Reason Writers on the Tube: Matt Welch Talks Voter Intimidation and Prop. 19 on Russia Today


On Friday, Oct. 22, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch went on Russia Today's The Alyona Show to discuss federal and local law enforcement vows to keep on arresting Californians for marijuana even if Prop. 19 passes.

NEXT: If You Think the Rent is Too Damn High, Watch This Vid to See a Candidate Who Wants to Legalize Poker, Prostitution, and Pot!

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    I’m very interested to see if some civil disobedience will be necessary to remind the overlords that Humans have free will

    A giant open air Weed smocking crowd would be great right ?

    1. Smocking? Will there be finger painting, too?

      1. Smoking and Mocking

    2. According to the Federal Government Prop 19 is civil disobedience.

      1. I’m liking it more every day.

  2. I mostly liked the piece, but could we stop demonizing heroin? Certainly, marijuana is less dangerous than heroin, but heroin’s dangers have been blown out of proportion to a large extent.

    The vast majority of deaths surrounding heroin occur because of varying purity (causing users to take much more than they believe they’re taking), unclean needles (causing septicemia, or transmitting hepatitis, HIV, etc.) or because it has been cut with toxic substances such as quinine. All of those are the result of the drug war.

    Opiates themselves, while certainly addictive, do little damage to the body (unless taken in fatal overdose quantities, obviously). This is true even with chronic use. Life-long opiate addicts do not wind up with the cirrhotic livers or brain damage of alcohol addicts, or the medical issues that come with chronic stimulant (cocaine or amphetamine) use.

    If you want to have a drug(s) to demonize, try the neuroleptics (e.g. Haldol, Thorazine). These are routinely handed out to schizophrenics (and to a lesser extent, the elderly in nursing homes and the mentally handicapped). These drugs cause massive brain damage, Tardive Akathisia (the unstoppable desire to move ones arms & legs), and Tardive Dyskinesia (chronic chewing-like movements). They are also currently legal (with a prescription), but hardly “safe”, whatever the FDA or DEA say.

    1. uh oh, somebody forgot to take their pills. Stop that twitching and remember to vote no on prop 19.

      1. If I lived in CA, I’d vote for 19, as you should damn well know unless you’ve incif’d me until this particular post.

        As for the smart ass part of your post, shut up or I’ll ship your ass to Denny’s, and you’ll wind up as part of someone’s Grand Slam breakfast.

        1. Oh, he doesn’t have to go all the way to a Denny’s to get hot syrup poured all over him.

      2. Wow, Baked Penguin said something informative and valuable and you took a massive, messy shit all over him.

        Way to contribute to the conversation.

      3. whoa, bad waffles. That wasn’t even funny. All of my hope for freedom and some shred of sanity in public policy lies in prop 19 passing. For me, despite not living in California, prop 19 is the most important part of the upcoming election.

        1. Funny, but I thought the other waffles’ post was sarcasm.

    2. The demonization of opium was the ditto master of propaganda that has since been cranked out with little modification for a host of other useful drugs. Opium is demonized to marginalize the people who need it (Civil War amputees, the infirm in general).

      1. Don’t forget the evil Chinamen taking advantage of white women in opium dens. Like the crazed negroes on cocaine raping white women. Or the evul Mexicans on Marijuana raping white women…

        Recently there was a cholera outbreak in Haiti. Opium could have saved most the lives lost. But the Haitians probably would have become crazed, taken boats to America, and attacked white women had they been given opium.

        1. Dude, sachets of salts and sugars combined with water could’ve saved almost all those lives. That isn’t a very good argument for opium.

          1. Which would you prefer when you’re shitting your guts out from cholera–water plus salts and sugars, or water plus salts and sugars and opiates?

            1. I’ve had cholera. It’s not that bad it you can get the salts and sugars- you don’t need the opiates. However, I should be able to shoot up and pass out on my couch if’n I want to.

          2. You’re right. The argument for opium is that if someone does something that doesn’t violate the rights of others, it’s nobody’s fucking business but their own.

            However, I’m willing to bet that along with those salts and sugars, if they had some, they’d probably give you some loperamide (a non-CNS opiate – “Imodium”). Because I’ve found constantly shitting water is not a pleasant experience (YMMV), even if you can re-hydrate quickly.

            1. Because I’ve found constantly shitting water is not a pleasant experience (YMMV)

              So, it’s still my right to shit water, if i want. FREEDOM!

        2. Dude, you have a major hard-on for white women, don’t you. It’s OK, though. So do I.

    3. I’m glad to see someone standing up for opiates. Some of us can take them without becoming maniacs. In fact, I’m on them right now. Though admittedly I am a maniac. Damn, I just gutted my entire argument!

      1. Not really, since you would be a maniac even if you never did opiates. Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, bro.

  3. than heroin, but heroin’s dangers have been blown out

  4. than heroin, but heroin’s dangers have been blown out

  5. I’m pro-19, but “voter intimidation” is a bit strong for what the various DEA/ONDCP/AG dufuses have been up to. You’re not going to see DEA agents with truncheons standing outside CA polling places on Nov 2.

    1. I have to agree. Feds saying that they will continue to enforce federal law hardly seems like intimidation.

      On the other hand, the LA sheriff ought to be summarily dismissed from his post for making plain his intention to violate the laws of his jurisdiction.

      1. They’ll be cleverly disguised as New Black Panther Party members, so DOJ will have an excuse not interfere.

      2. On the other hand, the LA sheriff ought to be summarily dismissed from his post for making plain his intention to violate the laws of his jurisdiction.

        He has basically announced that he is conspiring to commit false imprisonment. Impeachment (if possible) would be a good step.

  6. More thread jacking.

    Prince George in the news a again.….._32550.php

    And a nice quote from a PG cop who doesn’t quite understand how demand and supply work, especially in a gray market.…..0102304311

    “The owners of Realco Guns are cooperative with our detectives and have been compliant with all reporting requirements,” said Maj. Andy Ellis, commander of the public affairs division for Prince George’s police. “It shows a weakness in our system when a company like Realco can adhere to the law yet still be the source of so many crime guns. I can only imagine how much lower our violent-crime rate would be if Realco sold shoes instead of guns.”

    God I’ll be glad when Prop 19 finally gets voted on and await the Sarah Palin was caught smoking pot in a mosque near WTC on 9/11 with a lesbian witch run of articles.

    1. crime guns


  7. Hmm related Christine O’donnell refuses invitation to The View because she no longer believes in witchcraft.

  8. Not sure if this was posted, couldn’t find it anywhere here. A vote yes on prop 19 editorial from the Vallejo Times-Herald:

    Why you should say ‘yes’ to Proposition 19
    Published By Times Herald

    1. Sadly, that’s just an op-ed; the paper (like all Media News properties) editorialized against.

      1. Hedging their bets. . .

        1. Betting their hedges.

          1. Benson and Hedges 100s

  9. Somehow with the loosened collar and sparkly looking jacket & tie, Mr. Welch looks like a breathless tummler, or someone who’s been hawking appliances on TV for the past hour.

    1. I’d buy a Bassmatic from him for a dollar.

      1. That would be the Super Bass-O-Matic ’76.

        From Walpole Inc.

    2. I thought he looked a bit like Ted Allen.

    3. I trust him more in the bow tie. But bow ties can be offputting for some. It’s a shame, wish they were more popular.

      1. He stopped wearing a bow tie when he showed up at an event where Tucker Carlson was wearing the exact same design. Sore subject, I’m guessing.

        1. He has a French wife, and she let him wear a bow tie? Does she not love him anymore?

          1. Note: this was meant as a joke. I did not seriously mean to imply that Matt’s wife does not love him anymore.

  10. The Republicans are the ones who are against legalizing marijuana. The Democrats are the sane party on this issue.

    It is better to tell myself this lie than to admit the truth. It is simply more than I can handle.

    1. You can’t handle the truth.

      1. At least Chony admits he can’t handle it.

        1. My way of dealing with this is to insult anyone who accuses the Dems of being just as bad as the Repubs on the drug war. At least I FEEL superior.

          1. At least I FEEL superior.

            No honey, that’s just gas.

  11. We have found that a lot of tea pots smoke the herb; we are therefore determined to really crack down. DEA will be infiltrating tea rallies with plantable leaf-stuffed-Baggies.

    1. How Nixonian! Still waiting for an original idea. . .or are you still running Bull Conner’s old list?

      1. Actually that sounds insanely plausible and semi-clever. Have the DEA or some narco agents dressed up like some tea-party organizers passing out bags of ‘tea leaves’ as a “reminder to Washington” or some such nonsense. I’d be amazed if it didn’t work on at least some.

  12. My question is, in regard to this, and Obama’s challenging the overturning of don’t ask, don’t tell, is why Obama is fighting these? Does he not want any checks on federal power?

  13. Does he not want any checks on federal power?


    Okay, I’m better, wait….aaaaaahahahahahahaaaaa!! Hohohohohoho!!!!!

    1. That means you agree with me?

  14. “federal and local law enforcement vows to keep on arresting Californians for marijuana even if Prop. 19 passes.”

    As long as the arrests allow them to loot the arrestees’ assets, they will continue, regardless of what the people vote.

    In this regard, “law enforcement” personnel are nothing but gangbangers with badges and the legal right to kill on sight.

    1. You better hope they don’t outlaw exaggeration, because you’ll be in the crosshairs.

      1. “In this regard, “law enforcement” personnel are nothing but gangbangers with badges and the legal right to kill on sight.”

        That statement seems less hyperbolic and more objective each day.

      2. The only thing we know from your comment is that you do not litigate Fourth Amendment cases.

  15. I think the answer to the question posed at 3:21 is “you don’t shit where you eat”. A large portion of of local news comes directly from information leaked freely given to the press by the police.

  16. Why was Matt acting so Goofy?

    Anyway it is good there is somehting i agree with the Russia Today lady about.

  17. GASP! They used MLK in a commercial! Down with capitalism!

  18. Why do all right-wing hacks look like such fucking dorks? Couldn’t Matt Welch work behind the scenes, for Christ’s sake? Where is Veronique?

    1. Have you looked at the hipsters the left has been fielding? I think there’s enough goofy/ugly/fat going around for all to share.

      1. Another item on Max’s “Why I hate them” list.

    2. Right-wing hack? Missed that part where Matt denounces the drug war and promotes our civil liberties, Max?


      1. Anything that isn’t a direct dictate about what to do, eat, say, fuck, smoke, watch or buy today is “right wing.”

    3. I think Matt is just dreamy.

    4. I think Matt pulls off the collegiate/almost hipster/young writer look great.

      I’d hit it.

      1. I’d prefer Alyona, even in a bow tie, but it’s the differences in opinion that make horse racing.

    5. Maddow, Ed? And you want to rag on how Welch looks?

      Thanks for ignoring the post too. Wouldn’t want to see you get all juanita or something.

      1. Sorry, I’ve been crying a lot lately.

  19. Reading some of the comments against P19 at I must conclude that smoking marijuana makes you really, really stupid.

  20. Here’s why I’m a peaceful anarchist and not just another Reasonoid. All the comment above mine and not one about how hot hot hot is Alyona!
    And to think most of you Reasonoids are so much younger than my age 67. Become a peaceful anarchist. It is an elixir.

    1. Me and hmmmm are lusting after Matt, doesn’t that count?

  21. Become a peaceful anarchist. It is an elixir.

    Not-peaceful anarchism is a beer.


  22. Hi Matt,

    If you don’t care about buttoning the top button of your shirt, why wear a tie?

    1. You don’t know many newspaper journalists, do you?

      1. Well, not in a biblical sense.

      2. That was a non-answer.

        1. Watch All the President’s Men and Absence of Malice, and you’ll understand.

    2. It’s fine to unbutton your jacket when you sit down. Buttoned-up while sitting (or buttoning all three on a three-button suit) just makes people look uptight.

      1. Oh, never mind, the top button of the shirt. I fail.

      2. It’s not fine to button the bottom button of a jacket. With maybe one or two exceptions that most people will never run into.

        1. Point is, where are the button regulations we so desperately need to combat our faltering economy?

    3. It’s the rugged news man look.

      He gets a pass. If he was in finance I would have to throw a red card.

  23. He makes great points.

    And she has huge tits.

    And she has an annoying voice.

    Loved how she covered her ass at the end.

    1. Loved how she covered her ass at the end.

      It’s a shame this was meant metaphorically.

      1. Literally, the desk covered it the entire time.

  24. Prison Rape!

  25. Our local NBC affiliate broadcast an anti-19 editorial that I can summarize in two words: “Why bother?”

    The argument is that, because regulation of drugs — like regulation of immigration — is strictly a federal matter, California would be as silly and ineffectual to legalize marijuana as Arizona was to pass their own immigration act.

    But I bet that the mouthpiece for this propaganda — the station President and GM who, when he had a mustache, was a dead ringer for Ned Flanders from the Simpsons — could not point out any passages from the Constitution that establish federal authority, much less exclusivity, in the areas of immigration and drug control. Or if he did, I doubt that he could produce a coherent, compelling interpretation of those passages to support his argument. Not to judge from previous editorial efforts, anyway.

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