Marijuana Ballot Initiatives

Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's Most Powerful Tea Partier, Says Views on Marijuana Are "Evolving"

|

Ken Cuccinelli
Gage Skidmore / photo on flickr

Liberals and conservatives alike know Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for his opposition to government projects of all sizes—from Obamacare to public parks. But you can't really call him a libertarian, either, considering his opposition to gay marriage and support for barriers to abortion.

Complicating things somewhat, the Virginian-Pilot reports that Cuccinelli, who's running for governor, told a group of students at the University of Virginia this week that he supported the drug policy experimentation happening in Colorado and Washington

"I'm not sure about Virginia's future [in terms of marijuana legalization]," the newspaper quoted Cuccinelli saying. "But I and a lot of people are watching Colorado and Washington to see how it plays out."

Cuccinelli's marijuana comments surprised U.Va. political science professor Larry Sabato, whose class Cuccinelli address.

Sabato noted "Cuccinelli stressed he wouldn't be recommending changes anytime soon. But he praised states such as Colorado for experimenting with marihuana legalization, saying this was federalism in action. He said twice his views were 'evolving" on the subject."

When will the rest of the Tea Party–and maybe Obama–follow suit?

NEXT: Court Rules Bad Consumer Reviews not Defamatory

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’m still waiting for Virginia’s views on alcohol sales to evolve…. Thanks VA-ABC!

    1. Dit-fucking-to. I was relieved to find that my local ABC (which is rather smallish) carries Pimm’s, so I could have my Punter’s Doddle a home.

      1. I bet you paid twice as much for it than you would have an most other states.

        1. $20/liter…I should lookit what they want for it in DC or MD.

          1. I think that in locations just over the border from VA you’ll find similar prices or only slightly lower prices at best. They learned long ago to cash in on people trying to circumvent VA’s monopoly.

          2. What’s a liter?

            1. That’s what you call it when a dog has a multiple puppies at the same time

    2. Hey, you just got Sunday purchases of hard liquor. When will your demands end!?

      1. When will your demands end!?

        When I can buy a bottle of Sailor Jerry AND soda at the same location on a Sunday from a private vendor for the same price I used to pay in Florida.

        1. Ding, ding, ding.

          Winner of the interwebz!

  2. Oh god I can’t wait to see my brothers reaction to this on Facebook. He lives in Va and is so ridiculously socially conservative that he’s just about been kicked out of his local Tea Party group.

    1. So you’re saying that the Tea Party isn’t automatically socially conservative?

      1. Nope, some of them aren’t even all that socially conservative, however even among those who are my brother would be a rather extreme outlier.

        For example he supports Westboro Baptist church only quibbling with their choice to picket military veteran funerals.

  3. No “Peace in our time?” alt text?

    1. Oh, sure, change the picture so my comment doesn’t make any sense.

      I used to trust you, Reason.

  4. If you hang around cannabis reform circles in Virginia every now and again someone will point out that the state code actually has a provision for providing medical marijuana legally even though no one in the government seems to recognize it.

    Take a look:

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bi…..18.2-251.1

    1. That sounds pretty cut and dry… what is the catch?

      1. Virginia was one of the first ? if not the first ? state to pass medical marijuana. That law has been on the books for decades. Unfortunately, the law uses the word “prescription”, and the benevolent fedgov has the sole authority to decide what may and may not be legally prescribed. Marijuana may not be prescribed legally, and so the VA law is of no effect.

        Other states had the benefit to learn from our mistake, which is why you’ll see the term “recommendation” used over “prescription” in states which passed their medical marijuana law after ours (latecomers like California).

        Of course, a “prescription” is inherently nothing more than a recommendation with government approval, so they should likely be abolished outright.

        1. Incidentally, if marijuana is ever declassified, medical marijuana will become reality in Virginia immediately, a fait accompli. Many in the state eagerly await this day.

  5. Sounds like a potential libertarian that’s been brainwashed by our Puritan Christian Taliban and might be coming out of his fog.

  6. you can’t really call him a libertarian, either, considering his opposition to gay marriage and support for barriers to abortion.

    I consider myself a libertarian and am pro-choice and i think that is a libertarian position given my view on when human life starts.

    But i really cannot bring myself to say being pro-life is anti-libertarian.

    I mean libertarians do support a government role in regulating murder. If people think a fetus is a human being then i fail to see how they would be unlibertarian if they thought the government had a role in preventing the killing of that fetus.

    1. I really can’t see how a question that turns on ones view of when life begins can be some sort of touchstone for Libertarianism. I think Libertarians can go either way on abortion.

      1. And they do.

        Myself, I am not pro-choice, I can’t advocate for it, as I find the practice disturbing.

        Not sure when a ‘fetus’ becomes a ‘baby’, but I am wagering that when our science is more advanced, we will find that the baby is conscious well before actual birth.

        I don’t want the state involved, in bans, and especially not in funding it with tax payer money.

      2. I oppose “gay marriage” for the simple reason that I oppose (state-sponsored/recognized) marriage in general.

        As far as abortion goes, I’m waiting for someone to provide a definite standard for when a clump of cells turns into a person. The end. I don’t countenance the “my body, my choice (your money)” crap, or the “Jesus said so” crap.

      3. I really can’t see how a question that turns on ones view of when life begins can be some sort of touchstone for Libertarianism

        ?!?

        I would posit that such a question, and one’s answer, is central to the concept of self-ownership.

        1. Saying that you own yourself is different than saying when the self begins. Everyone agrees the state can’t sanction murder. But it is only murder if the thing dying is a person. So the question is, is someone come into being as a person before or after birth? The answer to that question says nothing about self determination.

          1. I would say the question really is, does a being have the right of self-ownership before it can comprehend such a right? If it does, then I don’t see how abortion can be justified in a philosophy of liberty.

            1. I would say the question really is, does a being have the right of self-ownership before it can comprehend such a right? I

              I think the answer to that has to be yes. A new born baby has no grasp of self ownership. Someone in a coma has no such grasp. Yet, no one would ever argue babies or people in comas have no right to life.

              1. Yet, no one would ever argue babies or people in comas have no right to life.

                No one, eh?

                “[K]illing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living.” — Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne.

                1. No sane person ever would. Singer is a sick fuck.

                  1. You can say that again.

            2. I would say the question really is, does a being have the right of self-ownership before it can comprehend such a right?

              I don’t think that’s the right question either. Because if the answer is no, you could abort a two year old. (Unless, of course, you presume the answer must be yes.

              I would say you have rights at the point you become a person. The two most apparent (logical?) options are at conception or birth. If something we are unaware of happens in between, like a flash of consciousness, you could talk me into it.

              Regardless, the vessel carrying said lump of cells/person has rights throughout the period.

              1. “I would say you have rights at the point you become a person. The two most apparent (logical?) options are at conception or birth.”

                Actually these are not logical options at all.

                First off what is “conception”, is it the moment sperm meets egg, the moment the egg implants in the uterine wall, or sometime inbetween? Given the frequency of spontaneous 1st trimester miscarriages (estimated to be as many as 70% of all pregnancies) it is hard to argue that full rights of self ownership should be conferred at this time.

                Second, there is literally nothing developmentally which happens to the baby during the birting process. One may as well argue that it is the wrapping the baby in the blanket immediately after birth which grants them their rights to self ownership as the events are effectively equivalent.

                No the only logical answer is that rights to self ownership are conferred on a sliding scale starting at the moment of conception (whatever that means) and ending at some point 15 – 21 years later when one is recognized as an adult.

                This allows for some abortions to remain legal and others to be prohibited as unnecessary violations of the childs rights because they have developed sufficiently to be worthy of those rights.

                1. Basically, all abortions up to 24 weeks (from last mestruation) should be legal as a baby cannot realistically survive when born prior to that (I know there are a handful of examples which have but as a general rule this is true and if you really want to quibble over it fine, push it down to 22 weeks), some abortions between 24 and 30 weeks would be allowed based on medical necessity, past 30 weeks and you can wait the extra 6 weeks needed then have labor induced, or if medically necessary have labor induced immediately as the child has a very good chance of surviving at this point anyway.

                  1. “Basically, all abortions up to 24 weeks (from last mestruation) should be legal as a baby cannot realistically survive when born prior to that.”

                    If you were on my airplane, you couldn’t realistically survive if I pushed you off it.

                    1. This is true, however the point is rather irrelevant since your denying that I have human rights by attempting to throw me off your plane obliviates my need to recognize your human rights and I will be perfectly content to throw your ass off the plane and claim it for myself.

                      The question is not who can or cannot survive without various support mechanisms, the question is what conditions are necessary for declaring that an entity has human rights.

                    2. I agree. But your point that a baby younger than 24 weeks cannot realistically survive when born doesn’t answer that question.

            3. If this is the key question then how can you not grant right to self ownership to non human beings who have levels of self awareness greater than than of a 5 year old humans?

              Elephants, Dolphins, Chimpanzees, some Birds, and some Dogs at a minimum have greater levels of self awareness and greater moral sense than infant humans. Why are they not granted rights of self ownership?

      4. You are all HERETICS! Libertarianism and abortion on request at the same thing!!!

  7. “But you can’t really call him a libertarian, either, considering his opposition to gay marriage and support for barriers to abortion.”

    Wait. When did killing babies become part of libertarian principle?

    1. Well, if we didn’t kill ’em, we’d have to circumcise the boy ones.

      1. I say without hesitation, that I am the only regular HyR poster who is able to simaltaneously circumcise a baby while eating a pizza of undisclosed thickness. And usually while reading a book on the primary cause of the Civil War.

        1. “simaltaneously”

          Imagine this word spelled correctly.

          1. Just use Firefox. It will warn you about such things!

          2. Imagine all the spellings…being quite correct…

        2. …while eating a pizza of undisclosed thickness.

          Admit it. You’re from Chicago, you deep dish loving commie.

    2. A zygote is not a baby (which means: a potential is not an actual), and since when did it become a “libertarian principle” (lol) to force women and men to be mindless broodmares and studs in the name of a god you invented?

      1. First, even if a zygote is, that only covers you for the first few weeks of pregnancy. What about after a month? Five months?

        Second, if preventing you from killing your child is forcing you to be a “brood mare for God”, then every infanticide law needs to be repealed.

      2. And the reward for first retarded pro-abortion comment goes to Libertarius! Come on down and receive your prize!

      3. Medical science keeps increasing the ability to keep premature babies alive. What if medical science progresses to a point where a fertilized egg can be grown to full term in a lab. Will it magically be a person at that point? Is personhood based upon principle or is it subjective?

        1. That is a good question. The idea that life somehow magically begins at birth and not a moment before has always begged the question of why then is a miscarriage so devastating to the woman suffering it. Are women just irrational creatures who irrationally personify this lump of cells in their bodies?

          1. The idea that life somehow magically begins at birth

            It’s what I believe is called, denial. Making up reality so that you can feel good about something. Liberals are infamous for that practice.

            1. What is so special about birth? Why does life begin then and not a moment before? Fetus can live outside the womb long before birth, especially with modern technology. I see no reason to say why life and full rights as a human being should necessarily begin at birth and not before other than it is a convenient and easy to draw line.

              1. What about viewing abortion like eviction? Even if the fetus has full human rights, why does it have the right to invade a woman’s body and consume her resources against her will?

                1. why does it have the right to invade a woman’s body and consume her resources against her will?

                  She gave her consent to such an arrangement when she made the choice to open her legs without using protection.

                2. some Guy,

                  What HM said. That argument would only work in cases of rape. But in cases of consensual sex, I can’t see how you complain that a being that you created has invaded you.

                  1. Frankly, the “invasion” comment is a distraction, and irrelevant. A tenant need not “invade” to be evicted. The only impediment to eviction is contractual arrangement.

                    I’m not prepared to suggest that fetuses are capable of entering into contracts.

                3. some guy, this is actually precisely my view. A woman has a right to “evict” a fetus, but not to actively kill it. Whether eviction necessarily causes death is irrelevant, as individuals may not compel other individuals to support them (even their parents, I’m afraid).

              2. What is so special about birth?

                Not sure if you realize, from the comment, but I was agreeing with you, I don’t buy into the fact that life ‘magically’ begins at birth. I’ve said that many times here.

                1. I didn’t realize it. I was being stupid. Sorry to miss the point.

            2. I am sorry Hyperion. I think maybe you were agreeing with me and I was too dumb to realize it.

              1. Yep, I just replied again,(see above) I was agreeing with you.

          2. If the mother’s personification has some bearing on the fetus’s status as a person, then clearly mothers who choose not to personify their fetus have no impediment to aborting it.

            Which makes sense to me, actually.

      4. Hey sparky, get snipped or get your tubes tied and you won’t have to worry about being a mindless broodmare or stud. Problem solved. Or simply don’t fuck. It’s a foolproof method.

        Just because you don’t like the consequences of your actions doesn’t make them any less real.

        1. Hey sparky, get snipped or get your tubes tied and you won’t have to worry about being a mindless broodmare or stud. Problem solved. Or simply don’t fuck. It’s a foolproof method.

          You forgot the “make sure it lands on her face” method.

          1. You know, if someone like Todd Akin was going to fuck up his campaign anyway, it is too bad he didn’t do it by saying something really funny.

            “Look there is no excuse for any woman ever getting pregnant. It is not like any guy wouldn’t gladly just cum on her face if given the option”.

            Now that would have been classic.

          2. Look, just because you’ve moved to the exotic Orient and gone all Asian sensation with your tentacles and your buky-kake and your panty vending machines doesn’t mean we all need to get all heathen.

            Here in ‘murika we plant our seed right where it’s supposed to go, and if the baby Jesus blesses us with a baby, why that’s why we have the welfare office.

            1. If you had been doing it missionary style like God intended, you probably would have gotten pregnant unless you wanted to in the first place.

          3. Or comes to a rest in her stomach. Either way’s okay by me.

  8. But you can’t really call him a libertarian, either, considering his opposition to gay marriage and support for barriers to abortion.

    That’s a litmus test now? When did we kick half the libertarians including both Pauls out?

    1. Apparently if you oppose killing unborn children and using government force to redefine marriage, you’re not a true libertarian.

      1. Considering that government has no right to use its force to define marriage in the first place (which it does, one way or the other), it’s quite unreasonable to argue for anything other than the end of government definition of marriage entirely. It makes no more sense to tacitly support the present definition-by-force than it does to actively support a new one, and doing so suggests that you’re fine with government defining marriage, so long as you like it’s definition.

        1. Apparently I don’t know the difference between “it’s” and “its”. Or at least my fingers don’t.

    2. If those are the only two forms of freedom he opposes I will take it. When things are this bad “good” is good enough. “The perfect” can go die in a fire.

    3. Yes, the prolife position of Ron and Rand seem to be highly embarassing to the staff here.

      If it were an actual litmus test, then *Reason* should have pronounced its excommunication decree already.

      1. And in a mutual-excommunication test between the Pauls on one side and *Reason* magazine on the other, do you really think *Reason* would prevail?

  9. Once the tide turns on marijuana laws, and that time is getting close, the change will come incredibly quickly. Look at it this way, in 1960 the idea of interracial marriage being both common and nearly universally accepted was unthinkable. Yet less than 40 years later, that was exactly the case. In 1970, being gay was illegal in most if not all states. By 1990, gays were not only living legally but a fairly powerful political force.

    I really think we are getting close to a tipping point on pot. Not drugs in general, but pot.

  10. Yeah, I’m not seeing how opposition to abortion is a one-way ticket out of Libertarianville. I don’t like abortion, I’d be glad to vote to restrict it, and I think it’s something that should be approved or forbidden on a state by state basis.

    Gay marriage is a bit different, but I always thought the proper default position was to take marriage out of the realm of government?

    1. I always thought the proper default position was to take marriage out of the realm of government?

      Not anymore. Now it is the role of government to use force to redefine marriage, and to allow some sex couples to sue anyone with the audacity to think they have some freedom of association.

      Who said libertarians are above pandering?

      1. “Use force to redefine marriage”? What force are they using exactly by removing the power to discriminate on the basis of gender?

        1. Make that “by removing the power of the government to discriminate on the basis of gender,” since most of us pro-legal gay marriage libertarians do not advocate for the State forcing churches to give gay marriages.

      2. Yeah, except nobody’s ever actually taken that position (I’m including all the gays in that statement).

        What you’ve done there is assign a SoCon’s strawman to actual people.

        For which you can GFYS. =)

  11. “I’m not sure about Virginia’s future [in terms of marijuana legalization],” the newspaper quoted Cuccinelli saying. “But I and a lot of people are watching Colorado and Washington to see how it plays out.”

    Somewhere in Virginia, a SoCon is shitting their Depends and praying that God strike down the heathen Cuccinelli.

    1. I really wonder. The SOCONS I know tend not to be as hung up on the drug war as others. The worst drug warriors I know are moderately liberal suburban parents.

      1. Confound it, John, why do you insist on messing with the narrative?

      2. That YOU know. The proglodyte concern trolls and the SoCon Bible Thumpers tend to be the same class of beast, in my experience.

        1. The SOCONS I know more than anything want to be left alone. They spend their time doing things like home school and working in prison ministries and leading youth groups at church.

          Maybe it is because I grew up around them so therefore am used to them and find them more benign, but they really don’t seem to be as crazy as the left of center suburbanites. They spend their time running for zoning board or city council or developing rules of conduct at the PTA.

          1. So they’ve got to you, John?

            In reality, they are busy conspiring to create a theocracy, with a Police for the Preservation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice walking around throwing acid in the face of unveiled women.

          2. Might be. I’ve had to listen to a lot of postmillenialist nonsense about the Christian’s duty to “set the table” so to speak for the Second Coming and the 1000 year reign of Christ. Given that postmillenialism and progressivism, in terms of policy, sound eerily similar, I treat them as the same.

            1. I think God can probably come back when he wants to. I don’t really think I get a vote on when that happens. “Set the table” I love that.

            2. I fail to see any reason to view one as more “benign” than the other. I’ve lived around both groups (in the urban west coast and the rural south), and it’s a fantasy that “left-of-center suburbanites” are the real enemy, while SoCon’s are benign and merely want to be left alone.

              Both groups would impose upon me equally, and if you find one more benign than the other it’s only because your lifestyle is closer to that one. But that is reflective of only your own bias, not, you know, reality.

      3. Oh no, I know at least one SoCon in Va who will be shitting his pants over this, he’s just not to the Depends wearing stage yet having just turned 40.

        He really does think that somone toking it up in their basement is a violation of his constitutional right to live in a drug free society and that Homosexuals are exactly equivalent to pedophiles because both acts are immoral and therefore neither can ever be trusted to be near children.

        His name is Mark Collins and you should really see some of the shit be posts.

        1. Does he live near Charlottesville? I can egg his house with joints and hypodermic needles.

          1. Nah, he’s somewhere around Richmond

      4. Polling indicates that in general, SOCONS are more in favor of restrictive drug laws than liberals are.

    2. Nah. The Cooch is still aces with them for being hardcore anti-abortion.

      Personally, I hope he doesn’t puss out and backtrack on this. Marijuana decriminalization is the easiest way for him to cut that scumbag McAuliffe’s legs out from under him.

      1. Exactly. Only Nixon can go to China, and only someone who’s SoCon bonafides are impeccable can make this happen.

        1. I think that is going to happen. And I think the issue that will cause it to happen is prisons. SOCONS, whatever their faults tend to be earnest do gooders. More and more of them are realizing how horribly unjust and brutal our prison system is. And the drug war is the main cause of that.

        2. Didn’t Pat Robertson recently suggest that throwing MJ users in prison probably wasn’t the best solution? I’m too lazy to google it and check, so I might be completely making shit up. But it seems vaguely familiar.

          1. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-20…..-be-legal/

            Interesting thing is that Pat Robertson is the dean of the VA SoCons. If him and Cuccinelli stand up and push this together, it could happen quicker than you think.

  12. To me the heart of libertarianism is the drug war. If you don’t believe that adults have the right to put whatever they want in their bodies, you are not a libertarian.

    1. I’ve always felt that the WOD is the biggest assault to liberty today.

      If you don’t own your own body, how is any freedom at all, even possible?

  13. But you can’t really call him a libertarian, either, considering his opposition to gay marriage and support for barriers to abortion.

    Um, Riggs, what exactly is the libertarian stance on abortion?

  14. If Cuccinelli provided legal cover for the abortion/mandatory vaginal probe, then he will be beaten bloody through election night with shit like ‘state-forced rape.’

    And I do not believe his views on cannabis are evolving. If he continues to address the issue and make similar statements outside of university classrooms, then my views on his views will evolve. Otherwise, I think he is telling a lie.

    1. Why would he lie about it? Being against the evil weed is one of the easiest things to do in politics.

      1. Just seems bogus given the circumstances.

        He can either hamstring McAuliffe with this issue or cede him the high ground. herherher

  15. What Riggs meant to say was “support for regulatory barriers as social engineering” without mentioning abortion.

  16. “But you can’t really call him a libertarian, either, considering his opposition to gay marriage and support for barriers to abortion.”

    I guess you can’t call a lot of libertarians libertarian then either.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.