Barack Obama

Dilbert's Scott Adams: Obama's Medical Marijuana Crackdown Is a 'Firing Offense'



Scott Adams, creator of the workplace cartoon strip Dilbert, is endorsing Mitt Romney because of President Barack Obama's medical marijuana prosecutions. Excerpt from the Dilberter's blog:

[Obama] is putting an American citizen in jail for 10 years to life for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in California where it is legal under state law. And I assume the President—who has a well-documented history of extensive marijuana use in his youth—is clamping down on California dispensaries for political reasons, i.e. to get reelected. What other reason could there be?

One could argue that the President is just doing his job and enforcing existing Federal laws. That's the opposite of what he said he would do before he was elected, but lying is obviously not a firing offense for politicians.

Personally, I'd prefer death to spending the final decades of my life in prison. So while President Obama didn't technically kill a citizen, he is certainly ruining this fellow's life, and his family's lives, and the lives of countless other minor drug offenders. And he is doing it to advance his career. If that's not a firing offense, what the hell is?

Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he's enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can't be sure. And I'm fairly certain he'd want a second term. He might find it "economical" to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states' rights, so he's got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.

So while I don't agree with Romney's positions on most topics, I'm endorsing him for president starting today. I think we need to set a minimum standard for presidential behavior, and jailing American citizens for political gain simply has to be a firing offense no matter how awesome you might be in other ways.

Whole thing here. Link via Walter Olson's Twitter feed.

Read former Reason editor Virginia Postrel's Q&A with Scott Adams from the February 1999 issue, plus some of our other Dilbertian content from the archives. And take time out of your busy voting (or non-voting!) schedule to re-read Jacob Sullum's classic October 2011 cover story "Bummer: Barack Obama turns out to be just another drug warrior."

Reason on the referenced Aaron Sandusky prosecution here, including this vid:

NEXT: Sacramento May Outlaw Marijuana Gardens

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  1. I’m confused… why did he endorse Romney, then? Oh, because, like the Seattle Times on Obama, he hopes Romney will do the right thing.

    1. Yeah, this makes very little sense.

      To protest Obama’s mistaken stance on the drug war, I will endorse someone who is objectively worse on the drug war.

      1. How is Romney worse on the drug war, again? What will he do that goes beyond what Obama has done?

        I mean, Obama reached out the mailed fist to jail a Canadian for advocating legalization, for chrissakes.

        1. How is Romney worse on the drug war, again?

          Romney will reach out the plated gauntlet while death metal plays in the background and he rounds up the gays to be sent to work camps!

          1. That sounds pretty awesome.

            If anyone can revitalize America’s steel industry, it’s the gays.

            1. The Simpsons said it, it must be true!

              1. “Hot stuff, coming through!!”

        2. Obama’s against marijuana due to politics.

          Romney’s against marijuana due to ideology.

          As legalization becomes more popular, Obama probably will change his policy, like on gay marriage.

          Romney won’t.

          1. Obama’s against marijuana due to politics.

            Romney’s against marijuana due to ideology.

            Romney has an ideology? I guess you are hoping we have forgotten that you work and live near Lowell.

          2. MMmm…tell me more about how you care about Obama’s marijuana policy.

            1. I think Obama’s been really shitty on marijuana policy.

              I think most people disagree with me, though, because most people do not support legalizing weed.

          3. No, Obama’s against state medical marijuana because of ideology– hating federalism and “states’ rights.”

            The George W. Bush Administration was actually fairly tolerant of state medical marijuana, mostly because of states’ rights, I suspect.

            Seriously, if you look around the Internet, you actually will find committed progressives and liberals talking about how “while I want pot to be legalized, it’s really important that we have these raids because we don’t want to encourage states’ rights.”

            1. No shit? That’s depressing.

              1. I found it in comment threads about the Republican (sacrifical lamb) senatorial candidate favoring the pot legalization-ish initiative. They carefully explained that good liberals and progressives must oppose the initiative, since it was clearly a stalking horse for states’ rights, and also must support the raids in order to support the supremacy of federal law.

          4. As legalization becomes more popular, Obama probably will change his policy, like on gay marriage.

            Joe continues to confuse making a press release with changing policy. Obama hasn’t changed any policy on gay marriage; he’s issued a press release.

            Just like he issued a press release, now that I think about it, on medpot, saying the feds would adopt a hands-off approach.

            1. In fairness, Obama himself encourages people to confuse “just words” with actual policy.

          5. Obama’s against marijuana due to politics.

            And that makes it better? Jesus Christ Joe that is stupid even for you. Given history, which is more likely to happen, a politician sell out his principles for political gain or a politician sacrifice political capital for his ideology?

            If anything being against drugs for political purposes makes it less likely Obama will change. My God you are a fucking dishonest hack.

            1. Mitt Romney’s religion views marijuana consumption as a moral sin.

              You think he’s going to change his “I will fight against legalization” policy any time soon?

          6. Obama’s against marijuana due to politics.

            Romney’s against marijuana due to ideology.

            Which makes Obama’s position objectively worse. Nothing says hope and change like throwing hundreds of thousands of people in jail per annum so he can get political support. He’s literally trading the lives of other people so he can continue in office.

            1. I’m pretty sure Obama breaking his promise not to fuck with dispensaries hasn’t resulted in hundreds of thousands of arrests.

          7. Obama’s against marijuana due to politics.

            Romney’s against marijuana due to ideology.

            When you’re on Jeopardy, the answer to every question in the “Famous Titles” category is not “Dolly Parton”.

        3. He’ll do the same thing to the ‘adult entertainment’ industry as well. So 1+1 is greater than 1+0. That’s why Romney is worse.

          1. Remind me again which President brought a high-profile criminal case against an outre porn producer?

            1. Obama inherited that prosecution from BOOOOOOSH!!111oneoneone

              1. That is complete Bullshit! Look it up.

                Obama got your vote saying he would leave medical pot to the states to regulate. He LIED!

                Both parties want control of us. The Democrats want way more than the other guys!

        4. “I would not legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, and the reasons are straightforward: As I talk to people in my state and at the federal government level about marijuana and its role in society, they are convinced that the entry way into a drug culture for our young people is marijuana. Marijuana is the starter drug….The idea of medical marijuana is designed to get marijuana out in the public marketplace and ultimately lead to the legalization of marijuana overall. And in my view, that’s the wrong way to go. I know that other people have differing views. If you’d like to get someone who is in favor of marijuana, I know there are some on the Democratic side of the aisle who will be happy to get in your campaign. But I’m opposed to it, and if you elect me president, you’re not going to see legalized marijuana. I’m going to fight it tooth and nail.” — Mitt Romney

          1. What. A. Fucking. Pasty. White. Pussy. Sack. Of. Rusty. Tools.

          2. Ding Ding Ding

      2. Can you at least admit that George W. Bush was objectively better on the drug war, at least with medical pot?

        Not that I’m voting for Romney; I just think you have a really difficult time arguing that he’s worse.

        1. George W Bush was objectively better on medical marijuana, although that may have more to do with incompetence than anything.

          I don’t think GWB is objectively better on the drug war, overall.

          1. Objectively better on medical pot, not objectively different on any other aspect of the drug war == objectively better on the drug war, overall, in my book. YMMV.

            I will grant that Obama has nicer sounding press releases, even if they are full of lies.

      3. Check this out

        Under Clinton, the drug war was ramped up as well. Why is Obama doing this? The only reason a person would say one thing and do another can only mean he is hiding a selfish intent.

        Most people like Romney don’t like pot because, they are told it’s not good for you. He doesn’t even drink soda, it’s not Mormon. We can only hope that states rights and peoples freedoms are more important to Romney than Obama’s lust for power. We now know the latter to be true, we don’t know about Romney.
        I’m taking my chances on a maybe over a sure thing!

        1. The drug war massively benefits cops and cop unions and social workers who do drug rehab. Given that those are two huge Dem constituencies whose livelihoods depend on the drug war, anyone who thinks the Democratic Party is ever going to end the drug war is Joe from Lowell level delusional.

          1. Yep. Here in NH over the past several years, several decriminalization and medical MJ laws have been passed by the republican controlled legislature and vetoed by the Democratic governor. TO be fair, they do tend to get a bit more support from democrats than republicans in the legislature, but it is certainly hard to make the case that the demos are any better overall.

            1. Why would the SEIU or social workers ever support legalization?

              1. Dey tuuke our JERBS!

    2. Think his point was, even if he doesn’t do “the right thing” he’s might not lie in your face about it.

      1. Perhaps a candidate who does the right thing is in order?

        Nah, too far.

        1. I think Romney’s position is that he’s against legalization but that it’s a state issue. Whether he practices what he says is debatable, but if that is the position he practices IMO it’s better than what the DOJ is doing.

          1. We know that’s Ryan’s position. Romney really hasn’t said. I’m sure this is not a topic he really wants to talk about, so I wouldn’t expect any more details before the election.

            1. I don’t suspect that Romney really gives a shit.

              Chamber-of-commerce Republicans neither favor the repeal of drug laws, nor are they gung-ho about spending money enforcing them, typically. So Romney is not alone, either.

            2. Romney has said. He thinks Obama is being too weak on Marijuana and he wants to turn it up to 11:


              Which is pretty the Romney campaign in a nut shell. He correctly points out how terrible Obama is, but then vows things will be even worse when he’s in charage.

              1. “He correctly points out how terrible Obama is, but then vows things will be even worse”

                When a Romney administration starts prosecuting Mormon missionaries for trespassing you can call him “worse”

              2. He said he’ll fight legalization. He did not say how he would deal with states who have legalized medical marijuana.

            1. Yeah, that video from 2007 Sullum said was a “couple of months” old.

              “But just when you thought Romney was completely clueless on this, watch the end of the interview (at about 4:50) and you’ll see him saying marijuana is a state issue that’s irrelevant to his presidential campaign.”


    3. He’s just stuck in the 2-party system.

      The “best” way to get obama fired is to elect The Other Guy. Will it alter any outcomes for our nation over the next guy’s term? Nah. But IT DOES get obama fired.

      Admit it, things still aren’t fucked up enough for a 3rd party candidate to do anything but steal votes from the main 2. So, in 2016, I expect Adams to be cheering for the next Other Guy to get romney fired for ruining peoples lives to advance his political career.

      1. So Adams will endorse Biden… interesting.

        1. We live in interesting, tragicomedic times.

          1. Is it possible to feel Schadenfreude when you are inside the crumbling, once gilded, walls of Camelot?

      2. “He’s just stuck in the 2-party system.”

        We all are.

        Whether or not we admit that, only says something about us and the depth of our denial.

        1. Really? That’s funny…my ballot has more than two parties on it. Must be a misprint.

          1. The fact that I sometimes piss in my yard does not make the sewer system go away.

            The two-party system is the same.

            1. So the two-party system is essentially a river of shit, best kept underground and ignored every second of the day lest one wants to contemplate the stench of millions of tons of feces?

              1. Yes.

                But it does exist, and it flows downhill.

      3. Admit it, things still aren’t fucked up enough for a 3rd party candidate to do anything but steal votes from the main 2.

        I’ll admit no such thing. Neither of those assholes were ever in consideration for my vote.

    4. Oh, because, like the Seattle Times on Obama, he hopes Romney will do the right thing.

      Yet another example of that Rorshach Test to which I was referring, John.

    5. It’s like giving out a major world on the expectation of greatness. When has that ever happened before?

    6. Sounds like the endorsement is mostly anti-Obama and not particularly pro-Romney. He probably gets mroe press this way than if he just said “don’t vote for Obama” or endorsed Johnson or the Green party.

    7. His point is simple. If a politician goes beyond the pale, fire him.

        1. +1.

          “pale…” So many words, all of them racist if you think about it long enough.

    8. Sandusky opened his dispensary in 2009 under the assumption that Obama would stick to his campaign promise not to prosecute those operating within CA state law, a promise which was later reaffirmed by Eric Holder. Now, he’s sitting in prison.

      I can see Adams’ logic.

  2. “Obama didn’t technically kill a citizen”

    well, technically, he has.

    1. A couple, one of whom was 16.

      1. He just got in the way of a missile headed for another American citizen, didn’t he?

    2. He should read “didn’t technically kill this citizen” or “didn’t technically kill a citizen in this case“.

    3. I recall the gushing encomiums from late summer for Obama, the Scourge of the Middle East, poring over the kill list and personally authorizing every strike.

      So, yeah, according to his own flacks, he did personally order the killing of American citizens.

      1. Cue Candy Crowley…

  3. When are we going to have the Reason writers list of who they are voting for? Or is that an after the election moment?

    Personally, I’m stuck in a bind. GJ isn’t on the ballot, so that will mean a write-in. Or should I vote for Romney just to stick it to Obama? MI may be a surprise pickup, though highly doubtful.

    1. Don’t waste your time voting, your vote doesn’t matter.

      1. Think I’ve finally conceded to this reality, Walshy. Not sure if that means part of me has died inside or if part of me is now alive again. Meh. Fuck it.

        1. Sorry, but sometimes the truth hurts.

    2. Very soon! I’m voting for Gary Johnson here in New York, FWIW.

      1. Nice. Out of all the Reason bloggers, you are definitely in my top 20, Matt.

        1. WG, you’re definitely in my top 1000 commenters.

          1. Where do the anonbots fall in that list of top 1000?

            1. 882-971

              1. The reserved address range for anonbots.

      2. Thank you, Matt! It’s too bad Mr. Adams couldn’t have endorsed Gary. He’s the perfect candidate for this issue and, well, all the issues.

      3. Me too, Matt.

      4. Excellent choice! Me too.

    3. Can you not write Gay Jay in?

      1. In some states, you have to be an “official write in candidate” or they don’t count the write-in votes for you.

        1. Is that anything like a verbally committed walk-on?

  4. he is certainly ruining this fellow’s life, and his family’s lives, and the lives of countless other minor drug offenders. And he is doing it to advance his career.

    Eggs, Obamlettes. Fuck You, That’s Why.

    Also, Fried Chicken.

    1. Also, Fried Chicken.

      You remain my favorite commenter, fried wylie.

      1. Hey!

        1. Oh please GM, you’re like 5th on the list, behind fried wylie, Epi, Epi’s amazing lips, and NutraSweet’s pancreas (which posts as “Warty”).

          1. Do Epi and his lips have diabetes? Would make an odd coincidence that all your favs are insulin addicts.

          2. Whew! For a minute there I thought you were damning me with faint praise…wait, WHAT?

          3. “NutraSweet’s pancreas (which posts as “Warty”).”

            Well, that would explain some things.

  5. If you endorse Romney because you don’t like Obama’s medical marijuana policy, isn’t that like endorsing the Ancien R?gime because you don’t the the Comit? de salut public?

    1. To be literal, the Comite de Salut Public locked up/killed more people without fair trials than the kings did.

    2. Dennis Miller, is that you?

  6. Makes no sense, for sure, but I suspect Adams is thinking what Obama has done is worse than what Romney has yet to do.

    1. He is saying being a liar makes Obama worse.

      1. And that being unreliable and a waffler makes Romney better. And he’s right about that.

  7. no matter how awesome you might be in other ways.

    Now I see why he’s a cartoonist – that’s some funny shit right there.

    1. Yeah. I was thinking, in what other ways is Obama awesome?

      So many to choose from! I mean there is…

      Well he… um…

      What about that time he… uh… huh.

      1. He’s a really awesome reader.

        1. and he’s so well spoken.

          1. And bathes regularly.

            1. One assumes.

            2. His golf shoes always seem nice and clean. Mark of a gentleman.

      2. He’s black so that means we’re all cool now.

  8. Which Dilbert character do you think is most likely a libertarian? My first reaction is to say Alice, which is odd since she’s a female – NTTAWWT.

    1. I’d say it’s that fearful intern, Akosh or something?

      1. Asok – brilliant, but naive.

    2. Dogbert

      1. Win.

      2. I almost said Dogbert. I love his portrayal of the outside consultant and how idiots at the company would accept his “wisdom” unquestioningly. I worked for a major consulting company at one time and saw some similarities.

      3. I disagree, Dogbert seems like more of a cronyist.

    3. Wally. No character has greater disdain for authority.

      Catbert is a total Randian, though.

      1. Catbert is in HR. Are there really any libertarians in HR?

        1. I thought that looking at humans as resources is what the leftists hate about us the most.

          “Work?!? Like thinking people should have a job?” [faints dead away]

    4. I used to put WWWD (what would wally do) on my white board at work.

      1. I forgot about that one. Excellent!

        1. It’s taped to the wall of my cube.

          1. You’re really sticking it to management!

            1. Many managers could be replaced with walls.

              1. save the construction costs, just replace the managers with nothing.

      2. I pretty much model my professional life after Wally.

        1. I’m not surprised.

          1. It has worked pretty well. If you work in a bureaucracy, you are either Wally or the pointed haired boss. I will take Wally thank you.

  9. One summer day, back in 1992, I was working as a consultant at Pacific Bell in San Ramon — a cushy opportunity that my Dad found for me (and for which I did a bang-up job). He and I used to make the 3 mile commute together each day. Walking through the parking lot, I saw a silver 280Z with the license plate “DOGBERT”. Pointed it out to my Dad, and he said there was this crazy cartoonist a couple sections over who’s strip runs in some local papers. Met him. Nicest guy in the world. I think he knew at the time that he was going to blow up big, and soon.

    1. Huh, I started working for a consulting firm in 1992. Anyone remember KPMG?

  10. Hey, maybe you guys at Reason can get Scott Chapman on the phone with Adams to persuae the cartoonist to change his mind. After all, compared to what Biden wanted, Obama has demonstrated a soft, reasonable hand on the enforcement of drug laws.

    1. Steve Chapman, Scott Adams. Whatevs.

    2. He only hit us in the face with his fist. He wanted to use brass knuckles.

  11. I think the idea is firing any elected official who does what Obama did regardless of whether the replacement will do the same, in the hopes that consistently doing so will change what future replacement officials do. I’m not optimistic, but that’s the logic.

    1. Yes. It’s the same logic that had a lot of libertarians (in the broader sense) voting against McCain because of what George W. Bush did.

      It is sad that this year the two major party candidates are significantly worse on trade, immigration, and farm subsidies than either GWB or McCain.

      1. There was an excellent reason to not vote for John McCain under any circumstances. He is the biggest back stabber in the Republican party since Teddy Roosevelt.

        1. I know. And yet I voted for him because I don’t want to encourage the Libertarian Party.

        2. Is “biggest back stabber” the same thing as being willing to go against the party hierarchy?

          I don’t think that’s necessarily a good or bad thing, by itself. It depends on the issue.

      2. Is it OK to have voted against McCain because McCain sucks?

        1. Well, sure. Though I think that for all his incredibly annoying self-righteousness, he was better than any of the two major party candidates going back to 2000.

      3. I find it amusing that the same people who decry this logic when it came to McCain vs. Obama now use it when it comes to Obama vs. Romney.

      4. I don’t think it’s the same thing. Neither McCain nor Obama were incumbents.

        1. Sure, but I’m pretty certain that GWB hangover affected McCain’s vote totals.

          Plenty of people around here (both Reason contributors and commenters) explicitly said that the Republican Party needed to be punished for GWB in order to force it to reform.

  12. I checked out the comments on Adams’s post to see if there was any GJ love to be found (not much – bad sign if he can’t connect on THIS issue…)…

    Meanwhile, sorted through astounding amount of nonsense like this…

    Scott Adams has hit rock bottom. He’s been utterly corrupted by his wealth and has become simultaneously a pimp and a prostitute for the Romney campaign.

    He not only links President Obama, without a shred of jusitification, to this only recently publicized court case. He accuses the President of being directly, personally, and exclusively responsible for convicting and sentencing someone to ten years in jail. In reality, the President is busy with his campaign and probably doesn’t even know about this case, let alone has been a participant in it.

    We are truly and spectacularly fucked…

    1. In reality, the President is busy with his campaign

      That sounds like another firing offense.

      1. If this half-assed, half-asleep campaign performance constitutes “busy,” well… no wonder everything he’s touched has gotten shittier and shittier.

        1. It was a fully-assed, fully-awake strategy born of blinkered arrogance.

    2. Maybe he’ll pardon him after the election.

    3. This is what Adams replied to one of the comments recommending he vote for Gary Johnson:

      “It’s only half as effective to take a vote away from the incumbent and flush it down the toilet with a Libertarian candidate versus taking one vote from the incumbent and adding one vote to the only person who might beat him. — Scott”

      Yeah, like it’s in any way effective to vote for Romney in California. And I thought Adams was an intelligent guy.

      1. National vote totals matter to some degree. The lower percentage of votes the loser gets, the more the election is looked upon and remembered as a rejection of the loser.

        1. National vote totals matter to some degree.

          Which, if your main issue is medical/legalizing marijuana, is all the more reason to “waste” your vote on the Libertarian candidate, since even though he “can’t win,” every vote he gets can be interpreted as an “anti-prohibition” vote since neither the Dem or Rep advocate that position.

      2. “Don’t blame me, I voted for the Turd Sandwich!”

        I could appreciate it if Adams said he was holding his nose and voting tactically, but outright endorsing Romniac under some delusion that he will do something that he never said that he would do, is fucking idiotic.

        Sounds like an Obama 2008 voter.

  13. A Hiram man was shot in his home Wednesday afternoon by agents from a multi-agency drug task force executing a narcotics search warrant.
    The 60-year-old suspect was discovered “with some sort of weapon in his hand,” according to a spokesman with the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, after agents had forced their way into his home in the 3800 block of Nebo Road.
    Spokesman Ashley Henson said the suspect was airlifted to a Atlanta-area hospital in critical condition. Family members told Channel 2 Action News that the man, whom they identified as Danny Hammett, had died.
    Hammett’s son told Channel 2 that his father was unarmed.
    “They killed him. They killed an innocent man and that’s all there is to say to it,” Clyde Hammett said.
    “They say he was armed. They can search all they want, there’s no guns in that house,” Hammett said.…

    1. They can search all they want, there’s no guns in that house

      I’m sure there is by now.

      1. They don’t need to find a gun. All that is necessary is the officer feared for his safety. Can’t let them second guess themselves wondering if the thing in the guy’s hand is a gun or a remote control. Officer safety is paramount. He feared for his safety and opened fire. It’s the perp’s fault for having a remote control in his hand when the cops busted down his door. He should have known better. Case closed.

        1. Hey! It wasn’t a remote! It was pepper spray! Why, any of those cops could have been subjected to several minutes of physical pain! As it is they have to deal with the trauma of killing a man while on paid administrative leave!

          1. Pepper spray, pepper mill, salt shaker – why, if properly used, anyone of those things could incapacitate an Agent of The State!

            Prediction: Nothing Else Will Happen. (NEWH from now on)

        2. “Furtive movement”

          “Suspicous object”

          Officers all went home after procedures were followed and lethal force was applied.

      2. Any relation to Kirk you think?

        1. Are you saying the “weapon” might have been one of those pointy-ass guitars?

    2. The 60-year-old suspect was discovered “with some sort of weapon in his hand,”

      A steak knife, perhaps?

      1. Maybe he’s hung like Dennis Rodman and they walked in on him pleasuring himself.

        1. damn you beat me to it.

      2. At his age, more likely a spork.

    3. Poor guy was jerking off when they busted in.

  14. The boilerplate at the top of the linked blog entry:

    This blog is written for a rational audience that likes to have fun wrestling with unique or controversial points of view. It is written in a style that can easily be confused as advocacy or opinion…

    So Adams is not really endorsing Romney; it’s all a big joke.

    1. He’s been doing that ever since he offended a bunch of women’s groups a few years ago.

  15. You should at least mention that Adams’ blog and everything on it is a joke, and well labeled as such.

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