Eliot Spitzer: Pothead

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I posted this at Wonkette and I figured it was worth repeating here. In a debate last night, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer fielded two questions on marijuana. One: Would he legalize medical marijuana? Two: Had he ever smoked marijuana? The answers: No and yes. The terror of Wall Street has picked up and run with the old Clintonite maxim: Do as I say, not as I did.

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  1. How can he be sure it wasn’t marijuana that turned him into the suave, debonair savior of Amurika that he is today?

  2. The answers: No and yes.

    Not surprised, and impressed that he answered honestly.

  3. Many people probably shoplifted when they were kids, but that doesn?t mean there?s anything wrong with them as adults not being advocates of legalizing theft.

  4. Dan T. is exactly right. Smoking pot is exactly the same thing as theft. Why can’t you all see that?

  5. Dan T. is exactly right. Smoking pot is exactly the same thing as theft. Why can’t you all see that?

    No, it?s an analogy, which means that they are not the same thing.

    My response was aimed towards the ?Clintonite maxim? of ?Do as I say, not as I did?. I?m pointing out that if you believe that marijuana should remain illegal (I don?t, btw), then the fact that you might have used it in the past does not mean that your current position is invalid.

  6. I heard on 1010 wins that his opponent admitted to be a pot smoker too.

  7. Many people probably shoplifted when they were kids, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them as adults not being advocates of legalizing theft.

    But I bet they look back on it and think “that was wrong for me to shoplift, I stole from someone”. Do you think people who smoked pot look back on it and think “that was wrong for me to get high because….uhhh, well it’s against the law. I’ll just alter my mind with alcohol because it’s legal” ??

  8. Dan T.

    I figured that’s what you meant, but I was being ironic, considering that the attitude I used was how a drug-warrior would look at your analogy. You have to remember that drug use is bad, because it’s against the law.

  9. I’d ask Spitzer if he’d ever traded stocks on insider information. Or if he’d ever used his authority illegally for personal/political gain.

    Friggin’ bastard.

  10. Didn’t that chap who use to work for reason write a book about how Hypocrisy is sometimes a good thing.

    Perhaps this is an example?

    By the way, it’s my birthday today.

  11. Do you think people who smoked pot look back on it and think “that was wrong for me to get high because….uhhh, well it’s against the law. I’ll just alter my mind with alcohol because it’s legal”

    No. But maybe they look back and say ‘Man I suck. I should have worked at school rather than smoke so much draw. I never did any exercise and now I’ve got man boobs. Plus, I spent too much time listening to the Grateful Dead so I kept my hair long and girls never went near me, which meant that I hooked up with the first girl who looked kindly at me; and she looks like the guy chained to a chair in the Goonies. My job sucks because I failed my exams. Sure, it was sweet while it lasted but maybe I should have been playing the long game’.

  12. Mark, you’d be amazed at how easy it is to smoke pot and play the long game.

    Seriously, do you think of Spitzer hadn’t smoked pot, his career would have gone better than it has?

  13. Yet they don’t punish shoplifters as harshly as they do pot smokers, even though there’s no victim in the case of pot.

    It’s also interesting that nobody makes the “dealer” distinction based on the amount of stuff you steal. They might give you a slightly higher sentence, but it’s not a whole different class of crime the way it is with drugs.

  14. Seriously, do you think of Spitzer hadn’t smoked pot, his career would have gone better than it has?

    Well there’s smoking pot and then there’s smmmoookkkiinnngg pot. There’s the ivy league dabbler and then the guy aged forty two who has smoke coming out his ears and still thinks rock music can change the world.

    It’s funny. I smoked loads of weed at Uni but one trip to Amsterdam made me change my mind on leagalising cannabis. Maybe it was a taste/style thing? I dunno, it just seemed seedy (perhaps this had more to do with the 12 inch neon dildos poking out behind every shop window).

    Of course, I don’t ‘agree’ with it being illegal, as a matter of principle, but then I don’t have that much air in my lungs heckling for it to be legalised either.

    I think you Americans are much more animated over the issue as punishments seem to be a lot, LOT harsher in the States.

  15. Poor Suozzi, I kind of like him. Especially against Spitzer. Oh well, those who bother to vote in the upcoming charade will get what they deserve.

  16. But Mark, in America you’re affected by the War on Drugs even if you never touch the stuff. Over-the-counter cold medicines are either illegal or prescription-only in many states, because people might use them to make meth. Used to be if I got sick I’d spend five bucks for a bottle of NyQuil; now I’d have to spend a hundred bucks for a doctor visit (and take time off work) to get that same medicine. Our police become more and more militaristic, SWAT teams raid the wrong houses and kill children in the crossfire, dark-skinned drivers are repeatedly pulled over on suspicion that they must be smuggling that dreaded killer marijuana . . . this is NOT a simple case of “My only drug is alcohol, so why the hell should I care?”

  17. Is it just me, or is Dan T. the most boring straw man on the entire INTARNETS?

  18. Used to be if I got sick I’d spend five bucks for a bottle of NyQuil; now I’d have to spend a hundred bucks for a doctor visit (and take time off work) to get that same medicine.

    Please tell me that’s a Connecticut thing, ‘cos I live on that stuff when I’m sick. Last time I checked here in NY was a couple years ago (knock on wood).

  19. Rhywun, with the exception of a wisdom-tooth pulling I haven’t actually been sick (knock wood) since I stopped teaching (or rather, since I stopped spending every day in a building with 1,000 kids, 100 of whom were sick at any given time). I’ve seen a lot of things move behind the pharmacist’s counter, though.

    Oregon I know for sure makes cold medicines prescription-only.

    Christ. Even during Prohibition we weren’t stupid enough to ban the sale of yeast, grains and fruit juice on the grounds that they could be used to make alcohol.

  20. I agree Jennifer.

    The States has clearly gone bonkers over drugs. In London, in my local area, the government is trying a new scheme whereby weed is ‘decriminalised’ under a certain weight but anyone caught with an amount over, say an ounce, could still be locked up (they probably wouldn’t be). Obviously lots of people are pointing out the inherent illogic about a legal activity being ‘illegal’ to supply but it’s an interesting example of where principle (weed should be legal) comprimises with practical policy (we don’t want weed heads everywhere).

    I think the main reason the policy wonks came up with the idea was to free up police time so they didn’t have to worry about marujana when we’ve got eleven year olds stabbing and raping one another in this great capital of ours.

  21. i really couldn’t give a damn if they legalize weed.
    but what about shrooms and lsd? these drugs have a great deal of research potential, a great deal of potential for treating psychological disorders (treating, not preventing symptoms like pot), and for making people more spiritual and peaceful.

  22. Oregon I know for sure makes cold medicines prescription-only.

    Wow, that’s gotta be great for doctors. Imagine how many five-minute examinations at $100 or $200 a pop you could cram into a day!

  23. Please tell me that’s a Connecticut thing, ‘cos I live on that stuff when I’m sick. Last time I checked here in NY was a couple years ago (knock on wood).

    As far as I know, they’ve only moved psuedoephedrine products behind the counter, and require a signature and ID to purchase them, with a limit on how many mg can be bought in a given month. It still sucks.

  24. Please tell me that’s a Connecticut thing, ‘cos I live on that stuff when I’m sick. Last time I checked here in NY was a couple years ago (knock on wood).

    When I was sick earlier this year I tried to buy some NyQuil and other cold/cough medicine. They would only sell me one package so I took the NyQuil. Also, I wouldn’t have been able to buy 2 packs of the 12 capsule packages since they were out of the 20 capsule package. The rule was “only one package”. The rules differ from state to state but some of the drugstore chains and WalMart have adopted company wide rules.

    Isn’t Oregon one of those states where you aren’t allowed to pump your own gas?

  25. Wow, that’s gotta be great for doctors. Imagine how many five-minute examinations at $100 or $200 a pop you could cram into a day!

    In all seriousness, I used to be–not pro-socialized medicine, exactly, but of the opinion that it probably wouldn’t hurt. One big thing which moved me away from this was the Oregon case: apparently, when they made the prescription-only law people talked about the potential for hurting the poor, but the law’s supporters pointed out that poor Oregonians get free doctor visits anyway. (Of course, if you are poor enough to qualify for free medical care, you’re probably poor enough that you can’t afford to lose even a half-day’s wages to go to the doctor, but . . . screw it, it’s for the children or something.)

  26. Illinois is another one of those states with psuedoephidrene behind the counter. You have to show your ID and sign under your information in a big book, and I believe (in theory, anyhow) you can only buy one package a month (although with the records all on paper I don’t know how they can possibly keep track.) The whole thing makes me so mad – the first time I had to go through it I cursed like a sailor the whole way home. Bastards.

  27. I’ve noticed SOME cold-medicine stashing in Maryland, but it’s not widespread, YET.

    Illinois is crazy, though. You have to pick up a ticket from where you usually find the medicine, and take it to the counter. I did that, and said:

    “Hey, while the hood is up, why don’t you just give me a porn mag and some condoms, too?”

    Dem mid-westerners don’t have much of a sense of humor.

  28. I was just thinking… if they’re in such a rush to hide things behind pharmaceutical counters, I have a list:

    adult diapers
    enema kits
    ear wax removers
    mattress liners
    bed pans

    Just put them behind the counter. Please.

  29. “No. But maybe they look back and say ‘Man I suck. I should have worked at school rather than smoke so much draw. I never did any exercise and now I’ve got man boobs. Plus, I spent too much time listening to the Grateful Dead so I kept my hair long and girls never went near me, which meant that I hooked up with the first girl who looked kindly at me; and she looks like the guy chained to a chair in the Goonies. My job sucks because I failed my exams. Sure, it was sweet while it lasted but maybe I should have been playing the long game’.”

    Love the stereoptyping of hop-heads. Keep it coming.

  30. “Mark, you’d be amazed at how easy it is to smoke pot and play the long game.”

    yah, rly.

    seriously, i’m always blown away to this day when i meet folks who are totally buttoned down professionals who, halfway through some conversation about something or other, light up a j.

  31. The whole thing makes me so mad – the first time I had to go through it I cursed like a sailor the whole way home. Bastards.

    I hope I don’t get sick anytime soon because this is the sort of thing that really sends me over the edge. It’s just completely, totally irrational. I mean, even more so than the usual totally irrational stuff that’s mentioned around here.

  32. when i meet folks who are totally buttoned down professionals

    dhex, you must not work in insurance, like I do…

  33. It’s just completely, totally irrational.

    It’s the end result of demanding laws in reponse to panics. People learned that all they have to do is induce a panic, real or imaginary, to get whatever law they want.

    I have a proposal. Any law the people have no problem admitting to breaking in public conversation should come off the books for being too frivolous. You never hear of people casually admitting to murder, rape, burglery, muggings, bank heists, fraud, or kidnapping.

  34. “dhex, you must not work in insurance, like I do…”

    naw man, hospital!

    also: lawyers seem to be weed fiends. what gives with that?

  35. We can argue all day long whether stealing in your youth is as bad as smoking cannabis.

    The real question is, do we want a society where some people can tell other people what to do – at the point of a thug’s gun? There will ALWAYS be uppity moralizers who get off on scapegoating and controlling others. It’s a built-in evil tendency of humans. It will never change. It’s easy to persecute another person for their faults than to face up to your own.

    Cannabis is merely one item on a long list of “offensive” behavior – a list that seems to be growing every day. Bouncing a basketball, lighting a cig, farting, body odor, too much perfume, beeing a fat slob that I have to sit next to on the train, bad jokes, talking on your cell phone. Ice skating. Dogs playing. Putting a flagpole or windmill on your property. Building a fence on your property.

    All these items are either subject to laws and litigation, or soon will be. Is this the way we want to live? Growing up so spoiled and over-indulged that we feel a special privilege not to be offended for the rest of our lives?

    No. I’ll choose to live and let live. If someone steals from me, I should have the right to beat the crap out of them. If the sight of someone lighting a cigarette or a bowl of cannabis is so offensive to me that I want to pay armed thugs to beat the person down, then I should be beaten, IMO.

  36. I think this is a better analogy than shoplifting:

    I drank alcohol when I was 14.

    I don’t think it was “wrong” of me to drink alcohol at 14.

    Yet I don’t think it should be legal to sell alcohol to 14-year-olds.

    Is that hypocritical?

  37. Maybe, do you think it should be illegal for a 14-year to consume alcohol even if you don’t think the 14-year Brian24 did anything wrong by drinking it?

  38. Actually, no, I don’t.

  39. Actually, no, I don’t.

  40. Brian24 – My answer for you begins with a question.

    How did you get the alcohol when you were 14?

    If you believe drinking by 14 year-olds is wrong, and providing alchohol to 14-year olds is wrong, then there is only one solution.

    Immediately turn yourself in to the local police for arrest, handcuffing & jailing. Immediately rat out the person who provided the alchohol, and make sure they get arrrested, prosecuted, and jailed as well. Work harder at your job to pay the taxes so we can prosecute and jail these people.

    It’s so funny to me the way Americans operate under this veil of hypocrisy and exceptionalism. The place to start changing the world to make it better is with YOURSELF. Not by preaching about others. Not by punishing others.

    As for alchohol policy, why not take a look at countries where alchohol is legal for teens – i.e., most of the civilized world. I remember all the Europeans kids that I hung out with as a teen were amazed at how we would go crazy and drink until we puked. I think teen binge-drinking is a much greater problem in the US than France or Germany, or other countries where the drinking age is 12. Drinking behavior is taught within the family in those countries, not enforced by the dumbest kids from high school, who ended up getting jobs with guns & badges.

  41. Bobby:

    RE: “If you believe drinking by 14 year-olds is wrong, and providing alchohol to 14-year olds is wrong, then there is only one solution.

    Immediately turn yourself in to the local police for arrest, handcuffing & jailing. ”

    As a matter of total conjecture. [Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.]

    If, in a purely hypothetical way, I played “doctor” (wink, wink, you know what I mean)with my hypothetical girlfriend when we were both hypothetically under a theoretical (wink, wink) legal age, and I now think that that was not a good idea, (nudge, nudge), I should turn myself in?

  42. Brian, I think a better question would be “do you think 14-year-olds who drink alcohol (as you did) should go to jail for it?”

  43. Bobby,

    First of all, no need to get all angry, I’m just engaging in a mental exercise here.

    To answer your question, I do not think it is (necessarily) wrong for a 14-year-old to drink. Nor do I think it is (necessarily) wrong to provide alcohol to a 14-year-old. However, I do think it may be a bad idea for a 14-year-old to be able to legally walk down to the liquor store and buy him/herself a fifth of bourbon.

    As it happens, I am in favor of legalization, and I disagree with Spitzer’s position. But I suspect there are a lot of people who don’t necessarily think their underage drinking was wrong, but all the same don’t want to make alcohol purchase available to the underage. By the same token, I think there are a lot of people who don’t think toking is “wrong” but are afraid of making it readily available to all.

    BTW, I agree with your comments on alcohol policy. During my college years, I noticed that every new anti-alcohol policy adopted by the school had the effect of making the students’ drinking less casual and more dangerous (harder liquor, drinking faster, social outings start to be organized around how to get alcohol, etc.)

  44. Bobby,

    First of all, no need to get all angry, I’m just engaging in a mental exercise here.

    To answer your question, I do not think it is (necessarily) wrong for a 14-year-old to drink. Nor do I think it is (necessarily) wrong to provide alcohol to a 14-year-old. However, I do think it may be a bad idea for a 14-year-old to be able to legally walk down to the liquor store and buy him/herself a fifth of bourbon.

    As it happens, I am in favor of legalization, and I disagree with Spitzer’s position. But I suspect there are a lot of people who don’t necessarily think their underage drinking was wrong, but all the same don’t want to make alcohol purchase available to the underage. By the same token, I think there are a lot of people who don’t think toking is “wrong” but are afraid of making it readily available to all.

    BTW, I agree with your comments on alcohol policy. During my college years, I noticed that every new anti-alcohol policy adopted by the school had the effect of making the students’ drinking less casual and more dangerous (harder liquor, drinking faster, social outings start to be organized around how to get alcohol, etc.)

  45. Jennifer,

    Excellent point. Can’t say I’d support jail time for a 14-year-old on the sauce. Guess that’s where my analogy breaks down.

  46. Jennifer,

    Excellent point. Can’t say I’d support jail time for a 14-year-old on the sauce. Guess that’s where my analogy breaks down.

  47. Personally, I would rather see NY get a tax break than have pot be legal.

    Peoples livelihoods > some peoples recreational drug use

  48. “Peoples livelihoods > some peoples recreational drug use”
    Tell that to the hemp farmers.

  49. Jared

    I want both. I shouldn’t an “either-or” situation, considering that people can go to jail for not paying taxes OR for using ‘non-government approved’ drugs.

  50. “Peoples livelihoods > some peoples recreational drug use”

    Tell that to the guy serving time for drug offenses. I believe incarceration can affect your livelihood.

  51. Personally, I would rather see NY get a tax break than have pot be legal.

    And pigs might fly.

  52. Spitzer copped to smoking grass – what’s the statute of limitations on that anyway? (Can you say “citizen’s arrest…)

  53. Hypocrisy? Not.

    (When I was a teenager) I thought pot was cool and did it.
    (Now that I’m an adult) I think pot is dangerous and want to make it illegal.

    What, you people never change your minds?

    And no, I don’t agree with him. The cure of prohibition is worse than the disease.

  54. Larry A,

    You want to make it illegal but you don’t want prohibition. What’s the difference? Or did you just change your mind within the space of one single post…?

  55. Larry A,

    You want to make it illegal but you don’t want prohibition. What’s the difference? Or did you just change your mind within the space of one single post…?

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