The Price of Defending Medical Marijuana Seems Right

Reader Chucklehead sends along this widely reprinted AP story about Drew Carey, Reason.tv, and the reaction of The Price Is Right fans. Snippets:

"Smell that smell," the 49-year-old comedian says as he walks into a Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary. "That's the smell of freedom."

The video is one of 20 Carey will host for the Reason Foundation, a nonprofit educational group whose ideas "some people call libertarian" and whose mission is to "advance freedom," said president David Nott.

Carey offered to produce brief documentaries on topics ranging from traffic congestion to immigration for the foundation's Web site, Nott said....

Though medical marijuana might be controversial, media experts and fans of "The Price Is Right" said Carey's political punditry will have little, if any, effect on the stalwart show or the comedian's career.

"Twenty years ago, this would have been career suicide," said longtime celebrity publicist Michael Levine. "But in the early part of the 21st century, a guy like Drew Carey can come out with his position, and it will not injure him."...

Since Carey is so new to "Price," he's taking a risk speaking out on such a controversial topic, said Bonnie Diczhazy, who runs a "Price Is Right" fan site. People naturally connect him with the show, said Diczhazy, a 38-year-old artist from Cleveland.

But his outspokenness could also earn him new fans.

"The younger generation could learn something," she said, adding that the medical-marijuana video "doesn't affect whether or not I watch the show at all."

"'Price Is Right' is an icon in and of itself," she said. "I don't think (Carey's videos) would stop people from watching."

Carey's mini-documentaries will appear every two weeks through the end of the year on Reason.tv, Nott said. Future topics include eminent domain, school choice and immigration.

Meanwhile, "The Price Is Right" host will continue to close daily episodes with Barker's traditional spay-and-neuter refrain.

Whole thing here.

Two reactions: I really hope The Price Is Right gets rid of the spay-and-neuter refrain and replaces it with a caution against bogarting that joint. And is there any show more inherently free-market-oriented than The Price Is Right, which teaches more about price theory and the subjective theory of value in an hour than most intro econ courses do in a semester.

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  • ||

    Plus, you know that little Swedish guy climbing the mountain is stoned...

  • ||

    I like the message behind the spay and neuter line, but it obviously is not Drew's and he should drop it. Instead, "tip your local stripper well" should replace it.

  • Episiarch||

    Instead, "tip your local stripper well" should replace it.

    Maybe "tip the girls that model for the show" would be more appropriate. I would think that a horndog like Drew would be hitting that as best he could. I always assumed Barker was.

  • The Artist Formerly Know as Tr||

    Thanks to Drew Carey and Reason for keepin' up the good fight!

  • ||

    I really hope The Price Is Right gets rid of the spay-and-neuter refrain and replaces it with a caution against bogarting that joint. And is there any show more inherently free-market-oriented than The Price Is Right, which teaches more about price theory and the subjective theory of value in an hour than most intro econ courses do in a semester.

    Admonishing joint bogarters would be amusing the first time you heard it. Still, I wouldn't want it to become a refrain least it takes on the same patina of apathy and derision.

    As for Free market teaching shows, I nominate Let's Make A Deal. It's hard to top a couple dressed as barnyard animals arguing over whether they should trade what's in the box for what's behind door number one, for illustrating "subjective theory of value".

  • stephen the goldberger||

    Only the Price is Right can bridge the generation gap between college students and the elderly.

  • Geotpf||

    stephen the goldberger-Ron Paul seems to be doing that these days as well. Well, maybe just because he's elderly-most old people want thier Social Security and Medicare, so they ain't voting for him.

  • ||

    "Twenty years ago, this would have been career suicide," said longtime celebrity publicist Michael Levine.

    Huh? I have a hard time believing that. If anything, attitudes towards drugs were more tolerant in the 80's than they are now. Time magazine even ran a cover story declaring cocaine harmless and calling for it's legalization. I'd be a lot more worried about damaging my career with a statement like that now than I would have been then....

  • ||

    I believe Carey is tying the knot. It's a good thing too, IMO. The Reason Foundation is a pretty serious thing, and to have Carey be the face of them while living like a hedonist would not reflect well. If we want to try to drive policy changes, we need to be semi-professional.

  • ||

    Episiarch-Didn't one of the Price models sue Bob in a situation where he was ramming her? Drew could surely pick up from there...Those models are hot.

  • Episiarch||

    MNG, I don't know about any suit (if there was one, Bob must have worked his ass off to keep it quiet), but Bob isn't married. So I figure he is either gay or he was drilling the girls on the show.

  • ||

    The article mentioned a couple of "upcoming episodes", one being eminent domain. I sure hope you guys (Reason) and Drew take a VERY hard line.
    In my own view, if private property rights mean anything, the owner should be able to say "I don't want to sell to you" to ANYONE - private or government - for ANY REASON, and suffer no legal repercussions.
    I don't care if he's only trying to get a higher price, I don't care if it interferes with some government project. If it's his property, it's HIS. And the legal system ought to uphold that view. (but doesn't, currently)

  • ||

    Three cheers for Drew Carey!

  • ||

    He was definitely drilling that tall leggy blonde that was on for a long time. She filed suit, but that's probably been about 10 years ago or so. It wasn't huge news, at least as huge as I would have thought.

  • ||

    "I believe Carey is tying the knot. It's a good thing too, IMO. The Reason Foundation is a pretty serious thing, and to have Carey be the face of them while living like a hedonist would not reflect well. If we want to try to drive policy changes, we need to be semi-professional."
    Sage, I see your point, but I for one am happy to see Drew get political. Most celebs could care less about ANYTHING that effects other people. So he goes to strip clubs and drinks beer. He's a grown man with no criminal background (hell I would not necessarily hold that against him), witty and intelligent. I'm no libertarian (maybe a liberaltarian?) but I would not think worse of libertarians for having Drew as their spokesman. I'd think better.

    Episairch:
    http://www.courttv.com/people/2004/0917/barker_ctv.html

    I thought I remembered it, so I googled it, and presto. I really think the internet is a wonderful thing! But you are right that Bob has kept it quiet. Of course, he ain't hurting nobody, so I say he should not be known as a "bad guy" anyway. But maybe that is me...

  • Brian Defferding||

    I applaud Drew Carey for taking a stand on this and Reason for creating Reason.Tv. The whole war on marijuana is so freaking ridiculous.

  • ||

    So I figure he is either gay or he was drilling the girls on the show

    I've never thought about it before, but now that you mention it, he did have something of an unhealthy affection for the young military guys...

  • ||

    What's wrong with promoting 'spay-and-neuter'?



    Oh, we're talking about pets, not Congresspersons....

  • John Rhoads||

    It's weird that Carey's advocacy of a policy that an overwhelming majority of Americans support is seen as a career risk.

  • ||

    Pig Mannix-

    In 1987? At the height of "Just Say No" and shortly after Reagan escalated the drug war to nuclear? I have hard time seeing how attitudes were more tolerant towards marijuana than now. Maybe 1977, but not 1987.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    Plus, you know that little Swedish guy climbing the mountain is stoned...

    SWISS!

  • ||

    I'm seeing this story linked on Drudge. I'm glad to see that more traffic will be driven to Reason. Hah, I didn't see what I did there until I typed it out!

  • ||

    Recall that Bob Barker is still a producer of the show, and Drew's willingness to maintain the spay and neuter reminder gladdened his heart. Barker has donated seven figures to a law school to fund a professorship in animal rights law.

    The question is: what would be a good pithy phrase to advocate marijuana decriminalization or drug policy reform generally?

  • ||

    The question is: what would be a good pithy phrase to advocate marijuana decriminalization or drug policy reform generally?

    "Spay and neuter your local DEA agent."

  • Chucklehead||

    I'm glad to see that more traffic will be driven to Reason.

    You can lead a man to Reason, but you can't make him think.

  • ||


    "Spay and neuter your local DEA agent."


    Congrats, JW, you made me laugh out load.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I doubt if Drew's legions of fans will be offended by his stance on medical maryjane. Buzz beer execs? Maybe.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    One downside to spay and neuter is that it is harder than hell to find a mutt puppy for your kids. No boxes of kittens in front of the A&P any longer either. The lack of free kittens must be tough on the Satanic Ritual crowd.

    Dude, I am so serious. We had to PAY hard cash from the last three kittens we got for the kids. And when was the last time you saw a hand lettered sign in somebody's front yard that said: FREE PUPPIES

  • ||

    Mr. Nice Guy:

    Didn't one of the Price models sue Bob in a situation where he was ramming her? Drew could surely pick up from there...Those models are hot.

    That's true. After Bob's wife passed away, he began dating one of the Price is Right ladies, Dian Parkinson. She later sued, claiming that the relationship was coerced on threat of being fired, but withdrew the suit. Interestingly the other models on the show sued Barker for wrongful termination after they were fired for supporting Parkinson in her suit.

    I suspect they were mostly let go because they were all getting into their 40s.

  • LarryA||

    Recall that Bob Barker is still a producer of the show, and Drew's willingness to maintain the spay and neuter reminder gladdened his heart. Barker has donated seven figures to a law school to fund a professorship in animal rights law.

    Somehow "animal rights" and "spay and neuter" seem to be incompatible.

  • ||

    Congrats, JW, you made me laugh out load[sic]

    Eww, gross...

  • ||

    "Spay and neuter your local DEA agent."


    Congrats, JW, you made me laugh out load.


    Me too. The old dude here in the Detroit airport lounge across the room looked at me like I was on drugs.

  • ||

    "Twenty years ago, this would have been career suicide"



    Twenty years ago I was fired for getting a letter to the editor on ending the drug war published. Today I can discuss the issue without fear in the company lunchroom. Twenty years from now I expect the WoD will finally be over.

  • ||

    Didn't Parkinson appear in Playboy shortly after the suit, as well? I seem to remember that she was MILF-tacular.

  • ||

    Didn't Parkinson appear in Playboy shortly after the suit, as well? I seem to remember that she was MILF-tacular.

    Yeah, she was pretty easy on the eyes, as were all of the PiR models, really.

  • Paul||

    If we want to try to drive policy changes, we need to be semi-professional."

    So you're saying we should put out the joint and spray a little air-freshener before the press conference.

    Far out, man.

  • ||

    The old dude here in the Detroit airport lounge across the room looked at me like I was on drugs.



    If I was in Detroit I would be on drugs.

  • Paul||

    Twenty years from now I expect the WoD will finally be over.

    Brandybuck. I'll take that bet.

  • ||

    If I was in Detroit I would be on drugs.

    I am, and I am. Sometimes.

  • ||


    Paul | November 2, 2007, 2:33pm | #

    Twenty years from now I expect the WoD will finally be over.

    Brandybuck. I'll take that bet.



    Depends if there is anybody left outside of prisons other than White, Evangelical Christians.

  • ||

    Well, this has been done before

  • ||

    Future [Reason.tv] topics include eminent domain, school choice and immigration.

    I have a hunch that if Drew Carey holds the Reason/libertarian line on the last of those, it'll cause a lot more controversy than his views on medical marijuana.

  • GILMORE||

    Im pro-decriminalization altogether, but I do think sometimes the amount of press libertarians devote to medical marijuana sometimes simply reinforces the perception that libertarians are "Stoner conservatives". I occasionally think if it were more of a backburner (pun) issue, and things like the godawfulness of the US tax code, civil liberties, immigration, the failure of federal health programs, etc. were more central, we'd catch less flak

    I mean, i think reason does a superb job of managing all these issues... but sometimes it occurs to me that things like the Drug War overall are a better dragon to slay than to focus so hard on medical weed, which while current, isnt really the biggest fish to fry

  • ||

    i think that we have to be pragmatic and recognize that in some respects, medical marijuana IS a slippery slope/trojan horse thang for decrim in general (and not just of MJ).

    there's nothing wrong with that. disclaimer: i fully support medical mj, and mj decrim, but i have no desire to ever smoke it, and i think the whole mj culture is kind of "lame", but that's just my opinion.

    when people see that granny, with cancer, is smoking mj - that helps normalize it, no pun intended. that's a GOOD thing. when people only see "smelly hippies" advocating for mj/hemp it turns people off. having guys like drew carey, dennis miller, etc. advocating for decrim/medical mj HELPS normalize it, but nothing will work like people seeing people they know and respect openly using mj and not turning into reefer madness like fiends.

    decrim'ing drugs like crystal meth, whether or not a good policy idea is simply not likely to happen. but medical MJ *has* happened, and it is a steppingstone to decrim of MJ *in general* whether advocates want to admit it or not

  • Paul||

    i fully support medical mj, and mj decrim, but i have no desire to ever smoke it, and i think the whole mj culture is kind of "lame", but that's just my opinion.

    Agreed. When they banned alcohol, people found all sorts of...ahem...medicinal purposes for the drink. I have sympathy for the MJ movement because hey, they're certainly not winning the debate on the "we wanna get high" mantra, so it's natural that they'll use the facade of science and as such paint marijuana as a positive force for good instead of an escapist recreation. Americans (and Westerners in general) seem to be maintaining a lower and lower tolerance for the "because I want to" arguments. If it's not "good" for you, then it can and will be banned. This rises in direct proportion with the increase of public dollars being spent on people's daily healthcare. So everyone's kind of forced into a debate where every freedom we want to have or maintain must have some sort of scientifically provable positive effect on society (public health) or at minimum, a select group of individuals. Roll out a few patients in wheelchairs, let them talk about their suffering, and the script practically writes itself. Juxtapose that with three spotty teenagers in dreadlocks and hemp tee-shirts telling us that making pot illegal is a total bummer headtrip, and no one listens.

    I drink. I enjoy drinking. I have no medicinal or scientific reason to justify my continued drinking (aside from the fact that it helps ease my suffering from shattered hopes and dreams). But if there was an alcohol ban, I'd go medieval. Why? Because it's not the governments business if I drink. End of discussion.

  • ||

    right. look, there are SOME health benefits to alcohol. depends on manner of use, dosage, etc. this is true of MOST drugs. for example, even cocaine has (some) benefits. for example, in small doses, even NHTSA studies have shown it improves alertness and driving performance. ditto caffeine.

    some drugs are pretty much ALL bad - PCP comes to mind.

    others have mixed benefits and drawbacks. with these drugs, it's a matter of how used, dosage, individual metabolism properties, etc.

    speed (meth) is a nasty drug as used by most tweakers. however, it does have uses - diet aid and alertness drug (given to military members since WWII iirc ).

    i have a problem with the marijuana peeps who try to make mj into this totally 100% benign wonder drug. that's just complete rubbish. that weakens their case.

    simply put, the science is there that mj, on a harm/benefit scale is RELATIVELY benign AND almost completely non-toxic.

    throwing people in jail for smoking or growing it, is thus absurd. it doesn't follow that mj is "good", just that it's bad policy to make it criminal.

    and also, there is less social pathologies associated with MJ use vs. alcohol use (when the latter is abused). a lot of people in law enforcement would rather deal with a mellow stoner, or have a mellow stoner sitting at their house watching movies, eating munchies and laffing, then getting all drunked up and causing assorted mayhem.

    regardless, punish people for the crimes they commit, the harm they cause, NOT the drug(s) they choose. i think we agree on that.

  • Nash||

    "m pro-decriminalization altogether, but I do think sometimes the amount of press libertarians devote to medical marijuana sometimes simply reinforces the perception that libertarians are "Stoner conservatives". I occasionally think if it were more of a backburner (pun) issue, and things like the godawfulness of the US tax code, civil liberties, immigration, the failure of federal health programs, etc. were more central, we'd catch less flak"

    Of course. As long as the LP keeps presenting their presidential candidates as: "Steve Kubby, Pot Activist" they will never gain credibility. Naturally they won't win anyway because they are 3rd party, but the public perception of Libertarianism couldn't be worse because they run candidates like this.

    Not that I have anything against Steve Kubby being a pot activist, but that should be shoved to the bottom of his platform and he shouldn't talk about unless he's being interviewed by NORML (please see Ron Paul).

  • BakedPenguin||

    Drew Carey and reason.tv made it on CNN. They played clips from the medical marijuana video.

  • ||

    "Of course. As long as the LP keeps presenting their presidential candidates as: "Steve Kubby, Pot Activist" they will never gain credibility."
    I disagree. Libertarians don't lose because of their positions (look how crazy mainstream politician's views are) but because they just don't have the institutional support. Then you get a self-fulfilling prophecy thing going (the will never win, so nobody votes for them, so they will never win, which makes noone vote for them, etc)...

    I don't think the War on Drugs is a loser for them, because its one of those issues that set it apart from the other parties.

  • Paul||

    whit: you're wasting your breath making an argument I agree with. That's not my point. The fact that we have to make a case-by-case argument about the benefits of a given drug-- especially one like marijuana-- instead of saying "yeah, so what we wanna get baked, what of it". By having to make those claims, you're playing into their hands.

    By allowing them to control the debate, you acknowledge that each and every substance on the planet must be legitimized via its public health benefits. It's not the public's business.

    It's like the neighborhood association has decided that any backyard barbecuing must be done on a lottery basis and within a given window time for each household. Instead of saying "up yours, I'll barbecue in my backyard when I want", you're trying to make an argument as to why barbecued food's protien content has medical benefits, therefore you should have more leeway in the time you're allowed to barbecue. You've already surrendered, you're now just quibbling over details.

  • ||

    "whit: you're wasting your breath making an argument I agree with."

    :)

    " That's not my point. The fact that we have to make a case-by-case argument about the benefits of a given drug-- especially one like marijuana-- instead of saying "yeah, so what we wanna get baked, what of it". By having to make those claims, you're playing into their hands. "

    im a pragmatist. it's one thing to call for decrim of mj. it's another to call for decrim of crystal meth.

    mj is in a unique position of being WIDELY used, over more than one generation (so people KNOW it's no big deal), relatively safe/benign as compared to most other "hard drugs" AND there's the whole medical mj thang.

    like it or not, you have ot make rational arguments and CHANGE "hearts and minds" to get the laws changed. your approach seems to be "screw you, i'll do what i want" a la cartman. that's great but it's not going to bring about change. people like drew carey, national review, and other "respectable" people arguing for mj decrim do help the cause.

    i haven't 'surrendered' to anybody. i recognize that we live under the rule of law, and when laws are bad/unjust/stupid, etc. it's up to the citizenry to advocate that those laws be changed.

  • Paul||

    i haven't 'surrendered' to anybody. i recognize that we live under the rule of law, and when laws are bad/unjust/stupid, etc. it's up to the citizenry to advocate that those laws be changed.

    Great, medical marijuana. Grind it up, put it in a pill, and demand a prescription for it.

    Hooray, we won!

    Oh, what's that, you thought you were going to get to smoke it?

  • ||

    jeez, paul. i don't know what you are even arguing about.

    it's a good thing. we have a well respected, seemingly "normal", well liked and even relatively conservative public figure coming out vocally in favor of medical marijuana.

    sure it would be BETTER if ALL MJ was decrim'd (i still wouldn't use it, but i support the rights of others to do so), but this is a good FIRST step. it's also consistent with respect for state's rights (iow, regardless of whether you think it's good policy or medicine, it should be a states rights issue).

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