April 2, 2009

Dope

Blogging in spurts.

We'll start with this. More to follow. 

A number of people were irked by President Obama smirking and chuckling over the potheads on line.  It was irksome; there was no atempt to defend a policy position that is clearly wrong. There was just some throwaway ridicule and a knowing statement to the audience that implicitly said "You know this is NOT happening."  And the audience chuckled along.

While I agree with that irked reaction, as far as it goes, it misses a point  In responding to a very popular question in this way, Obama was conceding the policy point without engaging it.  He was saying, and the audience was agreeing with him,  that smoking marijuana isn't a big deal. It's funny, kinda like Vinny in the Bronx in his underwear making fun of Brian Williams, but it 's not really important.  Obama would not have cracked this little joke about grand theft auto, or rape or tax evasion, or pretty much any crime that people do time for.  But a lot of people are doing time for this funny little indulgence.  Not a large fraction of the lawbreaking dope smokers, but a large fraction, internationally speaking, of the general population is in jail because they did something that the elites in that room have also done, and find kinda, well, cute, in their position in the stratosphere.

After all, Obama himself has indulged in the wacky weed. I expect that most of his audience has done so as well. As have I. And, I suspect, you,  reading this.  

Opposing legalization is indefensible.  Nobody even tries anymore to defend the position.   It's not just that they find it funny that people point this out. It's that they know it, and don't even try to defend their opposition.


6 comments:

PhD9 said...

Quoting myself:
The reason we don't have a serious discussion about marijuana laws in this country is that the participants can't keep from giggling.

But seriously. One of the reasons I think that we've been slow to reform marijuana laws is because of the flexibilty it gives to police officers. Without marijuana being illegal, the ability to search cars at will and arrest people for the crime of hanging out on corners would be greatly curtailed.

There's no doubt in my mind that many of the people in jail for possession are people the police wanted off the streets for more serious crimes but they were unable to (or couldn't be bothered) gathering evidence.

Libby Spencer said...

Another reason: Forfeiture.

They make a ton of money on dubious busts. That's how they pay for all their cool SWAT team gear.

Jay Ackroyd said...

Also Big Pharma benefits when mood-altering natural, unpatentable substances are kept off the market.

stuart_zechman said...

...a lot of people are doing time for this funny little indulgence. Not a large fraction of the lawbreaking dope smokers, but a large fraction, internationally speaking, of the general population is in jail...

Let's also not forget that it's a lot of African-American people that are "doing time for this funny little indulgence", comparatively speaking, as I'm sure Chris Bowers wouldn't fail to mention.

stuart_zechman said...

Obama would not have cracked this little joke about grand theft auto, or rape or tax evasion, or pretty much any crime that people do time for.

Would he have cracked this little joke about demand-side responsibility for the mini-war raging in North Mexico that somebody's Secretary of State was forced to acknowledge recently?

Dave said...

It's time to end the failed, destructive policy of marijuana prohibition.
Tell Obama and your elected representatives that marijuana should be legalized and taxed.