Democratic Chicago politician Toni Preckwinkle has apologized for saying that former President Ronald Reagan deserves “a special place in hell” for implementing the war on drugs, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Preckwinkle, a Cook County Board president, was advocating in favor of decriminalizing the possession of marijuana when she made the comment, which was widely condemned.
The Tribune reports on the outrage and apology:
“I think it was a really unfortunate choice of words to speak of one of the most revered presidents of the 20th century in that manner,” said county Commissioner Timothy Schneider, R-Streamwood.
Schneider credited Preckwinkle with a bipartisan approach on the County Board but said, “Heated rhetoric like that can further divide people, as opposed to bring people together.”
Hours later, Preckwinkle issued a statement saying she regretted the Reagan comment. The South Side Democrat said she was trying to make the point that substance abuse should be treated as a health crisis, not a criminal problem.