Schwarzenegger Now Joking Positively About the Marijuana Whose Prohibition He Recently Supported


He never was a great actor

The New York Times has a soft-focus feature article out under the irritating and misleading headline of "Marijuana, Not Yet Legal for Californians, Might as Well Be." Among the headline-refuting words that do not appear in the story: raid, dispensary, Obama.

However, the cliche-ridden article does have some newsworthiness, including this bit about California's most recent Republican governor:

Arnold Schwarzenegger […] ticked off the acceptance of open marijuana smoking in a list of reasons he thought Venice was such a wonderful place for his morning bicycle rides. With so many people smoking in so many places, he said in an interview this year, there was no reason to light up one's own joint.

"You just inhale, and you live off everyone else," said Mr. Schwarzenegger, who as governor signed a law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Giggle giggle!

Such japery is a far cry from 2010, when the then-governor argued that the pot-legalization initiative Proposition 19 would bring "risks to public safety" and "make California a "laughingstock." At the risk of reading too much into a joke, I can't help but notice that the successful, historic legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington this year came amid the near-total absence of the kind nervous, giggly dismissals that marked the near-unanimous dismissal of Prop. 19 by the Golden State's editorial boards. Perhaps the lesson is that the first one through the door always takes the most flak, and that establishmentarians never want to be the first ones to stick their neck out.

Welcome back to the anti-establishment, Arnold!