Thursday, March 26, 2009

"You must have been so high..."

I agree, President Obama: legalizing marijuana is not a good strategy to grow our economy. No, legalizing marijuana is a good strategy to: relieve stress on our crowded prisons, reduce police corruption and urban violence, focus law enforcement attention on more egregious crimes, and promote individual freedom of choice. And, oh, by the way, we could also turn the billions of dollars wasted enforcing this unjust law into billions of dollars in tax revenue, which might help the economy just a little bit. Even if that's dead last on the list of reasons, and it is for me, it's still a better reason than any I've heard to keep it illegal. And instead you dismiss the notion out of hand.

I know people who voted for you, President Obama, based on the assumption that, even if you would not necessarily push for marijuana legalization or decriminalization, you would adopt a reasoned approach to the idea. None of those people do drugs. The fact that you dismiss their questions and concerns with a pretty lame joke about their assumed recreational habits is shameful and disturbing. I hope the incomprehensible laughter was worth it.

Radley Balko has more, including that apparently that whole "calling off medical marijuana raids" thing was utter bullshite.

In the meantime, President Obama, I would like to know this: why should other people be penalized for doing something that you yourself admitted to illegally doing in the past?

"We are broken, we are bitter, we're the problem,
We're the Politicians
Watching for our sky to get torn apart"
- Switchfoot, Politicians


Blogger Ben said...

Love the Switchfoot quote. Especially since I introduced you to that song.

Anyways, if Obama's flippant tone angered you, I bet this NY Times blog post's tone will piss you off even more:

The post does have one good point, which might partly explain Obama's comment - this was supposed to be a forum on the economy. As you so aptly point out, MJ is only loosely connected to the economy.

Doesn't make Obama right on this issue, but it makes his response partly understandable.

March 26, 2009 5:07 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Even if it's only loosely related to our economy, it's still more likely to produce growth than many other ideas out there. And anyway, even if the subject of legalization was not completely appropriate to the context, the casual dismissal of the concern remains worrisome. Here's Radley Balko again on the seriousness of the issue.

March 27, 2009 7:56 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

On an unrelated note: How's the new Blue October album? How does it compare to Consent to Treatment and Foiled?

March 30, 2009 2:13 PM  

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