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Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Sat., 1/1/00
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Minnesota Republican Senator Rod Grams is downright hawkish about throwing drug violators in prison. But apparently his "tough on crime" stance doesn't apply when the violator is his next of kin.

Last July Grams called the hometown sheriff, worried that his 21-year old son was missing. Indeed he was—sheriff's deputies found him in an overdue rental car, without a driver's license. They also found 10 bags of marijuana and a mess of beer cans. Grams' son was on probation for drinking and driving, and he was under court order not to possess any alcohol or drugs.

Let's see, that's possession of marijuana, violation of parole, no driver's license, a possible theft, and possibly drinking while driving. If I had a nickel for each person in prison today who'd done less than that, I'd be a millionaire. What do you think Sen. Grams' son got? A ride home.

He was not even questioned about the drugs in the overdue rental car he'd been driving without a license while on parole. The sheriff was also kind enough to hush up his non-arrest—the story only came out months later after the Minneapolis Star Tribune found police reports on file.

Meanwhile, a 17-year old passenger who had been in the car with Grams' son was not so lucky. He was questioned, arrested and ended up spending several weeks in juvenile detention.

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Filed Under: Republicans