Ron Paul

Tossing Some Sick Pot Smoker Behind Bars: Priceless!

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Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Ron Paul (R.-Tex.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) are asking the GAO to investigate how much the Feds are spending trying to enforce federal laws against medical pot in states that permit it. Perhaps, five or six years and dozens of ruined lives down the line, we might find out. And while it's an interesting rhetorical gesture, I very much doubt the revelation of the costs–at what cost itself?–will budge a single drug warrior from his maniacal course.

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  1. It may not (ok, it almost certainly won’t) persuade a drug warrior, but it may give Barney Frank and others (more) political cover to come out in favor of medical marijuana.

    Or they could simply be trying to get some votes from libertarians.

    Either way, they are political animals and this (funding a study) seems par for the course.

  2. I managed to miss that Ron Paul is part of those asking. Now I realize that they are probably not “funding a study”, but merely getting the GAO to do something that may have merit with the money we are already spending on them.

    Ron Paul is opposed to the Congressional Medal Of Honor for the most part (when he votes for an award, he contributes his own money to the US Treasury a share of the money it takes to fund it) since we are spending taxpayer dollars on it. I doubt he’d ask to spend our money on something like this either.

  3. I managed to miss that Ron Paul is part of those asking. Now I realize that they are probably not “funding a study”, but merely getting the GAO to do something that may have merit with the money we are already spending on them.

    Ron Paul is opposed to the Congressional Medal Of Honor for the most part (when he votes for an award, he contributes his own money to the US Treasury a share of the money it takes to fund it) since we are spending taxpayer dollars on it. I doubt he’d ask to spend our money on something like this either.

  4. “Or they could simply be trying to get some votes from libertarians.”

    *chuckle*

    Seriously, though, I saw Ron Paul speaking at the House Foreign Relations Committee meeting on CPAN last night, and he made an excellent point about Hamas being built up by Israel as a counterweight to the PLO, and how that turned out not to be a very good idea. He then linked that point to the mulitple occasions when the US has tried similar tricks – like funding Afghan mujahadeen as a counterweight to the Soviets – and suggested that we learn from history, and not try to find a counterweight to Hamas.

    Oh, BTW, Hamas is not very popular in the House Foreign Relations Committee.

  5. However ineffective and symbolic this gesture, I for one am grateful for even rhetoric from sitting congressmen against the WOD. I’ve been disappointed so many times in the past twenty-five years, I try not to let myself hope anymore. Never the less, I’ve been seeing steady progress the past five or ten years. There have been setbacks to be sure, but on the whole, as a country we’ve been moving in the right direction. Which seems to have had the effect of forcing the drug warriors to take more and more extreme positions.

    And speaking of which One of the great heroes in the war against the war on drugs, is poised to become a casualty, but he’s going down fighting. Don’t for get to watch/tape/TiVo 60 min. this Sun. Tell your friends and family too.

  6. Never the less, I’ve been seeing steady progress the past five or ten years.

    Like what?

  7. R C
    There’s like what, eleven states that passed some form of med marijuana. The Denver inititive was awsome. Plus there’s been more people speaking out, like the Gov of AZ and that judge in CA, Jesse Ventura etc. A general surge in activism. Oh and that case over those Change the Climate ads on DC public transpotation.

  8. There’s like what, eleven states that passed some form of med marijuana. The Denver inititive was awsome.

    All dead letters because of federal law.

    Plus there’s been more people speaking out, like the Gov of AZ and that judge in CA, Jesse Ventura etc.

    There’s never been a shortage of people speaking out.

    A general surge in activism.

    I would say there was more activism in the mid-80s.

  9. All dead letters because of federal law.

    Not from where I am sitting. I have my medical recommendation written by my oncologist. I have a vaporizor, a couple of baggies of high quality grade medical pot, pot butter for cooking and live in Seattle where pot crime is the lowest enforced priorty for SPD. Now if the Feds want to come in and bust me, I will plaster all my medical records over the media and Reason and continue to show the rest of the US that the Feds can catch a cancer patient but not Bin Laden. Sure its only symbolic to some but it will garner more sympathy and arouse more tempers from Americans. Heh heh, I also live in Rep Jim McDermott’s (D) district.

    As was said in another post, things could always reverse but I do feel were having been making pretty good progress. We do have eleven or twelve states with medical MJ laws and a lot of principled conservatives outraged over the stretching of the commerce clause in the Ashcroft (Gonzales) VS Raich SCOTUS ruling.

  10. R C
    I hear what you are saying, but I’ve been getting a good and growing vibe the past few years.

    I totally disagree about the mid-80’s that was the absolute low point for MJ activism. Reagan kicked the drug war up and started throwing everybody in jail, and the whole mary-jane community went scurrying for the dark corners.

  11. We are at the high point (smile) of civic activism for reforming marijuana laws.

    Thanks to the efforts of the early NORML gang, pot was decriminalized in twelve states between 1975 and 1982. After that there was nothing until 1996 when California passed Prop 216.

    In the nine years since, medical marijuana has been legalized in ten more states and five municipalities. Lowest-priority enforcement orders for police have been passed in four different cities. Nevada law was changed from one joint = felony to one ounce is a misdemeanor.

    In same time period not one jurisdiction other than U.S. federal has enhanced the criminal penalties for marijuana possession.

    Most important, in 1996 it was reasonable to say that over half of mainstream newspapers had editorial positions in favor of marijuana prohibition. In 2006 I am not aware of any major newspaper in America which has used editorial space to call for stricter enforcement of marijuana laws.

  12. “it may give Barney Frank and others (more) political cover to come out in favor of medical marijuana.”
    I don’t know about others, but Barney Frank is a lisping, ballsy, outed homo who doesn’t need cover from anyone. He’s one of the few DC pols I can think of who seems to actually take his job seriously. In an odd way, it’s not surprising to see him occasionally lumped in with Ron Paul.

  13. Ignoring our rhetorical violence on another thread, I have to agree with budgie that Barney Frank is a pretty good guy. If all Dems were as decent, we’d be a lot better off. (He’s still quite oppressive by libertarian standards, of course.)

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