White-Haired Men Love Weed

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It came near the very end of last night's Fassbinder-long debate, so some people might have missed an interesting exchange on drugs. It started when Tim Russert used Chris Dodd as a fulcrum to get the frontrunning candidates to talk about legal pot.

Russert: Senator Dodd, you went on the Bill Maher show last month and said that you were for decriminalizing marijuana. Is there anyone here who disagrees with Senator Dodd in decriminalizing marijuana?

A little hard to see whose hands went up: Some of the crowd laughed, Biden stuck up his hand, Obama tentatively started to raise his. Edwards shot his hand up like a retiree who just scored bingo.

Russert: Senator Edwards, why?

Edwards: Because I think it sends the wrong signal to young people. And I think the president of the United States has a responsibility to ensure that we're sending the right signals to young people.

Will I shock anybody if I suggest that Edwards is an enormous phony? When a medical marijuana activist confronted him in New Hampshire, Edwards said he'd stop FBI raids on dispensaries and patients and put the FDA in charge of the issue. "It's a heewwge political footbawl," he said. Then he arrives on a debate stage, captures the football, and runs it into the end zone. "But he's talking about medical marijuana in New Hampshire and recreational use in Philadelphia!" Right, like the "wrong signal to young people" line isn't used to attack medical marijuana users.

Dodd had to throw an elbow to get in and respond to this.

Dodd: Can I respond just why I think it ought to be? We're locking up too many people in our system here today. We've got mandatory minimum sentences, they are filling our jails with people that don't belong there. My idea is to decriminalize this, reduce that problem here. We've gone from 800,000 to 2 million people, in our penal institutions in this country. We've got to get a lot smarter about this issue than we are. And as president, I'd try and achieve that.

There are now three Democratic candidates* who say unequivocally that they want decriminalized marijuana: Dodd, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. Combined, they poll at around 2 percent.

I've posted some of Dodd's and Gravel's chatter about this at Reason.tv.

*fixed

NEXT: Are Pee Tests a Drain on Student Morale?

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  1. Edwards: Because I think it sends the wrong signal to young people. And I think the president of the United States has a responsibility to ensure that we’re sending the right signals to young people.

    But thousands of beer advertisements on TV does send the right message to “young people”? I thought Edwards was an empty suit douchebag before, but this takes the cake.

  2. And good for Dodd, I hope he gets a bump in the polls.

  3. I think Dodd and Gravel should have a staring contest. Or a rock throwing contest. Or a staring and a rock throwing contest. And they should videotape it and post it on youtube.

  4. Wait a minute…considering Dr Paul is polling about 5 percent, does that mean that Republicans are more in favor of decriminalization than Democrats?

  5. What we need is for some sort of weird voltron formed from Gary Johnson and Bill Richardson.

    Actually, we don’t really need the Bill Richardson part.

    ps – lol @ de stijl

  6. I’m liking Dodd more and more every day.

    The only Dem taking a forceful stance on upholding the Constitution, and now this pretty unequivocal stance on decriminalization.

    He comes off as more honest and more of a straight shooter than the rest of the Dem field, and actually has the courage of his convictions (declared he would put a hold on any legislation that givees immunity to telcos for going along with the illegal NSA spyng program). He is actually trying to lead on issues he deems important.

    Now granted, he may only be acting this way because he isn’t a “top-tier” candidate, but who cares? Someone needs to make sure these things get talked about. And Dodd has more credibility, i believe, than Kucinich and Gravel.

  7. Over at The Poor Man Institute, they are deeply in love with the Dodd.

    The Dodd abides.

  8. We have PhillyNORML to thank for even getting this question asked. We pressured MSNBC for a while to get them to ask marijuana related questions.

  9. crimethink,

    I almost all the polls listed here Paul is running between 1% and 3%. Of course a national poll may not be as important as the polls for the upcoming state races, and you can find some of those numbers here.

  10. …Dodd has more credibility, i believe, than Kucinich and Gravel.

    That’s a safe bet.

    VM – no internet five for those.

  11. Watch for the inevitable The Poor Man Institute Dodd / Airwolf mashup.

    The Editors rock pretty hard, although they need to post more often.

  12. Then he arrives on a debate stage, captures the football, and runs it into the end zone[…]

    …spikes the ball, and proceeds to do a two minute victory dance, and is then seen leaving the field with two cheerleaders on his arm with revealing tee-shirts which read “Just Say No to Drugs!”

  13. three Democratic candidates* who say unequivocally that they want decriminalized marijuana: Dodd, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. Combined, they poll at around 2 percent.

    So the drug war isn’t really resonating with voters, then. Well then, next issue. Let’s ban smoking and trans-fats!

  14. What about sending the signal to young people that what consenting adults do in private is no one else’s goddamn business…

  15. Then you HAVE To vote, and convince others to vote for presidents, senators, congressmen and governors who will decriminalize weed, and end the war on drugs.

    VOTE, it’s our only hope.

  16. Jim Walsh:

    Conundrum: With all those same young people voting or who are likely to vote on all manner of limitations to freedom, even those done in private– the signal may not resonate.

    I believe we’ve come to a place in society where we are able to compartmentalize things which we find important and hold them completely seperate from things we abhor or find unimportant. We can rail against infringements on freedom of speech, and then support campaign finance laws. We can demand that marijuana be legalized, then vote on increasingly drastic smoking bans. We can talk about people having a right to put things in their own bodies, then demand a ban on trans-fats. We can talk about maintaining abortion and reproductive rights, then move to limit fertility treatments.

    I hate to say it, Jim, but I’m really beginning to think we’re just making shit up as we go.

  17. I believe we’ve come to a place in society where we are able to compartmentalize things which we find important and hold them completely seperate from things we abhor or find unimportant.

    I suppose that for the above to make sense, I should have added, “but are philosophically and logically linked”. Eh well, I’m having sugar shock from office candy.

  18. Will I shock anybody if I suggest that Edwards is an enormous phony?

    Heh. Will you shock anybody if you suggest that Edwards is an enormous colostomy bag (is that what he’s dressing as for Halloween – would be rather appropriate for someone so full of shit)? Everything I ever hear about this guy just reinforces the fact that he is a pathetic, opportunistic, lying, hair-sprayed tool. Jesus, can’t the guy just stick to channeling the dead and get a TV show or something?

  19. Everything I ever hear about this guy just reinforces the fact that he is a pathetic, opportunistic, lying, hair-sprayed tool.

    I agree with this. I don’t think I would’ve liked Edwards when he was a lawyer, either.

  20. As my wife would say “Edwards suffers from rectal-cranial blockage”. He thinks that he’s the next Bobby Kennedy. He’s such a dickweed.

  21. “Combined, they poll at around 2 percent.”

    Are you actually trying to imply that these candidates are worthy of election simply because of their stance on medical marijuana? How sad.

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