader can empathize with the real victims of the drug war, he can!