Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd ripped 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Friday after the South Bend, Indiana, mayor pledged to legalize drug possession across the board.
"He is guaranteeing more drug addicts, he's guaranteeing more crime, and he's guaranteeing less help because we don't have enough services for those who are addicted to crimes now and he's going to create more addiction," Judd said, according to Fox News.
Buttigieg said 'incarceration should not be an option' for meth possession
Judd's comments come after Buttigieg recently told editors of the Des Moines Register that "Incarceration should not even be a response to drug possession."
An editor pressed the presidential candidate on his drug policies: "Is that across the board? So if it's meth or coke or ecstasy, any drugs, if it's possession, incarceration isn't…"
"That's right," responded Buttigieg.
"I would not have said even five years ago what I believe now, which is that incarceration should not even be a response to drug possession," he added. "What I've seen is that while there continue to be all kinds of harms associated with drug possession and use, it's also the case that we have created—in an effort to deal with what amounts to a public health problem—we have created an even bigger problem. A justice problem and its form of a health problem."
During his editorial board meeting, Buttigieg also said he would modify the list of offenses that can result in deportation of undocumented immigrants. The Democratic presidential hopeful said the current list as "extensive, outdated, overly harsh, and inconsistent with criminal justice reforms."
Buttigieg added that under his presidency, misdemeanors and drug-related offenses would not result in deportation, reported Fox. The South Bend mayor also said he would apply this rule retroactively.
His policy would lead to people doing 'whatever they want to do'
"What he's telling the people of Iowa and the United States is, 'Hey, I'm going to guarantee that crime is going to go up, I'm going to guarantee that people are going to steal more of your stuff, I'm going to guarantee to you that more people are going to become addicted to crime,'" Sheriff Judd said.
Judd said that Buttigieg's policies would enable "people to do whatever they want to do."