WASHINGTON - January 8 - Since October 2003, when police discovered records of Rush Limbaugh illegally purchasing tens of thousands of narcotics, the question has been: will Rush Limbaugh be prosecuted? The jurys still out, but the Drug Policy Alliance has created an opportunity for people to weigh in on the radio jocks fate before the judge does: the first ever nationwide referendum on Rush, which asks participants whether Rush Limbaugh should be put behind bars or left alone.
The poll is accompanied by a fast-paced flash animation that graphically explains both options. Set to Nine Inch Nails The Perfect Drug, the short piece juxtaposes vintage Rush statements like, drug users should be sent up the river with the fact that since admitting his own addiction, hes championed rehab for himself. It concludes by asking whether voters would like to give Rush a taste of his own harsh medicine, or leave him alone. In the two hours since the animation began circulating online, at least 1500 people had completed the poll.
We are of two minds regarding Rushs fate, said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. On one hand, the Alliances guiding principle is that people should not be punished for what they put into their own bodies, but only for crimes committed against others. According to that logic, Rusheven Rush should be allowed to deal with his issues with drugs privately.
On the other hand, Nadelmann pointed out, Limbaugh is the man who scoffed at the idea that African Americans are disproportionately arrested on drug charges, and suggested that the solution was to arrest more white people. Perhaps the only way for draconian drug laws to change is for people like Limbaugh to join other non violent drug offenders behind bars.
Nadelmann is hopeful, however. Ideally, Rushs experiences with addiction and the drug war will encourage him to join the movement to reform drug policy, he added. He would be a great ally.