Reason Writers on the Air: Matt Welch on Fox Business Network Calls for Repealing Prohibition on Online Gambling and Marijuana

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, I appeared on FBN's Bulls and Bears program to cheer on talk of legalizing online gaming and marijuana, and to combat the notion that you need to keep pot illegal to fight drug cartels. Just under four minutes:

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  • Restoras||

    Legalize weed and online gambling? What's next, prostitution?

  • ||

    Well didn't the gangsters that ran liquor during prohibition, just move on to other things? Other illegal things! Yes they did, the 40's and 50's were the golden ages for mob hits. Ending prohibition allowed people to drink again, it did not solve organized crime and the violence it brought. What are the thousands of Mexican gang members going to do if the US legalizes reefer? Are they going to open flower shops? No they will move on to other things and violence will follow. The border area has been voilent for over 160 years. Read Cormac MacCarthy sometime.

  • logic beckons||

    Let's assume you are correct.

    Is your scenario a good reason to continue with prohibition of marijuana? Should we continue the policy of persecuting citizens for consuming a harmless intoxicant? Should we continue a policy that fuels enormous profits that incentivize criminals to murder thousands and destabilize our southern neighbor? Should we continue a policy that is the root cause for the deterioration of civil liberties in the US; a policy that has made mockery of the notion that the US is a free society?

  • ||

    I'm guessing the answers will be "Yes!"

  • Drug Warrior||

    But TEH CHILDRUNZ!!!

  • Steven||

    Organized crime did move on to other things after alcohol prohibition ended, but it has never reached the heights of power and profit that it occupied during prohibition.

  • ||

    Well, we know what Matt likes to do in his free time. ;-)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This just in: Matt Welch advocates outlawing the addictive activities of drinking and sex.

    As long as there's a sunset provision on this law overturning prohibition. Once the government balances its budget with revenue from these activities, the natural state of prohibition should be reinstated. We can't have high people gambling away their savings, which the state is relying on eventually getting through estate taxing.

    Also, I don't think she understands where black markets come from.

  • Contrarian P||

    Thank you Fist. I don't really know what she thinks the reason would be to have a black market in marijuana if you could grow the stuff yourself or buy it at your local farmer's market. Kind of like having a black market in tomatoes, which I'm sure she thinks is a huge problem.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I suppose it's not like the state couldn't still create a black market after prohibition was lifted. If they regulated and/or taxed the fuck out of online gambling and marijuana, it could continue to drive it underground. (And the authorities would still scratch their heads wondering what happened.)

    "But you'll still have criminality."

    Criminality is 100% originated by an activity of the state. Nothing is illegal until legislators make it so. True story.

  • ||

    True. But saying "you still have people doing shit that victimizes other people" is not much better of an answer.

  • ||

    victimizes other people

    *confused-dog stare*

  • ||

    There's a black market in cigarettes due to regulations. But you don't hear much about cigarette turf wars (I'm sure they happen, but not at the same level).

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Not yet, because the taxes have only 1/2 pushed cigs to the black market. People can still, despite the taxes, go to the corner store and buy a pack in peace. Once they become fully illegal, the bodies will begin to pile up in no time, and the anti-cig fucktards will begin to yell "I told you cigarettes are dangerous - look at the violence inherent in trying to get them!!"

  • GILMORE||

    "you'd still have the criminality"!!

    WTF is she talking about?

    Its some sort of reflexive tautological response, where "its an *illegal* thing by definition...when you legalize an *illegal* thing, it somehow never loses its natural society-destroying effects?" Or she is suggesting Pot Users are by definition criminals, and legalizing would be ramping up criminal behavior?

    Whatever, I think she was playing a role there, saying what Fox thinks a lot of their viewers believe. She wasn't trying to make sense I don't think.

  • Joe R.||

    She really is too stupid to be allowed on TV. That was inane. I suppose Matt could have tried harder to explain the parallels to alcohol prohibition. Like the way you'd explain it to a 6 year old, or a goldfish.

    Fuck! I will never understand this. We have a perfectly good historical example of what happens when you outlaw an intoxicant, and what happens when you make it legal again. You don't even have to do a "thought experiment". It really fucking happened! Fuck, people are fucking stupid.

  • ||

    Well didn't the gangsters that ran liquor during prohibition, just move on to other things? Other illegal things! Yes they did, the 40's and 50's were the golden ages for mob hits. Ending prohibition allowed people to drink again, it did not solve organized crime and the violence it brought. What are the thousands of Mexican gang members going to do if the US legalizes reefer? Are they going to open flower shops? No they will move on to other things and violence will follow. The border area has been voilent for over 160 years. Read Cormac MacCarthy sometime. You worthless shithead punk, freeloader, slacker. Growup!

  • BigT||

    Legalize other drugs as well, and prostitution. Only the protection racket would be left. That's small beer.

  • ||

    You're a fool, the reason the woman interviewing Welch asks him those questions is because she knows human nature, and knows the real world. She asked a great question! Europe is shipping back Africans and Arabs as fast as they can. They don't have an open border! No civilized country has an open border or has legalized drugs. I read about a drug raid by SWAT teams in New Zealand the other day, it was reefer they were after and they found it. Stop making it look like America is at fault for enforcing laws that exist everywhere. You spoiled fuckers want to get high and hate America, and want someone else to pay for your pot. I'm not against legalizing pot, I think it's a waste of time arresting idiots. The problem for me is the fucking laziness and brat mentality you guys exhibit.

  • wayne||

    You are combining two issues. Open borders and pot legalization. They are not necessarily linked.

    I doubt anybody here hates America. The fact is that most of us have fond memories of a version of America where the constitution was more than just, "the commerce clause", that gave free reign to the feds to manage our every day lives.

    America is the 800 pound bully that insists on forcing other countries to relentlessly escalate the drug war, despite its obvious detrimental effects. If we legalized pot, most of the rest of the world would follow.

  • Ivanhoe||

    Since repealing the stupid laws won't completely reversed the damage done by the stupid laws, we'll just keep the stupid laws. Got it.

  • ||

    The argument being made is that legalization will end border violence in Mexico and that will not happen, history has taught us that. If you want to change the law come in through the front door. No medical marijuana bull shit, or how it will help with the deficit if we tax it. Wrong, it won't, but a strong case could be made that this is a substance that is not dangerous and thus free men should be able to use it (as long as those lazy fuckers can hold down a job and pay for it themselves)!!!

  • wayne||

    "this is a substance that is not dangerous and thus free men should be able to use it (as long as those lazy fuckers can hold down a job and pay for it themselves)!!!"

    Finally, something out of you that I mostly agree with. A small exception: pot smokers are not necessarily "lazy fuckers".

  • ||

    Wayne I'm sorry, I'd hoped a lot of Reason readers were hard-working, leave-me-alone, freedom lovers but, from what I see it's mostly London rioter types that read and respond here.

  • wayne||

    Pat, you should hang around a bit longer. I have read H&R for years and my impression is that most here are, "hard-working, leave-me-alone, freedom lovers".

    What gives you the impression that they are mostly London rioter types?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    We aren't gung-ho law-n-order rah rah the military conservatives.

  • ||

    I'm gung-ho law-n-order! I'm so gung-ho I love seeing bad cops and cops that lie on the stand go to jail. I'm so gung-ho that when I hear there are a disproportionate number of blacks on death row, I think we should find some more white murderers and rapists to even it up because I know their out there. Do I like seeing some kid have his life ruined because he gets caught with a joint? Hell no! Do I think some kid should get his hot-rod taken away by the local police for a DUI? Hell no. There are plenty of problems with police "procedures" in America, but there is nothing wrong with being gung-ho law-n-order. I think there is a proper time for war and to imagine that we don't need a strong military is foolish and says to me you need some history lessons.

  • GILMORE||

    Read Cormac MacCarthy sometime. You worthless shithead punk, freeloader, slacker. Growup!

    you clearly didnt get anything out of Blood Meridian. Who were the 'bad guys' again?

  • ||

    Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

    But seriously, how does that build choo-choo trains between random medium-sized cities?

  • ||

    School district to give drug test kits to parents.

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com.....o-parents/

    Hempfield? Schoolboard member Randy Stoner?

    Come on!!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's nothing. I live in the area and the school football team is the Hempfield Midnight Tokers, the school grounds are at 420 Chronic Street and the school song is "Puff the Magic Dragon".

  • NoVAHockey||

    that song cracks me up. my mother-in-law refused to believe it wasn't just about a boy and his dragon.

  • T||

    I always liked how the US military, in an oustanding bit of macabre humor, nicknamed AC-47s and AC-130s Puff. Talk about intentionally mangling the point beyond all recognition.

  • ||

    “I think this is idea has some merit,” she said. “Parents can know for sure what’s going on with their children. ... This is just for the parents. If they want it, they can request it? Not a bad idea.”

    It's such a not-bad idea that your local drugstore has been selling the kits for years. But hey, Free Skrimps!!!!!!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    dude...i am not convinced that isnt the Onion doing some old school dead tree trolling.

  • ||

    I googled "schoolboard member Randy Stoner" (without quotes), a many other references popped up.

  • ||

    that just looks like its gonna be good!

    www.total-anon.at.tc

  • AlmightyJB||

    Those women are hot. Does the brunette just not think before she say's things? She made absolutely no sense. The FBI says something completely irrational and I accept it without question because it's the authorities? If I met that chick in a bar I totally be impersonating an FBI agent.

  • ||

    If I met that chick in a bar I totally be impersonating an FBI agent.

    Tell me about it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Elizabeth MacDonald (aka E-Mac) is always inconsistent in her principles: One time she sounds libertarian, at others downright Statist. She is like a Bill O'Reilly with a dress... and pregnant.

    The other anchor... Wow! She's smokin'! Not only a smart woman, she oozes sex appeal... That mouth... Hmmm!

  • ||

    Liz Claman is what Joan on Mad Men would look like in her 40's. She was on Dennis Miller's radio show last week, and he called her Big Red. Miller is a smart, cool customer, but he was probably sporting wood the whole time, from just hearing her voice.

  • ||

    Why the hell is Welch wearing a lavender tie with a dark red shirt?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Same reason he hasn't changed his frames or hairstyle for 30 years.

  • GILMORE||

    ...uh....yeah.

    there have been regular past discussions about Matt and his shirt/tie contrarian-posture. You've missed out.

    The simple answer is I think (and one supported by evidence) a) he only owns two ties (the purple/yellow candy stripe, and the shiny Cyan one - not lavender).... and b) he's aesthetically opposed to dress-blue or white shirts. I would guess its his way of inventing his own individual couture-identity vis a vis the Intimidating Presence of The Jacket.

    My theory was that The Jacket has been draining the dress-sense from Reason Staff for a decade now, and you see these schizoid approaches to semi-formal dress more and more frequently these days.

    I will say todays combo is more Lighthearted-Mob-Hitman than Gay-Magician, or Tweaked-On-Acid-College-Republican. His spectrum has narrowed to a predictable character-mix. I almost want to make a montage.

    Although I do think we should start a fund to buy him a third tie. Or just mail him ones we don't dare wear anymore (e.g. gifts from Mom?)... he may be able to breathe new life into them.

  • ||

    Can I pull the race card here? I'd like to be the token black guy at Reason, as the wardrobe guy. Sure, I espouse libertarian philosophy, and can contribute blogs, video etc. But Matt and The Jacket need some serious work. Damn.

  • knee jerk PC guy||

    Wait, you're black? Dude, you're just what we need around here. Our diversity is our strength!!! Invite your friends; the black ones.

  • GILMORE||

    Neither here nor there....but the ad for "Sober College" on the side there?... sorta had a double take with that one. I suppose DoubleClick or whatever targets this site as "Full of Fucked Up People"...

    I don't know what a reader-poll would reveal. "Question 25: Do you a) play the Reason Hit & Run Drinking Game for real?... Regularly? and b) have you yet sought help?"

  • GILMORE||

    FWIW, I think the words "Sober" and "college" are contradictions. At least when I went to college.

  • Wayne||

    How can the brunette bimbo be so dumb? Perhaps the biggest societal benefit to legalizing MJ is that it would drive the cartels, and the criminality out of the MJ business. This fact is transparently simple. Good grief, it makes me want to throw a rock through the TeeVee.

  • ||

    "You'd still have criminality!"

    Does she even know what that means? How the hell do these people get on TV?

  • Effective speaker||

    But, she was so emphatic.

  • Male Chauvinist Pig||

    Re: Matthew Vreeland,

    Does she even know what that means?


    It's them hormones speaking...

    Hardy Har Har!

  • Roger Murdock||

    Wow, just wow. The stupid is strong with that one.

    Retarded Woman: The FBI would find really problematic your position to uh legalize marijuana because of the law enforcement problems and criminality- criminality there…also the drug gangs would cost more than any fiscal revenue you think would come in from taxing marijuana. They say no way, you should not do it, and it would hurt the uh… you know the country’s children as well.

    Welch: Do you hear a lot of talk about the alcohol gangs that maraud the countryside? No, you did during the 1920’s because there was prohibition back then.

    Retarded Woman: [interrupting] No, but Mexican cartels - no wait a minute. There are cartels who are posing law enforcement problems who basically try to smuggle in pot into the United States and it's a real serious issue with crime and with gangs so that is a serious problem for the FBI.

    Welch: No, but the prohibition creates the crime problem. It’s not that the crime problem will go away in Mexico, for sure. But just like in alcohol, if you allowed for the cultivation of marijuana in America, you wouldn’t have to smuggle it at high prices from Mexico. You could grow it in California and Oregon and tax it and regulate it, and prices would go down and all the violence associated with it.

    Retarded Woman: [interrupting] You’d still have criminality. You’d still have a black market and criminality.

    Welch: [momentary stunned silence] But if it’s legal you’re going to have less of a black market. That’s just a fundamental definition of terms.

    Retarded Woman: (dismissively) All right.

  • flye||

    The transcript is misleading. She said, "You'd still have a 'black' market and kripinality."

    This is true -- black people will still buy weed, and once legalized the quality will go up. What's the problem?

  • reflexive prohibitionist||

    You can take the crime out of the activity but you can't take the criminality ...

    Just because you make it legal doesn't mean it's not a ...

    Well growing it here cheaply and safely wouldn't stop the Mexican cartels from ...

    Why is this so hard?

  • We are so screwed!||

    "We can't legalize it, there is just too much money in it."

    "You’d still have criminality. You’d still have a black market and criminality."

    Our leaders are smarter than me, I never would have thought of that!

  • shox pas cher||

    right

  • ||

    Anchor: my childern aint gone be no pothead 'cause o' y'all libertytarian soft-on-crime types

  • ||

    I haven't seen the video yet:

    Does he talk about how Ron Paul is unelectable, and that RP gets too much media attention?

  • Hilarious!||

    Katherine Mango Wart!

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