[Ed. – So…everybody should be raised by well-off socialist grandparents, and sent to private schools and top universities, so that little things like smoking pot won’t get them in trouble? What’s the message here?]
Instead of the White House, but for the grace of God, Barack Obama could have landed in this sprawling prison compound in central Oklahoma.
That’s the introspective version of the message the president has stressed during a week of events pushing for criminal justice reform. Mandatory minimum sentences and other harsh drug laws are responsible for prison overcrowding and punishments that don’t fit the crime, he has said.
Both publicly and privately, Obama acknowledges that his mischievous, sometimes marijuana-fueled adolescence in Hawaii might have brought about a very different adulthood had it taken place somewhere else.
“That’s what strikes me — there but for the grace of God,” he said, standing in the middle of Cell Block B, which houses a special drug rehab program. “And that is something that we all have to think about.”
Obama’s visit to a federal prison — the first by a sitting president — capped a week of efforts to swing the pendulum away from the “tough on crime” drug laws of the 1990s.