Obama Supports Marijuana Decriminalization

The Washington Times reports that Barack Obama, who told an audience of college students when he was running for the U.S. Senate in 2004 that he favored decriminalizing marijuana, still holds that position, although he opposes complete legalization. According to his campaign, Obama mistakenly raised his hand during a presidential debate last fall when the candidates were asked which of them opposed marijuana decriminalization:

When asked by The Times about decriminalizing marijuana, the Obama campaign reiterated the candidate's opposition to legalization. "Senator Obama does not believe in legalization of marijuana, but agrees with President Bush that long minimum sentences for first-time drug users may not be the best way to occupy jail space or heal people from their disease," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

The campaign went on to say that, as president, Mr. Obama "will review drug sentences to see where we can be smarter on crime and reduce the blind and counterproductive sentencing of non-violent offenders, and revisit instances where drug rehabilitation may be more appropriate." His campaign later stated that Mr. Obama "always" has supported decriminalizing marijuana.

Given what Obama seems to mean by decriminalization, this position is not exactly radical. About a dozen states are said to have decriminalized marijuana, which generally means that possession of small amounts for personal use does not result in arrest and can be punished by a modest fine at worst. Possession is still illegal in almost all of those states, the conspicuous exception being Alaska, where possession of a few ounces in one's home does not trigger any penalty at all. Possessing more than the limit (usually an ounce), growing marijuana, or selling it remain crimes even in so call decrim states. Still, this news gives me one more reason for preferring Obama to Clinton, a position that until now was based more on my distaste for her than any attraction to him.

Addendum: This was the question that confused Obama at the presidential debate:

Sen. Dodd, you went on the Bill Maher show last month and said that you were for decriminalizing marijuana. Is there anyone here who disagrees with Sen. Dodd in decriminalizing marijuana?

As I noted last month, Christopher Dodd's position regarding marijuana, which has been applauded by drug policy reformers, may not be as bold as it was made out to be. He said states should be allowed to set their own policies regarding medical use, a point on which all the Democratic candidates (including Clinton) agreed, and he expressed opposition to "statutes that would incarcerate or severely penalize people for using marijuana." But no state, whether it has "decriminalized" marijuana or not, makes a practice of locking up pot smokers, and neither does the federal government, so Dodd's preferred policy in this area may be pretty close to the status quo. 

[Thanks to Cesar for the tip.]

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Episiarch||

    he favored decriminalizing marijuana, still holds that position, although he opposes complete legalization

    What does this mean? If you decriminalize it, doesn't that make it legal?

    If he can clarify this position to my satisfaction, he would get my vote (amongst the major candidates) except that I don't vote.

  • The Widow White||

    He just got my vote.

  • ||

    What does this mean? If you decriminalize it, doesn't that make it legal?



    That means we won't have marijuana availible for sale at the local 7-11, but if you have some marijuana for personal use and are caught with it it would be like getting a ticket for jay walking.

  • ||

    It generally means treating simple posession as a civil offense, rather than a criminal one, Episiarch. Hence, de-criminal-ization.

  • Steve||

    "Senator Obama does not believe in legalization of marijuana, but agrees with President Bush that long minimum sentences for first-time drug users may not be the best way to occupy jail space or heal people from their disease,"

    Nice to know Obama is willing to help cure me of my illness: reefer madness. I've suffered for years...

  • William||

    Its not an illness its a weakness

  • ||

    I prefer complete legalization but if we go back to the way drug laws were in the 60s and 70s pre-Reagan its a step in the right direction.

  • ||

    completely agreed!

  • javier||

    so.. if I get a ticket from the cops are they going to take the marijuana as well????

  • ||

    Ballsy for a black politician with his history (well, his honesty, most of them probably have similar transgressions in their pasts). I was already a fan, but it's an admirable move

  • Jennifer||

    Okay,if he makes it onto the Dem ballot I'll vote for him (unless I fall into the parallel universe where Ron Paul makes it onto the GOP ballot).

  • sv||

    nice, a step in the right direction from a prominent politician on his way (hopefully) up.

  • ||

    I'll vote for him now too vs. McCain.

  • Steve||

    Ballsy for a black politician with his history (well, his honesty, most of them probably have similar transgressions in their pasts).

    Blacks or politicians?

  • ||

    Here in Sweden, we have a different approach than decriminalization. We throw MS-sick people who smoke weed for pain relief in jail.

    http://www.thelocal.se/9775/20080125/

    After, of course, the cops deny her medicine during the 37 days in custody.

  • ||

    Obama vs. McCain or Romney, I vote for Obama. Still mostly motivated by a hated of MormBot and Grandpa AngryPants.

    Clinton vs. McCain or Romney. I'm writing in "Batman." I refuse to be blamed in the smallest iota for any of those three being president.

    Although, I'm afraid that marijuana decriminalization will be used against Obama in a wink-wink nudge-nudge "of course the black guy wants to smoke weed" campaign smear, rather than it being the basic human dignity issue that it is...

  • ||

    He already had my vote (if he gets by Hillary), but maybe I'll vote two or three times for him now.

  • ||

    If its Clinton vs. McCain we should try to encourage as many people to vote third party as possible (ANY third party, doesn't matter) just so neither gets above 50% and claims a "mandate".

  • ||

    Fitzroy - no, we do that here in the US, too.

  • ||

    Cesar,

    Hallelujah.

  • highnumber||

    so.. if I get a ticket from the cops are they going to take the marijuana as well????

    No, they let you keep it, but they'll keep writing you tickets until it's gone.

  • Geotpf||

    I'm in favor of legalizing almost all drugs (my main exception would be any drug that would cause it's users to not be able to tell right from wrong and frequently act violently; PCP would probably qualify, although it would have to be a pretty strict standard since you could justify banning alcohol if it was weak (lots of people get mean, violent, and stupid when they are drunk)). I was already voting for Obama, but this is yet another reason to do so.

    Heck, I agree with Obama on almost all policy positions (or, like here, disagree with him the least out of all the likely candidates to win (Paul really doesn't count)). I can't think of a policy stance (or vote he's made) in which he really pissed me off. I can think of several issues/votes where Hillary has pissed me off, and dozens for McCain.

  • ||

    Obama pisses me off about guns (I think). Can't the Democrats at least nominate a guy who is agnostic about gun control if not pro-gun?

  • Elemenope||

    Although, I'm afraid that marijuana decriminalization will be used against Obama in a wink-wink nudge-nudge "of course the black guy wants to smoke weed" campaign smear...

    I imagine that would backfire in a big fucking way. After all, even Republicans tend to love this guy and think he's inspiring and symbolic or whatever...

    All he has to say is "I smoked pot in college, and just imagine if I had been unlucky enough to be caught, instead of a world-class civil rights lawyer, Chicago law professor, and successful legislator, leader for the youth of my party and an inspirational voice for social reconciliation...I'd be in jail instead, or have lost my financial aid. I don't see how that would have helped me or made my life, or anyone else's life, better."

    And then if he wants to be cheeky, he could say "and the same goes for George W. Bush". But, he should probably let someone else say that part.

  • Elemenope||

    Can't the Democrats at least nominate a guy who is agnostic about gun control if not pro-gun?

    Yeah. His name was Howard Dean. We sure pissed that one away, didn't we.

  • ||

    Ballsy for a black politician with his history (well, his honesty, most of them probably have similar transgressions in their pasts).

    Blacks or politicians?



    Both.

  • Steve||

    Can't the Democrats at least nominate a guy who is agnostic about gun control if not pro-gun?

    How can you be agnostic about gun control? That's like being asked about your abortion stance and replying with "eh, it's not something i care about either way..."

  • ||

    Steve-

    You can say something like "well the states should decide it". That was pretty much Howard Dean's stance IIRC.

  • Bhh||

    Put me in the Obama - not horrible camp too.

    I think the guns thing for democrats is the same as abortion/birth control for republicans. Yeah, they'd really like to do something about it but they know inside it's not really going to happen. Also, can't you libruls groove on the idea of an armed citizenry after the last 8 years?

    I think with Obama you at least know what you're getting. With Bush I was hoping for a lazy man with very modest ambitions, to suit his talents. (Like Ford, my favorite president). He didn't stick to the deal!

  • ||

    On the one hand, that a candidate for president would be able to say this in the current WOD climate is at least a positive sign. But I'm still rather underwhelmed. I still want someone to ask him if he thinks that he, or society in general, would have been better off had he gone to jail for his youthful behavior, and if not, how can he in any way support sending someone similarly situated today to jail. Perhaps this "decriminalization" thing gives him an out on that point, though his admission that he experimented "with drugs" seems to imply more than marijuana, so I think the question is still relevant.

    I guess one might complain that it seems unfair to go after the one candidate who has been honest on this issue when the others support the WoD as well, and maybe it is. Though I think we could balance it a bit by asking all those other candidates as well if they think the country would have been better served by sending Obama to jail in his youth, and if not, how can they continue to support the same for others. I'd love to hear them rationalize their way out of that.

  • ||

    Suckers.

  • ||

    Dodd's statement was about "statutes" that involve locking people up for using pot.

    Even though states may not make a regular practice of locking people up, they make a regular practice of arresting people on a charge that could result in an prison sentence, and using the threat of that sentence to get them to plead out, pay a fine, and accept a criminal record.

    Getting rid of that would represent a considerable change from the status quo.

    And also, the Dodd Abides.

  • ||

    Steve,

    I don't care much about gun control, one way or the other. Doesn't increase crime, doesn't reduce crime, and except for really out-of-bounds laws like D.C.'s, they don't impose a burden on anyone that's worth worrying about. That's how I see it. But then, I'm not most people.

  • Adam||

    While we're on the topic, I'd like to point out that, if you ever used any illegal drug with any frequency, you're disqualified from the officer corps of the military (this being the sole reason I did not join well into the Iraqscapade around February 2005, when I sat down with recruiters and military friends/family).

    But hey, at least you can still be Commander in Chief.

    Could we get some weed don't ask don't tell?

  • javier||

    That's like being asked about your abortion stance and replying with "eh, it's not something i care about either way..."

    actually i see the argument on both sides and that is precisely my stance on abortion. I could care less either way. but i am a guy whom will never be affected by abortion in society so take what you will.

  • Paul||

    If you decriminalize it, doesn't that make it legal?

    No, it merely means that prosecution and enforcement drops it as a priority.

  • ||

    Wah wah wah, I have buy a rifle with a metal stock instead of a wooden one. Wah wah wah, I can only use a 10 round magazine. How can I possibly shoot deer or defend my home if my gun has a metal stock and a 10 round magazine, instead of a wooden sock and a 20 round magazine?

    Maybe you LIKE wooden stocks better, but really, I'm supposed to get worked up about that?

  • ||

    ...heal people from their disease," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

    Um, I don't want to be healed, thank you very much Mr. Obama. My disease is just fine.

  • ||

    Joe how would you like it if the government passed a law saying cars can only use four-cylinder engines, and they must all be painted blue because red or black is too scary and encourages drag racing?

    After all, you don't NEED a V-8 engine to get from point A to point B, right? Quit your whining!

  • ||

    Nice job Cesar ... even though you did steal my thunder! For some reason, I have always thought that Obama would be a bit more liberal on this issue than the other candidates... forget the chest-thumping in Iran and Pakistan. On Iraq, he would pull our troops out ... I also see him implementing a much more humble foreign policy. Everything else seems like typical socialist garbage ... however, given his stance on the very crucial aforementioned issues, perhaps this libertarian will give him a second look ...

  • ||

    joe - No, you are not expected to get worked up about it. But please realize that many gun-owners know a slippery slope when they see it, and had to worry about becoming criminals overnight when their guns became "assault weapons". Have less than 10 USA-made parts in that rifle? OOPS! The ATF would like to speak with you....

  • ||

    Also, what cesar said, because that was where my next post was going.

  • Steve||

    joe, javier-

    neither of you are running for office, i guess my question should be, "How can a person pursuing a political office that entails working with law makers on gun control issues be agnostic about gun control? When making a decision(let's say sign a law or veto it) will they not need a philosophical/political stance on the issue to base their decision making on? Either for increased control, decreased control/status quo?"

  • ||

    No, it merely means that prosecution and enforcement drops it as a priority.

    Well, it does more than just drop it as a priority. As others pointed out, it turns possession of "small" amounts into a violation like speeding, rather than a criminal offense. The police who catches you writes you a ticket instead of arresting you and you pay a fine. Of course the officer will confiscate the goods for himself.. er I mean to plant on someone later... er I mean as "evidence" in case you choose to contest the citation in court.

  • Russ 2000||

    I prefer complete legalization but if we go back to the way drug laws were in the 60s and 70s pre-Reagan its a step in the right direction.

    Carter's decriminalization of pot triggered the "what about the children?" hysteria.

  • jackanapestarian||

    Is there anyone here who disagrees with Sen. Dodd in decriminalizing marijuana?

    Hell, that question confused me, and I'm not running for anything. How about, "Is there no one here who does not disagree with Sen. Dodd in decriminalizing marijuana?"
    That would have been fun to watch.

  • ||

    When making a decision(let's say sign a law or veto it) will they not need a philosophical/political stance on the issue to base their decision making on?

    I wish I was being too cynical, but no. They simply need a poll to tell them if such a law will increase or decrease their chance of winning re-election.

  • Steve||

    but really, I'm supposed to get worked up about that?

    Like most controversial topics, it's about principal. After all, the tea tax was simply that, a tax on tea, it's what the law represented that pissed colonists off.

    Seatbelt laws really do not put an undue burden on me, only idiots go without seatbelts, but it's the principal of the thing that pisses me off.

  • ||

    Cesar,

    I would find it mildly annoying, perhaps. But then, that would actually cause some number of people to be less able to transport themselves and their stuff.

    Dangerman,

    Slipper slope starts to sound like an excuse to scare people into sending you checks at a certain point.

    Lemme put it this way: if the ATF was actually barging in on people who weren't doing anything, or if ordinary people were getting in trouble because their hunting rifles didn't meet some technical specification, of if they weren't able to buy pistols or shotguns, I wouldn't be agnostic on the issue.

  • ||

    I would find it mildly annoying, perhaps.



    It would be mildly annoying if you had to give up a Corvette for a Hyundai?

    But then, that would actually cause some number of people to be less able to transport themselves and their stuff.



    No problem, because the law would permit those people to apply to a responsible agency that would give out permits based on need. Of course, thats how it would work in theory.

    Not approved? Well, you obviously don't NEED that big car.

  • ||

    I get it, Steve.

    I guess if I were a politician, my agnosticism would translate into a policy of saying "Get this crap off my desk, loony-tunes, I've got real work to do," to activists on both sides, fairly frequently.

  • ||

    Decriminalization is bullshit. It's just saying your not going to enforce the law. It doesn't allow for a legal market. So none of the benefits of legalization. Everybody who buys and sells is still a criminal. And everything bad that happens is just fuel for the "See, we told you this would happen".

  • ||

    Well, no, Cesar, that's not actually what would happen.

    What would happen is that Chevy would start making 4-cylinder Corvettes, and figuring out how to get more performance out of them, and then my choices for 4-cylinder cars wouldn't be limited to Hyundais.

    And once again, a law banning wooden stocks wouldn't be remotely comparable to one banning 4-cylinder cars, in that wooden and metal stocks are almost exactly the same thing.

    I'm still not outraged. Sorry. No doubt, it reflects poorly on my character that I don't think this is the mostest, biggestest, importantest thing in the world evah for people to have to buy their rifles with metal stocks if they want a semi-automatic.

  • nonesuch||

    shorter joe: "waaaaggh.. my buttplug is made of plastic, not porcelain."

    Who cares what you think about my preferences? I express them by spending money. I'm trying to imagine a situation in which I would think.. "what would joe do?". I can't.

  • ||

    Joe, if your favorite hobby was under attack you'd be screaming bloody murder and you know it.

  • ||

    Some of the responses here really show what "Libertarian" priorities really are. Give me socialized medicine and a 90% tax rate, but if I get to get stoned, sign me up!

  • Bingo||

    joe: Government stupidity, as exhibited by banning things for superficial reasons (such as wood vs. metal stocks), is a perfectly reasonable target for outrage.

  • jackanapestarian||

    "Libertarian" priorities

    Senseless arguing is what freedom is all about.

  • Shane||

    No doubt, it reflects poorly on my character...

    could be worse, i'm the type that i didn't like smoking indoors until after they passed the ban. my gf calls me "stubborn, dogmatic and pig-headed", my siblings groan when i rail about congressman trying to legislate video games, and my young kids, who will be homeschooled soon, will no doubt wonder why Atlas Shrugged, 1984, and the Road to Serfdom are on their reading lists so often.

    being agnostic about certain things probably has some flexible advantages that i'm missing out on.

    but i'm too opinionated. i blame my mom. :-)

  • Episiarch||

    Metal stocks? WTF are you talking about joe? Don't you mean synthetic vs. wood stocks? And the fact that the banners think synthetic stocks make a gun more dangerous?

  • ||

    """It generally means treating simple posession as a civil offense, rather than a criminal one, Episiarch. Hence, de-criminal-ization."""

    No it does not move it to civil court, it will still be a crime, albeit of low priority. The penality will most likely be rehab.

    """And once again, a law banning wooden stocks wouldn't be remotely comparable to one banning 4-cylinder cars, in that wooden and metal stocks are almost exactly the same thing."""

    Wood and metal stocks are not even close to being the same thing. It's mostly a weight issue. I've fired rifles with both. If I'm out carrying a weapon for a couple of hours, I would prefer the lighter metal stock.

    But if you're not that interested, then why would you care if my rifle has metal stock, a 30 round clip, Halo sights, and blood sniffers.

  • Paul||

    Maybe you LIKE wooden stocks better, but really, I'm supposed to get worked up about that?

    joe, I think the point is that gun control as it's been implemented (brady bill) is arbitrary and capricious. It means that legislators are just making it up as they go. This is what one gets worked up over, not the wood vs. metal stock. And no, we would never expect you to get worked up over arbitrary and capricious legislation.

    The idea being here, that if we lose the wooden (or metal stock for no functional reason) then we could lose the stock in general, then the magazine altogether-- we fear the slippery slope. If the law doesn't turn out to be a slippery slope, then it's an indictment of the law and the lawmakers which prove they're literally just making it up as they go-- that no logic flows from their decisions, just emotion.

  • ||

    Shane, you should send your kids to public school so they can get the appropriate perspective and then supplement at home. Nothing makes a good anti-government libertarian like being sent to public school. It's kinda like how people who were raised Catholic make the best atheists.

    You're paying for it. Turn it against them by teaching your kid to fuck with the establishment.

  • x,y||

    Obama has not credibly taken the position that he will decrease the size and scope of the state. This is a nice bone to toss in our direction, but where's the beef?

  • Bernd||

    joe,

    I guess "ordinary people" was more rhetorical flourish than your sincere opinion that people with outlandish opinions don't have rights.

    If my guess is right, how about some well-known counterexamples?

    Railroading people with bogus (or rather, esoteric) gun charges is pretty much what happened to both the Weavers and the Branch Davidians. I don't want to know how many less telegenic "isolated events" happened to others.

    There certainly was no material harm involved in either case, so your "people who weren't doing anything" is spot-on. Didn't help them one bit.

  • ||

    I think joe means folding stocks. And there was never any law making wooden stocks illegal, as far as I know. And anyway, folding stocks have been okey-dokey since the AWB lapsed in 2004 (at least federally; the faggier states have their own laws against scary black rifles. Massachusetts is the faggiest of faggy states, incidentally).

  • Episiarch||

    Careful, Warty, you're giving joe the opportunity to call you homophobic as a distraction from his goofy gun talk.

  • Zeb||

    "...revisit instances where drug rehabilitation may be more appropriate."

    What about the cases where leaving people the fuck alone would be more appropriate?

  • Rhywun||

    How can you be agnostic about gun control? That's like being asked about your abortion stance and replying with "eh, it's not something i care about either way..."

    Well, it could mean you're undecided. I'm "agnostic" about both guns and abortion. And the reason is because I don't feel that either issue affects me much at all.

  • Rhywun||

    Thus, if I were president, I'd leave it to the states.

  • ||

    No it does not move it to civil court, it will still be a crime, albeit of low priority. The penality will most likely be rehab.

    TrickyVic, no, it would not be a crime. As I mentioned before, under decriminalization possession of a small amount is not considered a crime (hence the name decriminalization). A "crime" as it is typically used is either a misdemeanor or a felony and possession would be neither. It is simply like getting a speeding ticket. There is no "criminal" record that you must cop to on a job application, no chance of jail time, but you do get cited and have to pay a fine. It is still illegal just like speeding is illegal, but it is not criminal, just like speeding isn't criminal. That is the distinction, so it is more than merely a priority issue, there is a substantive change in legal classification.

  • Russ 2000||

    Obama has not credibly taken the position that he will decrease the size and scope of the state. This is a nice bone to toss in our direction, but where's the beef?

    At least Hilary Clinton tells you exactly how she'll fuck up the country, Obama makes you guess.

  • ||

    OK, libertarians: tax cuts or weed?

  • Your Favorite Queer||

    "Careful, Warty, you're giving joe the opportunity to call you homophobic as a distraction from his goofy gun talk."

    When used in the proper context, faggy is not offensive.

  • ||

    Nick-

    It'll be a cold day in hell before i volunteer to send my kids to the government's school. There are numerous other ways for me to pass on my phobia of statism without resorting to sending them to kiddie prison.

    maybe i'll let them visit the place once or twice a year to scare them straight, like they do with the runaways on Maury.

  • Episiarch||

    OK, libertarians: tax cuts or weed?

    Legalize weed and the government will rake it in in taxes and save shitloads of money on enforcement, prosecution, and imprisonment. They can then cut taxes because of all the money they are now saving and making. Plus, when the earth doesn't split open after legalizing weed it may open the door for more. The WOD also erodes our civil liberties daily, and that would be halted.

    So weed.

  • N. Vitro||

    "I'm "agnostic" about both guns and abortion"

    Well I'm not. And if elected president, I will ensure that every aborted fetus gets a gun.

  • Episiarch||

    When used in the proper context, faggy is not offensive.

    To normal people. joe doesn't really care if it's offensive, he cares if he can use it to feel self-righteous.

  • Your comment was successfully ||

    he cares if he can use it to feel self-righteous.

    He's evangelical that way.

  • ||

    joe doesn't really care if it's offensive, he cares if he can use it to feel self-righteous.

    That's pretty gay.

  • Ventifact||

    In the political aftermath of Katrina, Obama voted for, Hillary against, a bill forbidding the gov't from confiscating personal weapons during a disaster.

    As the main purpose of an armed citizenry is self-defense when authorities are unreliable, Obama demonstrated that he is more pro-gun and has at least a bit more of a grasp than Hillary on the idea that one's quality of life should not be totally the responsibility of the government.

  • ||

    Folks, Check this out.

  • ||

    Ventifact-

    That vote is a good litmus test of a politician's instincts, and its good to know his are in the right place.

  • PC||

    Lamar...both. Giving people sovereignty over their own body and eliminating the four months of slavery (at least) that we endure each year are both priorities.

    And I am not one who says tax the hell out of it either, it seems like pandering to the statists. Who makes a compromise before the compromise is even on the table? Besides it becomes a whipping boy like cigarettes for politicians with spending problems. Anybody who thinks that taxing it will lead to great tax revenues and thus eventual tax cuts on income is not looking at how government acts. It would just be added revenue, not wiggle room to reduce taxes. You can be for legalization and against giving addicts their fix at the same time.

  • Zeb||

    Weed, or tax cuts?

    I didn't realize we had to choose just one (or that we had the choice to make). Still, I'd go for weed. Tax cuts (and tax hikes too, most likely) will happen sooner or later. If I wanted more money, I could get it. There are other things of value in the world. ANd one is being left alone do entertain myself in any way I want to. Not that decrim will really do that. They'll still take it away and probably try to send you to rehab.

  • ||

    Tricky Vic,

    But if you're not that interested, then why would you care if my rifle has metal stock, a 30 round clip, Halo sights, and blood sniffers.

    I'm not. Not interested in passing laws reququiring a type of stock, not interested in repealing laws requiring a type of stock. Just don't care.

    If you are talking about passings laws because of "principle" and "preference" and "slippery slopes," we're in GO TEAM symbolism/turf-marking territory. Just don't care.

  • ||

    Aw, Episiarch's feelings are still hurt because I, and about 50 other people, objected to him calling Asian women "slanted slit."

    Good. You're a dick, Episiarch.

  • ||

    Episiarch | January 29, 2008, 9:21am | #

    No doubt Kissinger was hoping for a higher number.

    Wait, are you saying Kissinger had a thing for slant slit?

    ...

    I don't know what you think you're going to accomplish by bringing this up, but I'm perfectly happy to keep pasting this as long as you do, to make sure everybody understands exactly what my alleged oversenstivity is all about.

  • Episiarch||

    joe, please do paste it. It's funny, and does a great job of showing how much of a self-righteous prig you are. Please, complain some more--it just serves to indicate how similar you are to those people who sent in complaints about Family Guy, Penn & Teller, etc.

  • ||

    Sure it does, Episiarch.

    That's why everyone on the thread agreed with me.

  • Comment on this article:||

    That's why everyone on the thread agreed with me.

    Tip for posters:

    If you're going to engage in revisionist history about your own support, at least wait until the thread where you claim everyone agreed with you is completely wiped from the site so that posters can't go back and look at it and find that there were several posters that didn;t agree with you.

  • ||

    Gee, who could that have been?

    The link, if anyone cares.

    http://www.reason.com/blog/show/124661.html#commentform

  • ||

    I know we aren't that far removed from the Ron Paul letter debacle, but does every thread on H&R have to turn into a PC-pissing contest now?

  • ||

    Good question.

    How did this begin, again?

    Episiarch | January 31, 2008, 4:18pm | #

    Careful, Warty, you're giving joe the opportunity to call you homophobic as a distraction from his goofy gun talk.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Cesar, that "p*ssing" comment is obviously meant as a put down of women, who have to urinate seated while we men retain our patriachal power by urinating while standing. I would have hoped for greater sensitivity from you.

  • ||

    Cesar, that "p*ssing" comment is obviously meant as a put down of women, who have to urinate seated while we men retain our patriachal power by urinating while standing. I would have hoped for greater sensitivity from you.



    Congratulations, BakedPenguin. They're looking for a new blogger over at Pandagon and I think you may just have qualified!

  • ||

    If you think I'm joking, the people over there actually got into an argument over whether or not the term "douchebag" was patriarchal.

  • ||

    Heh. I'm glad that I managed to ruin this thread.

  • Russ 2000||

    Heh. I'm glad that I managed to ruin this thread.

    THAT's why joe's pissed!

  • Meh||

    Weed or tax cuts?

    I will choose weed. Having my tax burden reduced to 5% won't do me much good if I am rotting in a jail cell.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Cesar, if they change it to Penguingon, I'll think about it...

  • ||

    "Decriminalization is bullshit. It's just saying your not going to enforce the law. It doesn't allow for a legal market. So none of the benefits of legalization. Everybody who buys and sells is still a criminal. "

    false. if its DEcriminalized, you are not a CRIMINAL, anymore than a speeder or person who illegally parks is a CRIMINAL in states where those are (as they are nearly everywhere) CIVIL INFRACTIONS.

    i like the fact that obama is for decrim vs. mccain's stance, but i still prefer mccain over obama overall.

    but on the drug issue : obama wins

    fwiw, and i've addressed thisd before - despite the (non-factual) hysteria here, possession of small amounts of MJ is EFFECTIVELY decrim'd almost everywhere in a de facto if not de jure sense (it is de facto decrim'd in MANY areas, such as california).

    you have to WORK at getting jail time for possession of MJ (multiple priors, etc.). not that i think ANY jail time for MJ is justified, but the idea that people routinely go to jail (let alone prison) for a joint is not true.

  • JLE||

    "Disease"? How could anyone be that ignorant? It discredits whatever else Obama's people say on the topic.

  • Paul||

    false. if its DEcriminalized, you are not a CRIMINAL, anymore than a speeder or person who illegally parks is a CRIMINAL in states where those are (as they are nearly everywhere) CIVIL INFRACTIONS.

    False, you can be a criminal if you possess more than very minimal amounts, are caught growing your own, or are caught selling it. Meaning, that while the law looks the other way as long as you fall under a certain level of possession, there's technically no legal way for you to obtain it.

  • MattXIV||

    I'm actually wondering if/hoping "fag" and it's related terms will undergo a shift from its anti-gay usage towards its usage as a generic insult, like how calling someone a "bastard" isn't interpreted as a slight against those born out of wedlock unless you're specifically refering to the fact that the person in question was.

  • ||

    "False, you can be a criminal if you possess more than very minimal amounts, are caught growing your own, or are caught selling it. Meaning, that while the law looks the other way as long as you fall under a certain level of possession, there's technically no legal way for you to obtain it."

    yes,. if you do not fall under the DECRIM standard, then you can be a criminal. but we were talking about the decrim standard.

    hth

  • ||

    ""Okay,if he makes it onto the Dem ballot I'll vote for him (unless I fall into the parallel universe where Ron Paul makes it onto the GOP ballot).""

    Seconded.

  • ||

    Joe,
    Are there any rights that you cherish that would irk you to high hell when politicians started chipping away at them?

    Perhaps the public at large didn't care about, but was very important to you?

    Not the 1st or the 2nd apparently, but maybe some other?

  • Robert||

    I still want someone to ask him if he thinks that he, or society in general, would have been better off had he gone to jail for his youthful behavior, and if not, how can he in any way support sending someone similarly situated today to jail.


    The express or implied answer is, "No, because I'm a special person, which is also why you should vote for me. You should vote for me bacause I'm a much better person than most people."

  • ||

    I'm actually wondering if/hoping "fag" and it's related terms will undergo a shift from its anti-gay usage towards its usage as a generic insult, like how calling someone a "bastard"

    It pretty much is that way already, at least among people younger than 30 or so.

  • ||

    Joe, as someone who knows little about guns, and who is not a part of the gun culture, perhaps you're not the one to go about telling those of us who know which end to point down range what does/does not constitute an egregious infringement on a civil liberty.

    Just a thought.

  • Observant Bystander||

    "But no state, whether it has "decriminalized" marijuana or not, makes a practice of locking up pot smokers, and neither does the federal government, so Dodd's preferred policy in this area may be pretty close to the status quo."

    I see the thread is pretty much over, but I question the statement above.

    Even if people are not getting locked up right now for mere use -- and is this true nationwide? -- they are still ending up with a criminal record, right? Changing this fact would make a difference.

    And just saying marijuana is decriminalized might make a difference by adding more momentum to ending this public policy disaster. Plus, think of the children: It would send a message to the children that the adults are becoming less dumb.

  • ||

    I'm sure he'd do what he could to legalize marijuana, as soon as he's convinced that it won't cost him anything politically and he figures out how to do so without in any way diminishing the power of the federal government.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Piss off, mediageek, I'll write about whatever the hell I want.

    kwais,

    If I thought there were actual assaults to First or Second Amendment freedoms, I would get keyed up about them. It's the meaningless, symbolic fights about things that don't actually impose on anyone's rights, but which get whipped up into the biggest argument evah by people looking for a fight for whatever reason, that I can't get worked up about.

  • ||

    joe, what's your take on McCain-Feingold? Doesn't that seem like an assault on 1st Amendment rights?

    And by the way, "well-regulated" in Amendment 2 meant plenty of ammunition back when it was written so for it to be bastardized to mean "legislate it into irrelevance" is pretty meaningful. The whole point of the amendment is to defend ouselves how we see fit and to protect us from tyrannical government, not just so we can hunt.

  • ||

    Money isn't speech, so for the most part, no.

    The regulations agaisnt advertising by groups shortly before the election are a bit troubling, but I still don't have a firm grasp on exactly what they mean. Anyway, I haven't noticed anyone or any viewpoint that hasn't been able to express themselves about elections under McCain-Feingold, so it's not exactly up there with FBI obscentity prosecutions on my list of First Amendment threats.

    And by the way, "well-regulated" in Amendment 2 meant plenty of ammunition back when it was written Sure it did, Nick. That's why the federal government was empowered to provide lots of ammunition to interstate commerce.

  • ||

    "Even if people are not getting locked up right now for mere use -- and is this true nationwide? -- they are still ending up with a criminal record, right? Changing this fact would make a difference."

    even the criminal record thang is generally not true. again, i have posted extensively on this before, so i'll make it brief.

    in most areas, for most people (people without extensive priors) mj possession is de facto decrim'd.

    very rarely is any jail time imposed.
    and usually a 'continued w/o a finding plea' is the deal. iow, get busted, and in states where it's not ALREADY a civil infraction (cali comes to mind) as long as you pay a small fine and stay out of trouble for 6 months, it's wiped from your record. technically, continued w/o a finding means you were never convicted. it's like expungement, but better since it never TECHNICALLY was a criminal conviction.

    so, again. people generally have to work hard at getting jail time for small amounts of mj.

    also, in many cities (and small towns) small amounts of mj never GET to court. i know many cops who haven;t made a small mj arrest in years. cause they throw it away and say have a nice day. usually the busts are made by rookies looking for "stats" or hardliners.

    but feel free to ask any local defense attorney or prosecutor what the #'s are for marijuana possession and jail time/criminal records, etc.

  • ||

    """I'm not. Not interested in passing laws reququiring a type of stock, not interested in repealing laws requiring a type of stock. Just don't care."""

    """Wah wah wah, I have buy a rifle with a metal stock instead of a wooden one. Wah wah wah, I can only use a 10 round magazine. How can I possibly shoot deer or defend my home if my gun has a metal stock and a 10 round magazine, instead of a wooden sock and a 20 round magazine?"""

    Then what is the Wah wahs for?

  • ||

    Look up Barack Obama's record on ephedra and ephedrine (There's a good article for ya to fill space). Obama CHAMPIONED legislation to classify ephedrine the same as marijuana in Illinois (very illegal) and he got it passed. The courts struck down the law as unconstitutional if I recall. Obama is a Chicago Democrat. He'll tell whoever, whatever, whenever. He did nothing as a State Senator that even questioned the drug war. There were medical marijuana bills he ignored and I'd bet he voted for tons of stricter sentencing bills for meth related legislation unless he passed on those votes. Somebody with the resources of say, a magazine, could do a good article on Barack Obama's record when it comes to the drug war. Inquiring minds want to know.

  • ||

    Piss off, mediageek, I'll write about whatever the hell I want.



    Well, see if I ever try to help you out again...

  • ||

    notice that even nannystate congress did not nationally make ephedrine illegal to possess (unlike yer illinois example), they only (wrongly - and contrary to DSHEA) made it illegal to MARKET OR SELL *as* a dietary supplement

    the federal (overturned) actions (based on ridiculous "evidence" and AER's did NOT prevent me (or others) from legally purchasing ephedrine and using it as a dietary supplement.

    yes, mccain is a nannystater, and YES on the issue of MJ - obama is better.

    but imo, OVERALL, mccain , and the repubs in general are more libertarian than the dems and will do less to encroach personal liberties.

    the "it takes a village mindset" has lead to ridiculous smoking laws, transfat bans, etc. etc. etc.

    jumping on the obama bandwagon because of his (imo good position) desire to decrim MJ is placing way too much on one issue.

    and CLEARLY, McCain is *way* better on the 2nd amendment than obama.

    MJ is not a constitutional issue in the same way that guns are. would you rather have a guy who is right on MJ and wrong on guns (REALLY wrong) or the other way around?

    the answer is clear to me. the right to bear arms is a much more fundamental and important right than the right to smoke a doobie

  • Grant||

    Barack Obama retreated from his support for marijuana decriminalization less than 24 hours after reaffirming his 2004 position.

    I've created a Facebook group from which you can write Obama and urge him to reaffirm his support for marijuana decriminalization.

    Log on to Facebook and follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34496600384

    Send a message and share it with the group, then share this group with your face friends

    Thanks!

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

  • sathi2000||

    I'm not going to lie, I'd rather be a "braindead" stoner than some hater like you. if anything YOU need to toke up. you make me even happier that I smoke daily >:) ps. you are making yourself look like a bigger moron than any pothead i have encountered.
    http://www.mirei.com

  • Louis Vuitton 1904 Monogram Be||

    Your article is write very well, I like it very much I wish you have a wonderful day!Thank you. http://www.louisvuitton.be/lou.....-p-31.html

  • ||

    Possession is still illegal in almost all of those states, the conspicuous exception being Alaska, where possession of a few ounces in one's home does not trigger any penalty at all. Possessing more than the limit
    Austin Roofing Companies

  • SIV||

    Hello, fellow time travelers. Don't forget to check out my popular fashion blog after you see the libertarian love for Obama in the above comments.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement