Newt Gingrich claims to think big thoughts that no one else thinks, when really all he’s done in his career is speak or rather be Speakery or historiany, which does not require thought. Case in point: back when his hair was big enough to better shield his ears from hearing the inanity/insanity of what he was saying, Gingrich actually supported a bill that would imprison, and in certain cases put to death, anyone who brought more than two ounces of a controlled substance into the country. The Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996 was only ever introduced, but it’s an interesting choice of pet project for someone who used to smoke pot … because it was, as he put it, “a sign that we were alive and in graduate school” (PICTURED).
From the Congressional Research Service, here’s the text of the theoretical legislation, H.R. 4170, in question:
Amends the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act to direct the court to sentence a person convicted of bringing into the United States a proscribed quantity of a mixture or substance containing a controlled substance in an amount the Attorney General has determined is equal to 100 usual dosage amounts to life imprisonment without possibility of release (or, if the defendant has violated such provision on more than one occasion and if certain requirements under the Federal criminal code are met, to death). Makes conforming amendments to the code.
As per usual with any of these fools, Gingrich actually advocated for medical marijuana before he turned vehemently against the stuff. But in 1995, he showed his support of H.R. 4170, and “suggested that mass executions of people convicted under such a law might prove an effective deterrent,” wrote the New York Times at the time. During a 1995 fundraising event for Representative Charlie Norwood, Gingrich said:
If you import a commercial quantity of illegal drugs, it is because you have made the personal decision that you are prepared to get rich by destroying our children. I have made the decision that I love our children enough that we will kill you if you do this.