D.C.'s "Love Affair With Marijuana"

There's a pretty darned good cover package in the current issue of Washingtonian magazine about "Washington's Love Affair With Marijuana." Here's a fun quote:

"This is a town where I could probably kill 200 major careers if I wanted to be a complete prick," says Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which is headquartered on K Street. "Politicians, members of Congress and the Senate, many of their principals—legislative directors, chiefs of staff, communications directors—people in the private sector, Cato Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Brookings, police, any number of notable journalists from television, print, radio, many brand names most Americans would recognize pretty quickly—I've smoked with all of them. There is more smoke in DC closets than there is sex."

Disclosure: I have never smoked pot with Allen St. Pierre. Least not that I remember.

More:

For many, a hit before bedtime eases insomnia. "Better pot than Ambien," the PR exec says. For others, it calms the tensions of the 80-hour workweek.

"For people who have really high-producing, high-stress jobs, it's like this is my break in order to release a lot of the stress," says a 37-year-old who used to work in politics. She smokes with friends "in high-ranking government positions, including a friend who interacts with the President every day." [...]

Washington is "schizophrenic" when it comes to marijuana, says Allen St. Pierre: There are plenty of people here who smoke pot, but not many who will talk about it.

"We wear gold marijuana lapel pins when we lobby," St. Pierre says. "In DC, everyone thinks I'm Canadian. They'll go, 'Oh, hey—maple leaf!' And I go, 'No, no, cannabis leaf,' and the immediate facial reaction is either a quirky smile or a furrowing brow as if someone just put a stinky cheese under their nose."

Whole package here. Reason on marijuana here.

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  • ||

    "This is a town where I could probably kill 200 major careers if I wanted to be a complete prick,"

    Prick? Try, fair play.

  • ||

    Why didn't he just say "if I had any balls". Call these fuckers out.

  • ||

    "In other news today, it was discovered that NORML had numerous ties to Al Queueda and The Iranian Nuclear Program. Oh, and Syria too."

  • sarcasmic||

    "Allen St. Pierre was shot and killed late last night as the D.C. SWAT team executed a search warrant. No drugs or weapons were found. Officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation."

  • anon||

    It's scary that this satirical headline didn't even make me pause for a second.

  • ||

    No drugs or weapons were found.

    Like they wouldn't take some throwdowns for that raid.

  • mr simple||

    And find computers full of underage porn.

  • ||

    Do cops carry stick drives of child porn along with their drop weapons these days?

  • ||

    If you want to be Trooper of the Month, you do.

  • anon||

    Why didn't he just say "if I had any balls". Call these fuckers out.

    Yeah, he really loses all credibility with that statement.

  • Zeb||

    Probably has something to do with his being a lobbyist who depends on access to these people. I would love to see it though.

  • Wow||

    Call these fuckers out

    John the narc. Nice. Why are you tolerated here?

  • ||

    John the narc. Nice. Why are you tolerated here?

    Why not let these people hang by the very laws they passed? I'm not saying I'd do it, but there's a certain poetic justice to it.

  • ChrisO||

    Makes sense to me. It's difficult to be a lobbyist if no one will talk to you.

    Not saying I would feel bad if these hypocrites were outed, though.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Perhaps he's against putting people in prison for using marijuana.

    In fact, I get the feeling that he *is* opposed.

    I expect he's also in favor of getting invited to marijuana parties, which he won't be if he snitches on the other guests.

  • ||

    Mandatory drug testing for all of Congress and their staffs. And when they come up positive, charge them and make them give up their dealers in return for a plea.

    If they want rules, then the rules shouldn't just apply to the little people.

  • ||

    WHAT PART OF 'LITTLE PEOPLE' DON'T YOU FUCKING PEASANTS UNDERSTAND!!!11oneoneoneone

  • Zeb||

    What about the ones who think it should be legal? Also, you can't charge someone with failing a drug test. Maybe they should have drug dogs randomly passing through congressional offices.

    But seriously, as much as I would enjoy the spectacle, it ain't gonna happen. And passing any kind of test or screening should never be a qualification to hold office.

  • ||

    Also, you can't charge someone with failing a drug test.

    Oh yes you can. The military does it all of the time. You just have to have good chain of custody on the sample. And then you have an expert testify that the sample means they used.

    And as far as the ones who advocate it being legal, too bad. The law is the law. Part of the reason why it is still the law is that the people making the laws never get it applied to them.

  • Wow||

    It's all about revenge, then?
    Jesus, you're a pathetic little worm.

  • ||

    Wow pointing out Queen Michelle's transgressions really took you off your meds today. It is not about revenge, it is about applying the same standard to everyone. Kids in the military get their lives ruined all of the time for positive drug tests. Young people all over America get caught up in the drug war. And it is a drug war these people are literally responsible for. If they want to have a drug war and think that is best, fine. But they more than anyone ought to have to live by the rules of that drug war.

  • ||

    It is not about revenge, it is about applying the same standard to everyone.

    Precisely. What better way to see these laws stricken than to actually apply them across the board. All it would take is one congressman being frog-marched out of his office, and the debate would be renewed.

    I'm not in favor of using the law as a weapon - I'd never report an ex to the IRS, for instance - but to make these monsters experience the consequences of these onerous laws they've passed is akin to rubbing a puppy's nose in its own shit.

  • ||

    Don't pretend like members of the military live under the same laws as the rest of us. They can also be charged for disobeying a direct order.

    If I go to work and I disobey a direct order, I might get fired, but I wouldn't be risking jail time.

  • Zeb||

    Congress isn't the military. They can do a lot of things in the military that can't be done in civilian situations.

    Anyway, I see your point. I just don't think anyone should ever be punished simply for using, possessing or selling drugs. Even if they are hypocritical pieces of shit. I also think that people get to elect whatever hypocritical pieces of shit they want to to congress.

    In any case, it will never happen for exactly the reasons you think it should happen. They would never expose themselves to that, and they make the laws.

  • Ska||

    Cocaine doesn't seem that far behind in popularity either. I was in a trendy restaurant in Dupont and the waitress is taking drink orders for me and my friend. That's when she goes into an unsolicited "everyone on the staff in here does coke" anecdote. That caught me off guard.

    Maybe I had some on my lip, but I watch out for that.

  • anon||

    Cocaine's fine, it's the shit they cut it with that fucks you up.

  • jj||

    Cocaine's not fine. It's a vasoconstrictor that results in stroke, ischemia, and fucked up treatment outcomes if doctors don't know what you are taking.

    Jus' sayin'

  • anon||

    It's a vasoconstrictor that results in stroke, ischemia, and fucked up treatment outcomes

    So... it's just like reading the news. Gotcha.

  • Zeb||

    Always tell your doctor how much news you read.

  • ||

    There was a time when pharmaceutical grade cocaine was readily available. The people old enough to remember such tell me that anyone who ever had the real stuff would never want to touch the street shit they sell now.

  • anon||

    I wouldn't either. Sticking to beers; mostly because I don't like the effects of the other drugs I've tried in the past.

  • ||

    I agree. Honestly, I think pot is probably preferable to booze. But I don't touch it because of the potential legal hassles. The rest of it, I wouldn't touch. No desire to be a degenerate druggie.

  • sarcasmic||

    The average "degenerate druggie" doesn't need drugs to be useless.

    And I have known many coke-heads who were extremely productive members of society.

  • ||

    True enough. But it always seems to end badly. I have never known a coke head who kept it in check forever the way pot smokers do or even pill heads. But maybe some can to which I say good for them. But I wouldn't want to risk it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    10-20% of people who try heroin are addicts. It's got a lot more to do with the person than the drug.

    That said, if you never do it, you'll never become an addict.

  • sarcasmic||

    "I have never known a coke head who kept it in check forever the way pot smokers do or even pill heads."

    My guess is that you have known plenty of cocaine users who kept it in check. You just didn't know that they are users.

    That's the pathetic thing about this war.

    There are many respected and accomplished people who use drugs.

    However they must keep it to themselves, else they be judged solely on their use of politically incorrect chemicals instead of what they were respected for before they were found out.

  • ||

    That is very true Sarcasmic. You never know what crosses people bare. For some people going through life sober is a very difficult thing. For some, a life on drugs is better than one off of them. No one ever wants to admit that. We are all supposed to be happy leaving the clean life. Well some are. And some are not so lucky. So instead of leaving it to them, we go out and torture them via the drug war.

  • BakedPenguin||

    My comment below was a reply to sarcasmic. To John's point, the majority of people who become addicts are badly messed up emotionally prior to using drugs. Prison isn't going to help them.

  • sarcasmic||

    Good Puritans must torture those who seek happiness through the unapproved use of chemicals.

    That's the devil's work!

    Devil's work I tell you!

  • Zeb||

    Sullum's book "Saying Yes" is a pretty good take on all of this, I think. I'd recommend it if you haven't read it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    This. Society's entire picture of drug users comes from those who let drugs mess up their life.

  • anon||

    I just wanted to add to this thread that I have done various drugs throughout my life, and have turned out to be pretty productive (though not today, obviously). I've known several others with addictions that I would consider to be harmful, yet they're productive too.

    tl;dr. I don't really give a shit what other people do to themselves.

  • ||

    Anon,

    There are millions and millions of functioning alcoholics in the world. And apparently there are a ton of kids in the current generation taking adderall every day. But somehow someone who smokes a joint every night to make prime time television bearable is a heretic criminal. really?

  • anon||

    But somehow someone who smokes a joint every night to make prime time television bearable is a heretic criminal. really?

    Exactly. It's this arbitrary definition of what's "criminal" that pisses me off so much; especially when the only possible victim is yourself.

  • sarcasmic||

    especially when the only possible victim is yourself.

    Externalities!

  • anon||

    Externalities!

    I recognize your sarcasm, but fuck does that argument drive me up a wall.

  • ||

    But I wouldn't want to risk it.

    That's always a safe bet. I tried cocaine maybe half a dozen times in the '90s. For me, it was basically like a caffeine high that slightly elevated my mood as well. It was OK, but once my curiosity was satisfied, I walked away and never looked back.

  • sarcasmic||

    I always liked cocaine. Except that it makes sleeping very difficult and you've got to associate with some serious dirtbags to have a steady supply.
    If it was legal then the latter would be solved, but my days of living it up until dawn are long gone, so it wouldn't matter.

  • anon||

    and you've got to associate with some serious dirtbags to have a steady supply.

    My biggest problem right here.

  • ||

    Tips must be good.

  • ||

    as if someone just put a stinky cheese under their nose

    Hobo brand Dick Cheese, made especially for lobbyists and congress.

  • anon||

    "This is a town where I could probably kill 200 major careers if I wanted to be a complete prick,"

    DO IT ALREADY FUCKER

  • Wow||

    Yeah, throw 'em in prison! Rape 'em!
    Yeeee-haaaaw!

  • anon||

    It's not about throwing them in prison, per say. It's more about forcing them to experience the injustice they force upon others.

  • ||

    If I had to interact with the President every day (most Presidents in my lifetime, not just this one), I'd have to smoke so much weed that I'd be better off, financially, just quitting my job.

  • mr simple||

    This article is making me hungry.

  • ||

    All these people, in a position to make a difference, are regular users, but as long as they are confident that they personally won't suffer any consequences, won't say a damn thing. And fuck the little people, that they otherwise built their careers on pretending to care about.

    Ladies and gentlemen, your ruling class.

  • ||

    The same people that pass laws saying anyone with a drug conviction can't get college aid regularly smoke themselves. How do you live with yourself?

  • Wow||

    You think all of them are prohibitionists? How could you possibly know that? What about the ones who are smoking pot because they think they have a right to do it, and who have nothing to do with prohibitionist legislation? Round 'em up anyway? The mindless group-think here is astonishing.

  • ||

    What about the ones who are smoking pot because they think they have a right to do it, and who have nothing to do with prohibitionist legislation?

    Then maybe they shouldn't be working for an organization that is behind the prohibition. And two, maybe they should be engaging in their civil disobedience publicly so it will have an effect. Doing it in private just makes them look like 'rules are for the little people' hypocrites.

  • ||

    Then maybe they shouldn't be working for an organization that is behind the prohibition

    This is the key distinction that Wow seems to be ignoring.

  • ||

    It is okay to work for such organizations and object to the drug war. Nothing wrong with trying to reform from the inside. But if you do, live by the rules as you try to change them.

  • sarcasmic||

    The war on drug users isn't about drugs, it's about power.

    These people have no desire to see drugs legal.

    Think of the powers they would lose.

  • ||

    Think of the powers they would lose.

    Hey, at least they'd still have the power to visit H&R and make lame attempts at trolling.

  • ||

    Cato is the ruling class? Cato supports the Drug War? Cato doesn't do anything to try to oppose it?

    There's a distinct difference between Cato people and Congresscritters and their flacks.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Drat, just before reading your comment I was going to say the same thing about Cato. You stole my comment from me!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And I found this book summary at the American Enterprise Web site:

    "[The authors of a 2005 study] conclude that America’s drug policy should be reoriented in several ways to be more effective. Enforcement should focus on reducing drug-related problems, such as violence associated with drug markets, rather than on locking up large numbers of low-level dealers. Treatment services for heavy users, particularly methadone and other opiate maintenance therapies, need more money and fewer regulations. And programs that coerce convicted drug addicts to enter treatment and maintain abstinence as a condition of continued freedom should be expanded."

    http://www.aei.org/book/societ.....licy-book/

  • ||

    So, drug warriors with stethoscopes as well as truncheons.

  • ||

    And programs that coerce convicted drug addicts to enter treatment and maintain abstinence as a condition of continued freedom should be expanded

    So much stupid in one sentence. Don't they realize that treatment is nearly always ineffective? All these programs do is make people who would normally do a little time for this or that crime into habitual probation failures who never get out of the system. See Lindsey Lohan, who hasn't to my knowledge committed any crime other than her initial DUI. The rest of have been failing probation drug tests.

  • ||

    Fair point about Cato and the private sector folks. My disgust is directed at the actual government "people" - Politicians, members of Congress and the Senate, many of their principals—legislative directors, chiefs of staff, communications directors - mentioned.

  • Konfounded Kristen||

    I found the comment about the insomnia cure home-hitting. Because now that I have a security clearance I have to use Benadryl to cure my insomnia, which gives me RLS and makes it harder to sleep.

    But my group of friends here in DC are remarkably square. Many of them have never used any illegal substance, ever, because they knew they wanted to be Ambassador So-and-So some day. Of course, none of them is Ambassador So-and-So, so they missed out on some good times as far as I'm concerned.

  • ||

    That is funny. We DC hit and runites should have our own DC happy hour sometime.

  • anon||

    You're just trying to get in her pants John!

    I won't lie, I am too. And I don't even know her.

  • ||

    I can't do that anymore. I am safe. I would have to bring the wife along.

  • anon||

    Holy shit, what'd you do to piss that guy off so bad? Did you fuck him in the ass and not give a reach around?

  • ||

    I don't know anon. It has, however, gotten very creepy. I don't know if it is rahter or what. I hate the idea of being run off by some asshole. But on the other hand, I hate the idea of some lunatic out there stalking me. Hit and run is increasingly not worth it.

  • Zeb||

    Seriously? Get a life.

  • Zeb||

    In case there is any confusion, my comment was in response to the deleted asshole troll who is stalking John.

  • ||

    I missed it, but someone should summarize what was deleted (stripped of the offending identifying information.) There needs to be some record of what happened exactly.

  • ||

    SF,

    The Griefer has gotten a hold of my last name and proceeded to post it along with the tag line "pedophile" as a handle. Fortunately, Reason deleted all of them, presumably as spam. So perhaps, the IP address also go characterized as spam. And we will be rid of it (rather, WI and the whole lot) for a bit.

  • ||

    That's fucking terrible. Hopefully this will finally spur them to permanently deal with the situation.

  • ||

    I hope so. Didn't they ban Dondero and Lonewacko? I have always thought trying to out people personally was kind of the cardinal sin on here. Isn't that what Dondero and Lonewacko did to get run off? This guy is a hundred times worse than those two. This has got to stop.

  • ||

    Registration can't come soon enough.

    It is coming, right? RIGHT?

  • Konfounded Kristen||

    Dudes, y'all would be sorely disappointed if you met me, methinks. But you can picture me being as hot as lobster girl - I got no problem with that :)

    That being said, Old Town is my usual haunt if anyone is innerested in a get-together. I like Tiffany Tavern, and I really like bringing them business on slow weeknights (the place is overrun with fucking hipsters and yuppies on weekends, ironically enjoying the bluegrass).

  • ||

    I like old town. And damn, the sad fact is that at my age, if you saw my wife and I there, you would describe us as one of the yuppies.

  • Konfounded Kristen||

    Yuppie is an attitude, not a look. Most of the time I get mistaken for a hipster, based on looks.

  • ||

    We just have nice stuff because we are in our 30s and don't have kids yet. I think that makes us Yuppies.

  • Zeb||

    It makes you DINKs.

  • anon||

    Most of the time I get mistaken for a hipster, based on looks.

    Same here, but mostly because I don't care enough how I'm perceived by others to change my clothes after working on cars all day.

  • ||

    If I had life to do over, I don't think being a mechanic would be that bad. Something very rewarding about making something work.

  • Konfounded Kristen||

    Agreed...on my telework day those daytime Lincoln Tech TV commercials are incredibly appealing.

  • ||

    I'm down with a DC happy hour. I'm in Foggy Bottom, so a weeknight trip to Old Town isn't too far.

  • ||

    Dude, come on man, pot is jsut cool like that!

    www.Privacy-Wares.tk

  • Juice||

    She smokes with friends "in high-ranking government positions, including a friend who interacts with the President every day."

    Why aren't they drug testing these welfare queens?

  • SIV||

    Shoot their dogs.

  • Joseph Hertzlinger||

    This explains so much...

  • ||

    I nearly fell off my chair when I read Allen St. Pierre's quote that he could "kill 200 major careers if [he] wanted to be a complete prick."

    Is he threatening to re-create arguably the lowest point in NORML's 40 year history -- Keith Stroup's "outing" of Peter Bourne, Health Secretary under President Carter?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Bourne

    Brilliant strategy, Allen. That should really engender a lot of respect for NORML. :oP

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