Drug Policy

Stop the Presses! A Good Newspaper Editorial About Legalizing Pot


Before last November's election, I made a grim habit out of pointing to the routine hysteria directed at California's Proposition 19 by basically all of the Golden State's newspaper editorial boards. So I'm pleasantly surprised to pass along this very good editorial in favor of full legalization by the Seattle Times. Excerpt:

Still, it is not an easy decision. We have known children who changed from brilliant students to slackers by smoking marijuana at a young age. We have also known of many users who have gone on to have responsible and successful lives. One of them is president of the United States.

Like alcohol, most people can handle marijuana. Some can't.

There is a deep urge among parents to say: "No. Don't allow it. We don't want it." We understand the feeling. We have felt it ourselves. Certainly the life of a parent would be easier if everyone had no choice but to be straight and sober all the time. But an intoxicant-free world is not the one we have, nor is it the one most adults want.

Marijuana is available now. If your child doesn't smoke it, maybe it is because your parenting works. But prohibition has not worked.

It might work in North Korea. But in America, prohibition is the pursuit of the impossible. It does impose huge costs.

Do read the whole thing, which includes the enumeration of said costs, plus discussion of some interesting-sounding legislation in Washington.

Link via Andrew Sullivan. Check out Senior Editor Brian Doherty breaking down the Proposition 19 defeat below:

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  1. The Seattle Times printing a sane editorial? sage is going to either have a heart attack or his head will explode. Maybe both.

    Good to see it, though.

    1. Good to see my head explode? Or good to see me have a heart attack? Why do you wish such hate on me? Why?

      And fuck the seattle times, for the most part.

      1. It’s all good!

        And to answer your question: because you deserve it. You are the kind of inhuman monster who can handle reading the comments under infuriating news stories, and I just don’t trust someone who can take that kind of punishment, let alone relish it as you do.

        You disgust me.

        1. Bah. I don’t even go to the PI site anymore; the stupid is just overwhelming there. Every other post in their politics blog is about Sarah Palin, followed by at least 50 comments about “HURR DURR SHE STUPID”. It’s really a one trick pony.

          1. She really ought to just change her name to Emmanuel Goldstein, but I doubt any of the pinkos would get the reference.


    2. Reasonites are like the Utopian liberals of the right. They live in a fantasy world where they’ve never met a real drug addict, or a real pimp, or a real crack-whore. Assignment for Radley Balko! Go to AA meeting, hang out at a low income housing project, start snorting cocaine 2 or 3 times a week until 4 months later you are snorting $300 a day, watch any one of the hundreds of documentaries or TV shows about drug addicts, then start writing again after you get out of jail and are working on paying your restitution. I understand, the criminal justice system can seem like a scam, and you can find many good people that have long jail sentences, and I am with you on the treatment instead of jail, and I’m with you on the stupid SWAT raids, but to think you could legalize cocaine, meth, or heroine sends a message that you are an immature fool that has not lived life long enough to see the truly evil these drugs can do. It’s not just the Bible people that preach against drugs, it’s the drug addicts themselves. People that have never been in a church in their lives will tell you how bad the life is, and that if you could buy cocaine legally they would be down at that store right now, or in a hotel room with a room full of hookers.
      Why the sudden rant on the drug war in a Libya story? Because I think Reason is a SCAM! It’s an excuse not to be a Wisconsin teacher or a Rush Limbaugh fan. It’s fake because during the summer of 2008 these guys were pulling for a guy that all but said he was a big government socialist. They were praising the Bush shoe throwers and mocking Sarah Palin. Now they want to give speeches at Tea Party gatherings. How do someone change so fast, so radically unless you are a complete fake?

      1. And yet, the same problems exist with alcohol and a number of other legal drugs in this country.

      2. You would have made an excellent Pharisee as you hold the position, contrary to the teachings of Jesus, that sinners should be beaten down the path of righteousness.

        Or more precisely, you hold the position that sinners should be punished in order to remind the “faithful” to stay on the narrower path out of “self-discipline”. So I guess the ends do justify the means.

        You have to love how Christians practice self-discipline, whereby they inflict “discipline” on the sinner to remind their “self” to not do something they say they have no interest in doing. And then they have to gall to claim they walk the narrower path out of faith.

      3. What’s your problem with Balko? You keep posting rants about him, even in articles he didn’t write.

        Did he shoot your dog?

      4. Damn, you lazy fucking troll. At least do some half-assed editing from your previous trolling.

  2. No, no this is precisely when you don’t want them to stop the presses..

  3. Homer: Woo hoo! Stop the presses!
    Man hits stop button, wreaking havoc in the plant, Homer lays his copy on the roller
    Homer: Okay, start the presses.
    Editor: That takes four hours.
    Homer: Whatever. I’ll be at Moe’s.

  4. This editorial is entirely too rational and reasonable. How dare someone make a cogent and dispassionate argument for drug legalization! Cook! Cook! Where’s my hossenfeffer!?

  5. Certainly the life of a parent would be easier if everyone had no choice but to be straight and sober all the time. But an intoxicant-free world is not the one we have, nor is it the one most adults want.

    Does not compute. All we ever do is assume that human nature is different than it is and that the perfect world we think it should be is the one to apply policy ideas to.

    1. Yeah, because by having an intrusive government controlling everything is the best way to get people to lead responsible and productive lives.

      1. And that’s exactly what liberals believe, that government should literally control everything.

        1. The nanny state is a product of both the left and right, asshole.

  6. Sorry to sound like a cynical asshole, but where was this editorial when it mattered?

    Yeah, they write it in the midst of the entire middle east erupting, crazy labor battles across the midwest and a massive earthquake in NZ. Couldn’t they have written it, oh, about 4 months ago…when it might have mattered?

    1. Hang on, Sloopy! They are talking specifically about a new Washington law.

      1. [moans] Yeah, but I live in California. This doesn’t help me a bit.

        1. It’s not like Washington would be a huge move. Besides, it’s California, shouldn’t you be house shopping in another state anyway?

      2. OK, Matt. I just re-read it and the timing makes pretty good sense. They got it out of committee on Feb. 8, and the mid-east started to implode about that time. I admit, it is a sober assesment of the pot situation and I applaud it. Let’s see how they manage it at the state stores. I’d be willing to bet it’s taxed at a pretty high level and the THC levels are monitored pretty vigorously. That said, the first step is usually the most difficult one to take.

        Oh, and can we get a follow up on the letters to the editor from the soccer moms over the next few days? There’s gonna be some seriously funny shit in those. I’ll be patiently looking for it on Monday. (You do take requests, right?)

        1. Taxed at a very high level, according to this, also from the Seattle Times.

        2. Also this from last September.

    2. I think you’re confusing the sources. It’s politicians and law enforcement officials who become legalization advocates the day after they leave office.

  7. Meanwhile the hysterical buffoons in the Montana State Legislature are huffing and puffing about how if “we” don’t repeal the medical marijuana law (brought into existence via referendum- “Fuck you, voters!”) the Mexican drug cartels will be murdering people in the streets by the thousands, which lays out the argument exactly backwards.

    And the newspapers are all lined up to publish the scariest and most outlandish nightmare scenarios.

  8. What’s funny is that I guarantee you the politicians are considering this because they need money, and I would bet that if our liquor privatization had succeeded, this wouldn’t be on the table because they wouldn’t have a monopoly on weed through the liquor store system.

    I know I’m being cynical, especially since this could be a huge step and it’s in my state. But I just think about a number of years down the road when MJ legalization has become commonplace and WA residents have the same shitty selection and prices for weed as they do for liquor.

  9. That screen shot of Brian looks like he just saw the pope take a hit from a penis-shaped bong.

    1. That is the most brilliant description ever written.

    2. Sure, if he hadn’t seen the pope do that before. For the rest of us, though, it’s getting old. We need to chip in and get the pope a new bong.

    3. I was thinking Eugene Levy.

      1. In that scene from American Pie.

  10. I’m probably just cynical, but I doubt the Seattle times would support an actual decriminalization law. As I recall, most of the Cali papers were “in favor” of decriminalization, but found some minor fault in the actual proposition.

  11. There should be no prescription drugs, either. If you’re foolish enough to inhale Amoxicillin like M&M’s, then you get what you deserve.

    And cheer up, Sloopy, cheer up!

    It’s still against the law in CA, too. “For even those with a valid MMJ license?” Yes! Read the law: it basically says weed is legal with a doctor’s note, except when it’s illegal even with a doctor’s note.

    Oh, and a bit of advice, propping up Obama as spliffident-in-chief will only turn off non-stoners to legalization arguments, especially thc-totalling parents.

    Which is exactly why the ST put it in the article. They’re really not in favor of legalization. But you know, Wisconsin and the Times’ union allies need a lift.

    Party on….

  12. Wait. My bad. ST didn’t have Obama in their piece. I just read a pro-legalization piece somewhere that mentioned Obama’s weed love. I swear I did! But where?

    Anyway, the advice still stands.

  13. Main stream media must crawl before it can walk like pajama media. But the next crawl/step is to ask, “If the War on Drugs and not the drugs is causing the harm, then the “hardest” most dangerous of them should be the first to be legalized, right?”
    Must be patient.

  14. A list of all the state reps sponsoring the bill. All Democrats. No GOP sponsors.

    Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, Roger Goodman, D-Kirland; Dave Upthegrove, D-Des Moines; Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle; Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo; Mary Helen Roberts, D-Lynnwood, Eileen Cody, D-Seattle; Louis Moscoso, D-Mountlake Terrace; Deb Eddy, D-Kirkland; Tami Green, D-Tacoma; Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma; Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien; and Andrew Billig, D-Spokane.

    1. Sponsors don’t matter. We’ll wait to see who votes for it.

      1. Yes. But if you’re wondering who’s holding this is the list I’d start with.

  15. You people have no business making medical decisions for yourselves. We at the government have years of experience making decisions for other people, including you.

    We have the experience, let us do our jobs. You people can’t handle drugs, just look at all the addicts.

    This is the america you people asked us at the government to give you. We delivered.


  16. a bit of satire on Reddit on the KOCH bros.

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