Civil Liberties

Former Pot Smoker Mayor Bloomberg Calls Medical Marijuana a "Hoax," Opposes Recreational Legalization


World Bank

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has added another item to his list of substances he would like no one to enjoy, ever: marijuana. Bloomberg made his case against medical and recreational pot this morning on the John Gambling radio show:

"Yeah, right, medical, come on," said Bloomberg. "There's no medical. This is one of the great hoaxes of all times." 

The mayor has admitted to smoking weed in the past, and enjoying it, but that was a long time ago.

"The bottom line is, I'm told marijuana is much stronger today than it was 20 or 30 years ago," [Bloomberg said].

Bloomberg's opposition to medical and recreational marijuana is two-fold: first, his belief that the drug is stronger now.

"And number two, drug dealers have families to feed," he said. "If they can't sell marijuana, they'll sell something else. And the something else is gonna be worse. And, the push to legalize this is just wrongheaded."

"If you think about it, they say, 'Oh well it's not gonna hurt anybody, it doesn't lead to dependency,'" he continued. "Of course it does. You can argue about recreational things, but it's a very slippery path."

Last year, in Bloomberg's New York, the NYPD stopped 26,000 people for marijuana, and arrested 5,000 of them. It's fair to say that Mayor Bloomberg's "personal army" negatively affected far more lives in far more serious ways than are affected by consuming even today's strong marijuana. 

Hell, even "third way" (read: prohibition lite) advocates are concerned with arresting people. Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg is arguing that drug dealers (read: the mostly black and hispanic people who are arrested by the NYPD under stop and frisk) have families to feed, so let's lock them up for selling pot rather lock them up for selling something stronger.

That kind of cynicism–whether staged or honest–is terrifying.