Will Marijuana Legalization Teach Progressives the Virtues of Federalism?

While former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo endorsed that state's marijuana legalization initiative, the think tank he ran before he was elected to the House did not. The Independence Institute ("Freedom's Front Line")  "held no position on Amendment 64," its current president, Jon Caldara, notes. But Caldara argues that, "even if you hate pot being legal," the measure's passage two weeks ago created "a great teachable moment":

We finally have a state-rights issue that the Left can, must and will understand and fight to preserve....

This is a massive opportunity for those of us who fear the growing central authority in D.C. Some portion of the Left will now agree with us. We need to embrace this challenge and take a lead in educating Coloradans about the Tenth Amendment before the Left tries to pervert it somehow.

In order for those who support pot to keep in legal in Colorado, they MUST embrace the Founders' ideal of Federalism. And I believe we need to help them understand the power of this simple ideal, and why it applies to a whole lot more than weed.

But if you hate Amendment 64 and wish it smothered out of existence, the only way that can happen now is if you embrace what the Left embraces: federal power trumping the expressed wishes of a sovereign state. Perhaps, like health insurance, the Feds can tax us for not purchasing dope, but they’ll have to pervert the Constitution (again) to override the vote in Colorado.

I expressed similar hopes in the July issue of Reason, where I argued that conservatives and progressives should unite against an overweening national government.

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.

  • ||

    Will Marijuana Legalization Teach Progressives the Virtues of Federalism?

    No. Next question?

    Seriously, Sullum, you really have to ask this?

  • juris imprudent||

    No shit. Progressives, much like conservatives, love federalism when it gives them what they want. It is entirely situational. Progressives have no loyalty to any principle; conservatives are simply hypocrites on this.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Indeed - OK, here is this humungous weapon - I am sure you will act upon pure principles and never use it to bludgeon your foes and force money and preferences toward your allies!

    Government power is like some cursed sword - don't pick it up in the first place.

  • ||

    Will Marijuana Legalization Teach Progressives the Virtues of Federalism?

    They already know about the virtues of federalism -- when it is for stuff they want. Otherwise it is evil incarnate.

    Duh.

  • Voros McCracken||

    What do I win if I answer this question correctly? Because it seems like an easy one.

  • ||

    You will win one internet.

  • 0x90||

    The prize this week is a beautiful lounge suite!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    An Order of the Golden monocle.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Some portion of the Left will now agree with us.

    I don't think it's as large a portion as you might think. And even for those few who do, like pretty much everyone else those progressives will apply federalism selectively anyway. Once you move on to gun rights or abortion rights or education or (the currently most important one) same-sex marriage, it will be federal edicts all the way.

  • MJGreen||

    It's nice in theory that people in Colorado can smoke marijuana, but think about all the missed federal revenue. No, marijuana legalization is only tolerable at the federal level, where they can tax it and regulate it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It's nice in theory that people in Colorado can smoke marijuana, but think about all the missed federal revenue.

    That's the last fucking reason why the federales ought to legalize. We're talking about keeping people out of jail, and you're talking about tax revenues.

    I thought the slogan y'all use is people before profits?

    No, marijuana legalization is only tolerable at the federal level, where they can tax and regulate it fuck up yet another market space, just like they do everything else.

    FIFY

  • iggy||

    I think MJgreen was being sarcastic. I could be wrong, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • MJGreen||

    Yerp. Thanks.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    My bad.

    I need to have my sarcasmometer calibrated. Or maybe not; the fact that the state(s) can earn revenue from legalization is used often as a reason for legalization.

    Keeping people out of jail doesn't even factor.

  • LarryA||

    Progressives will split between those who think the fedgov should eradicate weed and anyone who has any sympathy for users, and those who think the fedgov should tax and regulate it.

    The idea that fedgov should allow states to make any substantive decisions on the subject, notsomuch.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What do I win if I answer this question correctly?

    A Confederate Battle Flag decal for the back window of your pickup truck. And a gun rack.

  • Lewisite||

    "A Confederate Battle Flag decal for the back window of your pickup truck. And a gun rack."

    I already have the pick-up truck, and...umm..the gun rack, too... can I just get the confederate flag decal?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What do I win if I answer this question correctly?

    Tickets to TRAKTOR PULLZ for life.

  • Rawrface||

    I think it's time we start legalizing Marijuana everywhere. Stop living in fear and start thinking about how great the future will be! LEGALIZE IT!

    Why don't we just start legalizing it everywhere? Why are so many people still stuck in this FEAR stage...? Stop worrying, start hoping. LEGALIZE IT!

    If you live in a state where Marijuana isn't legal yet and still want the same type of highs, I suggest checking out uIntoxicate.com. It has amazingly detailed legal highs reviews and where to get them without getting ripped off!
    Also! I'm starting up a new forum dedicated to my fellows stoners. Come on over and join the high conversations! We're quite new, but VERY welcoming.

    CHECK IT: http://uintoxicate.com/
    STONER FORUMS: http://www.stonersofthestates.com/forum/

  • Almanian.||

    Can I finish this delicious brownie first, bruh?

  • ||

    Real MJ advocates call it "cannabis", not "marijuana". You, sir, are an impostor.

  • The Derider||

    Probably not anymore than abortion restrictions will teach libertarians about the dangers of federalism.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Derriere has a point. Reason was totally cool with the feds stomping all over federalism when it came to immigration law enforcement.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The Constitution does not prohibit the feds from keeping their constitutional turf.

  • The Derider||

    You're confusing constitutionality with federalism. They aren't really the same thing.

  • The Derider||

    No, that's wrong. The article is confusing federalism with local control, which aren't the same thing. My bad.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I didn't see abortion mentioned anywhere in the Constitution.

    Doctrine regarding states having the general police power would seem to imply that abortion is a state matter from a Constitutional standpoint.

  • The Derider||

    I agree with you, abortion is a good example of how following federalism would result in less freedom, as many states would ban abortion if not for federal court decisions.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I'm not interested in preserving the freedom to kill people. Which is why I'm OK with federal anti-lynching laws, too.

  • The Derider||

    So you'd be cool with a federal law that made it illegal to shoot someone in self defense?

    Don't discount the freedom to kill people, sometimes it's important.

    Also, a brainless ball of cells is no person.

  • Virginian||

    Also, a brainless ball of cells is no person.

    Well, how the hell did you dodge the suction tube?

  • The Derider||

    Rand Paul supports a constitutional amendment defining human life at conception.

    Where's the principled federalist opposition?

  • Xenocles||

    Also, a brainless ball of cells is no person.

    When do you think the brain appears? Hint: it's before birth.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Which is why Roe was probably the right decision for the worst possible reasons. The brain waves associable with human thought appear roughly at the end of the first trimester.

  • Lewisite||

    "Which is why I'm OK with federal anti-lynching laws, too."

    You feel the feds need to weigh in and reaffirm that murder is illegal? I figure that the states generally had a pretty firm handle on that, regardless of the feds involvement.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Which is why I'm OK with federal anti-lynching laws, too.

    Pretty sure lynching's not legal, bro.

  • Ted S.||

    I think you might find it in the penumbrations or something.

  • The Derider||

    For example, in 1859, federal restrictions on state slavery laws would have violated federalism. After 1865, they didn't, because republicans amended the constitution.

    Federalism is about following the constitution, not "federal power trumping the express wishes of a sovereign state", although that's how most people use the term.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    No, federalism is separate from constitutionality...otherwise it's kind of a useless concept, no?

    Applying the first amendment to state laws is against federalism but we as a nation have decided it's a good idea anyway.

  • The Derider||

    I agree that when most people use the term federalism, they mean "local control", but the word means "a political arrangement where government powers are constitutionally defined at the national and state level"

    If we amended the constitution tomorrow and gave the federal government full drug enforcement powers, the "federalism" argument here would be moot, but the "local control" argument wouldn't.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    A word means what people think it means.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    To add to what Tulpa is saying, federalism (little "f") is merely a structured form of local control for some issues. Switzerland has been described as having either a federal or confederal system going back as far as the Middle Ages, but did not have a constitution until the Napoleonic era.

    In point of fact, Tulpa and Cyto's usage of the word is standard and correct.

  • The Derider||

    In point of fact, cyto is using a definition where federalism=what's in the constitution and tulpa isn't.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    So if the constitution was amended to give states the authority to issue drivers licenses with every other power being given to the federal govt, would this not violate federalism?

  • The Derider||

    Listen, I respect the argument that "words mean what people think they mean". If "federalism" is just shorthand for strong limits on federal power, then obviously your example would violate federalism.

    But in a specific, legal sense, it wouldn't. Anymore than the 13th amendment violated federalism.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    How quickly they forget the Tenth Amendment.

    Supremacy Clause is irrelevant since there's no conflict between SB 1070 and federal law.

  • ||

    Actually the Supremacy Clause is quite relevant since it includes foreign treaties as the Supreme Law of the land.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    What treaty does SB1070 violate?

  • Brutus||

    Abortion is a state issue. That is all.

  • The Derider||

    Right, but federal power is the only thing keeping abortion legal in many states.

    Federalism doesn't always result in more liberty.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Bills to make abortion illegal arise in state legislatures every few years...none of them have ever become law. And not because SCOTUS struck them down.

  • The Derider||

    Because federal courts strike them down, yes. Or because states narrowly tailor their laws to avoid them being called unconstitutional.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Bullshit. They can't even get through the legislature/referendum process.

  • Brutus||

    No, I think Derider is right. The great preponderance of effort put into state anti-abortion laws is expended in attempting to craft them so they aren't struck down by federal judges.

  • ||

    The so-called "state anti-abortion" laws don't even ban abortion. You're acting like the passage of a parental notification law means that legislatures are hot to ban abortion in general. From your deluded lips to God's holy ear.

  • The Derider||

    Parental notification laws are obviously anti-liberty, no matter the topic.

    And they aren't the only ways state governments attempt to ban abortion. They do pass constitutional muster, however, which is why they're passed.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Parental notification laws are obviously anti-liberty, no matter the topic.

    Behold, the sociopathy of the left.

  • The Derider||

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Behold, the sociopathy of reason editorials.

    Again, you said, "no matter the topic." So, again, go fuck yourself.

  • The Derider||

    Apparently that "sociopathy" isn't contained to the left, you moron.

    Shouldn't you be fundraising for sanatorium right now?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Apparently that "sociopathy" isn't contained to the left, you moron.

    Apparently projection isn't contained to movie theaters, you dungheap.

    Shouldn't you be fundraising for sanatorium right now?

    Shouldn't you be dropping the lotion in the basket right now?

  • The Derider||

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Here's the proof.

    You said, "no matter the topic." So go fuck yourself.

  • The Derider||

    that was a threading issue, potty mouth.

    Tell me why the state should force a 17year old to get parental permission for anything?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    that was a threading issue, potty mouth

    Don't make excuses for your shitty communication skills.

    Tell me why the state should force a 17year old to get parental permission for anything?

    Why should the left continually seek to undermine the parent-child relationship?

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Tell me why the state should force a 17year old to get parental permission for anything?

    You just shifted the goalposts from "parental notification" to "parental permission".

  • Brutus||

    Not everything that starts with the word "the freedom to..." means an expension of liberty.

  • The Derider||

    Sure, but freedom from government interference when seeking an abortion plainly is.

  • Brutus||

    No, it's not.

  • ||

    "Plainly" does not mean what you think it means. Not everyone agrees with you about when a fetus becomes a person with natural rights.

  • The Derider||

    I wasn't aware that universal agreement was a prerequisite in defining freedoms.

  • Brutus||

    Mere assertion does not suffice, or an antebellum slaveholder's assertion that abolition violates his freedom to own others would be held sacrosanct.

  • Xenocles||

    Mere assertion does not suffice, or an antebellum slaveholder's assertion that abolition violates his freedom to own others would be held sacrosanct.

    This. It's only proper to protect freedoms that people have a legitimate right to exercise. There is no "freedom to own human being from birth," just as there's no "freedom to kill another person for no particular reason."

  • nicole||

    There is no "freedom to own human being from birth," just as there's no "freedom to kill another person for no particular reason."

    And yet there is a "freedom to force another person to be born and live as all-but-chattel until an arbitrary deadline."

  • Brutus||

    Nicole, I'm thinking you're talking about the child, but can you clarify?

  • nicole||

    I am. I find strange the assumption that bearing a child is morally neutral (or, probably the more common assumption, that is is morally positive), while aborting it is not.

    Children don't consent to be born, after all. Normally, we're all about consent. With kids, we think we know best. And one of the ways people really think they know best is that it's better to be born than not. I don't think most people have thought this through very well.

  • Brutus||

    Personally, I believe it to be a morally positive things, but I don't think that has a bearing on what you're saying. We outlaw murder under the presumption that, at the moment the victim is killed (s)he desired to be alive. I think that principle is safe to apply to children, too.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Personally, I believe it to be a morally positive things

    How so?

  • nicole||

    We outlaw murder under the presumption that, at the moment the victim is killed (s)he desired to be alive. I think that principle is safe to apply to children, too.

    Why do you think a nonexistent being (i.e., unconceived child) desires to be alive?

  • ||

    Unconceived children aren't subject to abortion so this is a red herring.

    crimethink 40, pro-deather love.

  • ||

    Children don't consent to be born, after all. Normally, we're all about consent. With kids, we think we know best. And one of the ways people really think they know best is that it's better to be born than not. I don't think most people have thought this through very well.

    The only way for a kid not to be born is to be killed before that happens. So what you're talking about is whether a kid consents to be killed.

    Once we frame it the truthful way it's pretty obvious.

  • nicole||

    The only way for a kid not to be born is to be killed before that happens. So what you're talking about is whether a kid consents to be killed.

    No, it could not be conceived. Barring that, it could be killed before it becomes sentient.

  • ||

    If "it" is not sentient, then "it" definitely doesn't consent to be killed.

    If you want to stick to your pro-death guns you can argue that consent is irrelevant. I would prove you wrong on that count too, but this tack is just wearisome and typical of lazy pro-deathism.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I would prove you wrong on that count too...

    Let's hear it.

  • The Derider||

    If it is not sentient, then killing it is not murder!

  • The Derider||

    So federalism is only important if you disagree with the law in question.

    Welcome to the club.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Federalism doesn't always result in more liberty.

    Self-government is more important than your stupid ideas on social justice, asshole.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Federalism doesn't always result in more liberty.

    Where did anyone claim that it always does? I suppose someone might have, but they were wrong.

    The question is whether or not on balance it does. So if abortion disappears in the bible belt and Utah, but in return the federal War On Drugs (or even just the one on marijuana) ends, is that a net positive?

  • American||

    Federalism is another thing where reasonites plagarize the arguemeants of one side, in this case the conservatives, without understanding that arguement. Gary Johnson supported "marraige equality" on the federal level. Is reason really gonna argue that the founders thought that gay marraige should be a federally protected right?

  • iggy||

    What conservative argument are reasonites plagiarizing? And what aspect of conservative argument do we supposedly not understand? Federalism is an issue libertarians and conservatives tend to agree on, that doesn't mean that one side has plagiarized another anymore than two people agreeing on gay marriage means one person plagiarized another.

    Also, that's some stellar spelling you got going on there.

  • American||

    By plagerization, I mean that they take the conservative arguement without understanding it. They're making conservative arguements without seeing the contradictions. Reasonites(not libertarians in general) only believe in federalism as long as it fits into their worldview.

  • Brutus||

    The answer is, obviously, no. If respecting the Constitution's limits on federal power is the price to pay for letting people toke in Colorado and Washington, "progressives" will look the other way. They're not about to give up plenary power over an issue like pot.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Because only governments can build Roadz

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    How not to drive on a highway

  • Atanarjuat||

    How the heck are Asians so good at everything except driving?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Texans can't drive either.

  • JeremyR||

    No, because they want to tax the hell out of it.

  • ||

    I agree with you, abortion is a good example of how following federalism would result in less freedom, as many states would ban abortion if not for federal court decisions.

    So if SCOTUS gets a couple of pro-lifers on it and overturn Roe v. Wade, following federalism would still result in less freedom?

    Seems like a far more prudent course would be to let each state decide this issue, so you're never more than a plane flight away from a pro-choice state regardless of where you live and how the 9 black dressed folks act.

  • The Derider||

    I think that's a prudent course for some issues, but not for others.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Right. If the federal govt would do something you don't agree with, then it's prudent to give more power to the states.

  • The Derider||

    If you want more specificity, I'd say that issues of civil and human rights should not be left to the states to decide.

  • Virginian||

    Oh, so we're ready for the feds to strike down all the gun control laws in CA, MA, IL, etc.

    Civil rights dude.

  • Lewisite||

    "Oh, so we're ready for the feds to strike down all the gun control laws in CA, MA, IL, etc.

    Civil rights dude."

    Civil rights =/= civil 'privileges.

    These civil rights were not *given* to you by gov’t, and are not for state/fed gov't to give or take, they can only to reaffirm and protect. That’s the disconnect in perception I find troubling.

  • The Derider||

    I wouldn't be opposed to that.

  • ||

    If you want more specificity, I'd say that issues of civil and human rights should not be left to the states to decide.

    So you're in favor of the federal government overruling the legalization of marijuana in CO and WA?

    Civil and human rights and financial rights and all other rights stated or implied in the Bill of Rights should not be left to the states OR feds to decide. They should be off limits to government, period.

  • Rick Santorum||

    I'd say that issues of civil and human rights should not be left to the states to decide.

    The concept of "human rights" is a tool of the internationalist Left that serves no purpose beyond furthering Marxism. Did you know that "health" is considered a human right by the UN? Could you explain how you can have a right to "health"? How can children in Africa who are dying of AIDS have this right? How can a man dying from cancer have this right?

    Explain this to me.

  • ||

    f we amended the constitution tomorrow and gave the federal government full drug enforcement powers, the "federalism" argument here would be moot, but the "local control" argument wouldn't.

    So you will stipulate that if enough citizens become anti-freedom enough, they can amend the Constitution to do the opposite of what it originally said?

    True, but so what? Isn't that really an argument for keeping the feds really tiny and small, so no matter how oppressive a state gets from your point of view, there's always dozens of better options to flee to?

  • The Derider||

    I stipulate that they have already done so many times, both in pro and anti freedom directions.

    Keeping the Feds really tiny and small allowed slavery to exist in the south for more than 60 years. Making it bigger ended it. Keeping the Feds tiny and small allowed Jim crow for another hundred years. Making it bigger ended it. There are some issues where having state diversity is a good thing, but there are some where it's not.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Keeping the Feds really tiny and small allowed slavery to exist in the south for more than 60 years. Making it bigger ended it.

    Unsurprisingly, you have a very skewed understanding of history. Nothing says small fedgov like the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 that your party was in love with.

  • The Derider||

    Don't lecture me about a skewed understanding of history and then assert that the democratic party in 1860 is the same one that elected Barack Obama twice.

    Notice you say nothing about ending Jim crow. Did that shit spew forth from your mind before you finished the paragraph?

  • Virginian||

    You're the one who claimed that shithead.

    There is no racist party in America today. The racist party in yesterdays America was the Democratic Party. The GOP supported every single civil rights act ever passed in overwhelming majorities. What happened in the 60s was that the Democratic Party joined the right side of the issue.

  • The Derider||

    The southern strategy:

    Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn't have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he's campaigned on since 1964 and that's fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.
    Questioner: But the fact is, isn't it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?
    Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

  • American||

    Except that the republicans were ALWAYS the party of fiscal conservatism. If the democratic party drove racist voters away by changing you're position on the "enword" issue and desiding to send the racist voters kids into the ghetto, how is that the republicans fault?

  • The Derider||

    The point is that republicans campaigned on appeals to white southern racism for 40 years. This is why 95 percent of blacks vote democrat.

    Ken mehlman apologized for it in 2005.

  • iggy||

    It should be noted that Lee Atwater never gave a shit about politics. He was basically Machiavelli and straight up admitted that the only reason he ended up working for Republicans was because there were fewer young Republicans than young Democrats so he thought he could rise through the ranks faster. I wouldn't take his word on why Republicans were anti-tax and anti-spending in 1980, especially since Republicans were the anti-spending and anti-tax party for decades prior to that quote.

    Atwater was known for saying ridiculous stuff and shooting from the hip. Do you really believe that Republicans were anti-tax and anti-spending in 1965 because of fiscal conservatism and held the same positions 20 years later because of racism? In order for your argument about Republicans campaigning on racism to be true, they would have had to keep the same values and change the reason they held those values.

    I find that unlikely.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Cutting taxes is racist. This makes sense because.

  • Rick Santorum||

    Keeping the Feds really tiny and small allowed slavery to exist in the south for more than 60 years.

    You're a piece of shit. It was an argicultural society that kept slavery legal, and it was cultural norms that kept it accepted.

    I hate you, and I hate everything you represent: the arrogant, anti-intellectual progressivism spouting platitudes and "just so" facts. Congratulations. You have trolled me.

  • minarchist||

    The answer is no. They will just demand other people's weed.

  • thinksubstance||

    As Judge Napolitano says we are being governed by a one party system. The politicians at the top are being bought off I believe by cronies in the alcohol, prison, tobacco industries. They have no guts to see the truth, speak the truth, and walk the truth. The fear that they will not be elected, thus take the money from above cronies.

  • The Derider||

    Do libertarians ever consider that calling it a "one party system" is a self fulfilling prophecy?

  • Rick Santorum||

    Do you ever consider that your mother should have practiced her "reproductive rights" on you?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Just in...Arab Autumn has begun. Morsi declares himself dictator.

    Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has issued an order preventing any court from overturning his decisions, essentially allowing him to run the country unchecked until a new constitution is drafted, his spokesman announced on state TV Thursday. ...

    That means Morsy, who earlier this year took over legislative powers from the military council that ruled after Mubarak's ouster, could have at least six months of unchecked rule by decree. ...

    The announcements also come a day after Morsy helped broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas after an eight-day conflict between the sides.
  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    As long as we're not financing his hold on power (which no doubt we will soon be doing) it's none of our business if he wants to build a castle and have lesbian orgies and wear a shiny hat.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    what colour is the hat?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    chartreuse

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Did we ever stop giving foreign aid to Egypt?

  • Lewisite||

    "Did we ever stop giving foreign aid to Egypt?"

    That’s a nice Israel you got there...be a shame if something happened to it...about that jizya, Mr. Dihmmi…. you gonna keep paying it, right?

    “Absolutely” –U.S.

  • ||

    Egypt is as much a threat to Israel as Cuba is to the US. The military aid to Egypt is to prevent them from starting a suicidal war, because said suicidal war would indirectly cause inconveniences for us.

  • Lewisite||

    "Egypt is as much a threat to Israel as Cuba is to the US"

    I'm gonna have to disagree with you there. X =/= Y

    "
    The military aid to Egypt is to prevent them from starting a suicidal war"

    That's the implied threat, I'll certainly agree with you there.

    It has occurred to me that this 'jizya' we pay to the Egyptians is a large part of why we give so much military 'cash -n- prizes' to Israel, so one side of the equation is roughly balanced with the other. Manipulation, distortion, and unintended consequences are the mantle of our often short sighted foreign policies in that region. Offsetting the extortion we pay to Egypt, by giving the Israelis just a little bit more, is like 'swallowing the cat to get rid of the fly......'

  • American||

    But it's certanly his right to immigrate to our country, right open borders libertarians?

  • iggy||

    If he wasn't a dictator, then yes. Random Egyptian=Okay to move to America. Dictator=Not okay to move to America.

    Just because you hate Mexicans doesn't mean you have to bring your bizarre bigotry into conversations that have nothing to do with immigration.

  • Rick Santorum||

    If he wasn't a dictator, then yes.

    You don't want him to move here because of his political views? Sounds pretty bigoted and anti-freedom to me.

  • Brutus||

    Gosh, who could have seen this coming?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So, we basically pressured out a pro-American dictator to replace him with an anti-American dictator. Forward, I guess.

  • ||

    Meet the Old Boss...

  • OldMexican||

    Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has issued an order preventing any court from overturning his decisions, essentially allowing him to run the country unchecked until a new constitution is drafted[...]


    The WH tenant taking notes...

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!

  • Brutus||

    Odd, they looked like Superbowl contenders against the Rams.

  • ||

    S-U-C-K SUCK SUCK SUCK!

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    why not even try Tebow? How much worse can it get?

  • ||

    Yes, apparently his current position of prayer-back is not working out.

  • Skyhawk||

    +1 Hilarious.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Reason writers pipe dream (pardon the pun) that the modern left will ever support limitations on federal power. If the federal government palmed off marijuana as a "public health" issue rather than a "morality" issue, the left would rally around the drug war like it was a national emergency.

  • ||

    WOD is an employment program.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Progressives don't want really want marijuana legalized any more than they want people to smoke cigarettes.

    To the extent that Progressives support legalization, it's mostly out of nostalgia for the '60s and what they imagine is the opposition to legalization on the right.

    I don't understand why Progressives would want to legalize marijuana apart from that. If being Progressive is all about using the government to force social change for the better, then the legalization of marijuana goes against that Progressive principle.

    Progressives certainly don't think people should be free to make choices for themselves that might be generally harmful. Why would their views on marijuana be so much different from their views on everything else?

  • nicole||

    Agreed. And now that they have discovered the "treatment, not prison" option, I think they will just run with that instead. "You don't even know it, but you have a disease!" We'll all be addicts of some sort, whether to cigarettes, drugs, booze, food, shopping, gambling, etc.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I'm addicted to snark.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    To the extent that Progressives support legalization, it's mostly out of nostalgia for the '60s and what they imagine is the opposition to legalization on the right.

    Yep.

    If the Rs ever pulled their heads out of their asses and embraced legalization of MJ the progs would reflexively come out hard for continuing the drug war.

    Douche Feinstein had a near melt down over CA's ballot initiative on legalization in 2010, and that was without any organized political support for it.

  • shane_c||

    That should only be for issues though that aren't unalienable rights. Unalienable rights (free speech, RKBA,...) should be enforced on the whole country.

  • Rick Santorum||

    No, dumbass. The First Amendment limits the power of the federal government to censor speech. The states should be given the power to restrict it if they so desire.

  • kbolino||

    I see your First Amendment and raise you one Fourteenth Amendment:

    "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    Also, why on earth would anyone leaning anywhere near the libertarian persuasion possibly be inclined to support the idea of restrictions on speech, religion, press, assembly, or petition, regardless of the level on the government hierarchy involved?

  • Lewisite||

    "And now that they have discovered the "treatment, not prison" option, I think they will just run with that instead"

    An opportunity to shift from a declining cronyism (prison – industrial/ police state w.o.d) to another ascending cronyism (mandatory treatment /big pharma 'addiction swaps'/ etc.)... we are making progress now.

  • anon||

    Some portion of the Left will now agree with us.

    The portion that does nothing but get baked and eat cheetohs bought with food stamps all day?

    Oh yay. I can barely contain the excitement.

  • anon||

    Also, you're all idiots for letting shriek suck you in to an abortion discussion. Well played, sir; pot conversation to abortion in mere hours.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I like when people get into abortion arguments, it's entertaining.

  • The Derider||

    I forgot that the libertarian position on abortion was to pretend that it doesn't exist.

  • American||

    The left will always believe that the constitution lies on their side, because they see the it as "living" essentially, a reflection of themselves. And this is all based on the idea that te left is pro-pot. It's not. The left didn't care when Obongo attacked medical marijanna, why will they care if he attacks recreational pot? Even if the left does support Colorado, it still wouldn't teach them anything. These are people who believe in separation of church and state, which is not in the constitution, but not in free practice of religion. They believe that(volentarily) paying a woman for sex is "speech" as long as it's done in front of a camera, but is "exploitation" when it's not.

  • American||

    "In order for those who support pot to keep in legal in Colorado, they MUST embrace the Founders' ideal of Federalism."
    Or they can just say that they're right and the feds are wrong, so the feds should repeal their law, or not enfore it.

  • Mike L Toris||

    The top 1% are now worth more collectively than the bottom 90%

  • iggy||

    And of course the Times tries to claim that this is the result of taxes being too low. There has never been a problem for which the Times did not advocate larger government or more taxes as a solution.

  • ||

    Um... last I checked lack of revenue doesn't stop the government from spending. Maybe the problem is that the government is a bad stand-in for an energy company?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    As per usual, Kristof never factors in the limits of scale and the inherent weaknesses of increasing centralization in his analysis. Take for example, this gem:

    Half-a-century of tax cuts focused on the wealthiest Americans leave us with third-rate public services, leading the wealthy to develop inefficient private workarounds.

    If Kristof bothered to read the OMB historical data, he'd see that there's been a 17% average revenue to GDP ratio, regardless of the tax rates in place (the average ratio in the 1950s and 2000s was about 0.3 percent). They've been at 15% the last couple of years because the labor participation rate continued its downward slide all the way through Obama's presidency.

    The math is simple--at a $15 trillion GDP, 17% brings in $2.55 trillion. 19% (which has happened only 11 times since WW2) brings in $2.85 trillion. We're spending $3.6 trillion as of FY11, this means that even in a best-case scenario of 19%, we're still running a $750 billion deficit.

    Tax the rich all you want--it won't balance the budget.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    More to the point--Kristof glorifies the 1950s, despite the fact that federal spending on an inflation-adjusted basis was about 1/3-1/4 of what it is now, and over half of that budget was spent on defense. Liberals typically ignore these facts because they're so obsessed with other people's money. If they would bother to examine that when any system becomes too bloated and centralized, it develops weaknesses that its social and economic infrastructure can't resolve. That's why the Soviet Union collapsed under its own weight, while Russia in the post-Soviet era has remained relatively stable.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tax the rich all you want--it won't balance the budget.

    Taxing the rich isn't about balancing the budget, it's about fairness.

    The rich don't pay their fair share. How do we know this? They're rich!
    If they had paid their fair share then they wouldn't be rich!
    As long as they are rich, they haven't paid their fair share!

    See?

  • mongconnennguoi.com||

  • np||

    Been thinking about this for some time. I think I fall on the anti-federalist, anti-centralist side. It was federalism that gave us this leviathan state in the first place. It was federalism that gave us the commerce clause (...and the general welfare and necessary and proper clause).

    It is federalism that permits states to exercise only powers they have been permitted to by the federal government. Neither a state nor--more importantly--an individual can act in spite of a central government, or equivalently, in spite of the opinion of others (i.e. in spite of representatives from the other states in Congress). That would be confederalism, not federalism.

  • waaminn||

    lol, stupid cops will be stupid.

    www.Max-Privacy.tk

  • Mickey Rat||

    The question presumes Progressives have principles. They do not. they have only wants, and will use any means to acheive those those wants and will denounce those same means as unfair when they prevent them from acheiving some other want.

  • sarcasmic||

    Progressives worship violence. It is the only thing in the world that they respect.
    They do have principles.
    Rather they have one and only one principle: might makes right.

  • califernian||

    Will Marijuana Legalization Teach Progressives the Virtues of Federalism?

    Answer: No.

    They worship and adore authoritarianism.

  • Robert||

    Federalism's a crock of shit anyway. I can't see anybody's honestly ranking it high among normative concerns. It's like a decision about how to arrange your furniture compared to where you want your home or office located, or what kind of business to be in. It's like details of the organiz'n chart of your business compared to what business you're in.

  • sohbet||

    very super blogos thanks admin sohbet & sohbet odaları

  • cinsel chat||

    earned that one "Sharon Levy" cares more for boot licking than the Hip sohbet odaları & cinsel sohbet

GET REASON MAGAZINE

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

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement