Marijuana

Pat Buchanan: Legalization of Marijuana Reveals "Deeply Libertarian Trend" Across the Political Spectrum

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Reason

Conservative commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan said on The McLaughlin Group last Saturday that there is a "deeply libertarian trend" across the American political spectrum. Buchanan made the comment after being asked if "the era of pot prohibition is coming to an end."

Buchanan is not a fan of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, saying that the end of pot prohibition in the U.S. will lead to "more high school dropouts and more automobile accidents involving marijuana."

From The Daily Caller:

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan called the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington part of a "deeply libertarian trend" sweeping through both sides of the American political spectrum.

Buchanan discussed legalization with John McLaughlin during Saturday's "The McLaughlin Group," with McLaughlin asking whether "the era of pot prohibition is coming to an end."

(H/T Charles WT)

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  1. I’m too lazy to look it up. Has Buchanan admitted to smoking weed in his yute?

    1. That’s gotta be a forward indicator, too, right?

      In the past, a lot of average people were so ashamed of having used drugs in the past, that you could blackmail them.

      They’d lie about it!

      Pretty soon, lifelong L7s, who never smoked a bowl in the lives, will be claiming they were stoners back in the day.

    2. No, but he admits to punching out a cop.

  2. It’s gonna be kind of hilarious when the doom that prohibitionists predict as the inevitable result of legalization never materializes.

    1. Are you kidding? Ever since Colorado legalized marijuana, emergency room usage has increased, health care expenses have gone up significantly, and millions of people’s health insurance policies have been canceled with only more expensive health insurance to replace them.

      The doom is already here!

      1. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Their logic is irrefutable.

    2. Someone had posted a Daily Currant satirical article “37 people die of pot overdose in CO on first day of legalization”.

    3. Global warming cultists say hello.

      I’d like to agree with you, but like other issues of this genre, facts and logic just don’t play.

  3. It’s great that social conservatives like Buchanan are acknowledging the obvious. I wish more people would recognize Reason’s contribution.

    I don’t think other libertarian organizations engage the general public the way Reason does, and that is why I give Reason money.

    If some Doherty twenty years in the future writes a good book about how the libertarian transformation of American culture happened, there will have to be a big chapter about Reason.

    Now, if only we could convince the American people that letting people do what they want with their own money is just as important as gay marriage or yes-we-cannabis.

    1. I don’t think there’s anything I could smoke to make me that optimistic. But that shouldn’t stop me from trying!

    2. Now, if only we could convince the American people that letting people do what they want with their own money is just as important as gay marriage or yes-we-cannabis.

      That’ll never happen. The number of people that think it’s their duty to determine what’s right and wrong for everyone else has reached its critical mass. It’s more rules & regulations from here on out, I fear.

      1. We have an incredibly media savvy and charismatic, progressive in the White House, and that’s mostly just because people were sick of what Bush was doing in Iraq.

        This, too, shall pass.

        People will, someday, vote on their wallets and pocketbooks again. We’re just hoping that we can avoid the pain that comes from bad policy, but with or without that pain, reality will someday assert itself, and people will rediscover which way is up.

        And there have been taxpayer revolts in my lifetime. Oh, and even during the most progressive era since the Roosevelt Administration, there was a revolt against how much public union members were making–in Wisconsin, of all places!

        There are plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic.

        1. We have an incredibly media savvy and charismatic, progressive in the White House, and that’s mostly just because people were sick of what Bush was doing in Iraq.

          And the most populous state in the country is run by nitwit progs who have created massive unemployment and the highest poverty rate in the country. The most populous city in the country is also run by a Sandinista who is going to turn it into a third world kleptocracy.

          I do not share your optimism.

          1. Almost 40% of Californians voted for Romney.

            I know that’s supposed to be a landslide, but we’re talking about changing the minds of one or two out of ten voters.

            And most of those liberals were there back when California was the land of Nixon and Reagan, too. It’s always been kind of an extreme state–first you get Reagan and then you get Jerry Brown. First you get Pete Wilson, then you get Gray Davis…

            Also, California’s voting for Democrats, so overwhelmingly, isn’t an endorsement of their economic policies. It’s just that voters, everywhere from San Francisco to Southern California think that social issues are more important economic policy.

            They’d rather smash the budget than do anything to support a party they associate with immigrant bashing and open hostility to LGBT. It’s as simple as that. If Buchanan is right, and the rest of the country is becoming increasingly civil libertarian, then those issues should become increasingly less important to California’s voters.

            Ever see that bumper sticker, “Think Globally, Act Locally”? They’re serious about that.

            California’s voters send Democrats to Sacramento because of “legitimate rape” and other stupid shit people elsewhere in the country say. Tip O’Neil had it completely backwards for California; in California, all politics is national.

            1. Republicans invariably nominate someone terrible for every Senate race, so all Boxer and Feinstein have to do is remind women voters that they’re for “choice,” and everyone forgets what fascists those incumbents really are.

      2. The number of people that think it’s their duty to determine what’s right and wrong for everyone else has reached its critical mass. It’s more rules & regulations from here on out, I fear.

        I think there will be backlash. People will only take so much of it.

        The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

      3. I disagree anon.

        The social conservatives and liberals have different incompatible ideas about what offensive acts (that harm no one other than arguably the actor) they want to jail you for. E.G., the liberals would like to jail you for discriminating against homosexuals or perhaps taking a toy gun to school, while the social conservatives would like to jail you for burning the flag, watching porn, or for using the abortion pill (they used to be against the availability of contraception).

        The liberals and social conservatives might declare a truce and agree to not make offensive acts illegal. Especially if those libertarian/Tea Party types start getting more of the vote.

    3. Buchanan isn’t exactly a typical socon. He has some some very unconventional views for a socon, such as being extremely anti-interventionist or “isolationist” as the warmongers call it.

      1. That and he hates Jews.

        1. His anti-Semitism is actually related to his isolationism. He’s a VERY old fashioned conservative in the Charles Lindbergh mode.

          They actually were legitimate isolationists who wanted to close the borders, end free trade, and were not big fans of the scary Jewish Menace.

          1. Yeah, he’s a real deal paleoconservative, but he’s got these other traits, too.

            He’s sort of in the direction of Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell. I mean, he’s not a libertarian, by any means, but when they were writing those newsletters, back in ’90s, the people those newsletters were aimed at were the same people who were voting for Pat Buchanan.

        2. Yes, John, he hates them. He hates them.

        3. He hasn’t always said tactful things about Israel and Jews, but you have to admit, he’s often been targeted by those who think only an anti-Semite would question our support of that regime.

          1. Only a jew hater would oppose executing the wrong man for Nazi war crimes.

            Buchanan was excoriated and condemned for defending John Demjanuk. Moynihan did it on this website.

      2. I dont think there is any direct connection between soconism and views on intervention.

        Two different axes.

        1. Good luck telling that to half of the commenters here.

        2. Take a look at this:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Old_Right_(United_States)

          These were the SoCons who opposed the U.S. involvement in World War II.

          The “truthers” of the day had it that Pearl Harbor was something of an inside job. They said that FDR knew that Pearl Harbor was coming, and he could have saved the fleet, but he did nothing and let all those Americans die–and let the Japanese destroy the Pacific fleet–just so he could rally the isolationist American public into joining World War II.

          They were so conservative, they were really holding true to Washington’s caution about having no entangling alliances. This is the same strain of conservatism that evolved into the John Birch Society’s position on the UN.

          1. Anyone who values liberty should share the John Birch Society’s position on the UN

            1. You mean in being for it or against or for withdrawing from it, presumably.

              I thin reasonable people can disagree on that issue, but I don’t think reasonable people want to associate themselves with the John Birch Society’s reasons for doing so.

              I might agree with their “positions” on a number of issues, but, for goodness’ sake, so much of it sounds like this:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr2bSL5VQgM

              1. I meant, I might agree with some of their conclusions about policy, but how they get to their positions is pretty wacky sometimes.

                1. The same can be said of libertarians.Particularly the Paultard variety.

          2. “I dont think there is any direct connection between soconism and views on intervention.”

            If there was a connection, it came together out of two issues: free trade and what to do about communism.

            The isolationists were also generally hostile to free trade, and the conservatives who thought we should intervene abroad to fight communist tended to be pro-free trade.

            There was a time, in the United States, when some of our biggest unions were fundamentally enthusiastic about free trade, and they saw communism as as essentially a free trade barrier that was keeping goods, made by union workers, out of their markets.

            George Meany–head of the AFL-CIO–was an excellent example.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G…..l_election

        3. Yes, perhaps, I’m no expert and the term is rather nebulous but I can’t think of any socons who are close to being as anti-interventionist as Buchanan.

    4. I wish more people would recognize Reason’s contribution.

      Sloopy and Banjos kid….? What the hell has she done?!

      Wait what?

      1. She’ll be the John Connor of the libertarian moment. Just beware of time traveling assassins.

        1. Does it strike anyone else as weird that John Connor left Reese under the impression that Connor would destroy the time-dilation device (which obviously didn’t happen) behind him? Also, if the Skynet going rogue kept getting pushed back, how was Reese always able to come back as the same guy and make John Connor?

  4. Buchanan and the rest of the “conservative” drug warriors can go fuck themselves. There is nothing uniquely Libertarian about legalizing drugs. Legalizing drugs is classical liberalism.

    What half wits like David Brooks and Buchanan do not understand is that you either believe that people own themselves and law exists to govern their relations to each other and no more or you don’t. Classical liberalism is based on the principle that society has a self correcting mechanism. Individual people can often have an infinite apatite for self destruction, but society as a whole does not. Bad trends don’t go on to infinity. People see the mistakes of others and learn from it and society corrects itself. Having government come in and try to engineer that process is just as destructive as having government come in and centrally plan the economy.

    Once you stop over the line and say that government’s job is to make people and society better, you have become a species of progressive. You are no longer a classical liberal.

    1. Sure Brooks and Buchanan think weed is bad. Well, other people think overeating is bad. Who is anyone to say which side is right? Hell, some people would say Buchanan, by being a Catholic is damning himself to hell. Why not ban Catholicism and save him from that? Think about it, why do we have freedom of religion? Because it is not the government’s place to judge how someone lives or doesn’t live spiritually. But if it is the government’s job to improve people and save them from self harm, then in principle there is nothing wrong with banning a religion, provided the government has concluded practicing that religion is bad for people.

      No classical liberal should ever advocate drug prohibition. Regulation? Sure. It doesn’t mean they are libertarians. But it is one area where Libertarians and classical liberals should agree.

      1. I think your distinction between libertarian and classical liberal is too wide.

        1. Libertarians tend to be transnationalists, which classical liberals are not and libertarians would object to quality of life regulations like zoning and such and classical liberals wouldn’t. There is still a distinction.

          Libertarians would say I can open a pot selling stall in my front yard. Classical liberals would say, smoke all the pot you like, but once you start doing things that adversely affect the people around you, the government can regulate it. What neither believes is that the indirect effect of you damaging yourself is something the government can regulate.

          1. I disagree with your definition.

            I would say that all libertarians are classical liberals but that not all classical liberals are libertarian.

            Classical liberals are a superset which includes some of the things you say.

      2. I hear you, but many people evidently work from the unspoken assumption that it is the government’s job to improve other people and save them from self-harm. When I speak the unspoken assumption, they become purple with rage but cannot tell me what their fundamental principle is, if not that. Of course, I don’t change their minds, but fence-sitters can see who has a principled argument and who doesn’t.

      3. The problem is people like Buchanan (and possibly Brooks) disagree with the idea that my drug use does not harm you in any way.

        They believe that there is some sort of societal cooties that infects people if the government allows certain things like drugs or gay sex. That merely allowing these things to exist causes moral harm to everyone.

        Basically they believe that they have a right to live in a drug free society and therefore legalizing drugs is infringing on their rights.

        1. Basically they believe that they have a right to live in a drug free society and therefore legalizing drugs is infringing on their rights.

          Just like today’s liberals believe that having health care bills infringes on people’s rights, therefore denying single payer healthcare is to deny people’s freedom.

          And they’re both wrong – because not criminalizing something (like free market health care or weed) is not the same thing as wholesale acceptance of that thing.

    2. Brooks is MAXIMUM DUMB at all times. But Pat Buchanan is a frustrating guy. Sometimes he’s so incredibly smart, and sometimes he’s this incredibly stupid. I don’t get it.

      1. A lot of smart people are stupid on drugs. Jonah Goldberg can be a very smart and interesting writer. Yet, on drugs he cites Brooks with approval and says he is okay with pot legalization but not with “narcotics”

        I think it is mostly that they don’t understand the concept of collective wisdom and thus at heart don’t believe that society will eventually find an equilibrium and sort things out itself if allowed to do so. They think certain things, mostly drugs but for some of them sex and other vice, is “different” and special such that society won’t ever sort things out on its own.

        What they fail to realize is that progressives think the same thing just about different stuff and once you admit that it is the government’s role to improve society, you really can’t say the Progs are wrong you can just say “but I like my big macs and my handguns”.

        1. They think certain things, mostly drugs but for some of them sex and other vice, is “different” and special such that society won’t ever sort things out on its own.

          I like your theory here, but I’d say that society has already gotten its shit sorted out. We just hide it from the law.

          1. Remember the “crack epidemic”? People like Brooks were convinced that within a few years every baby in America would be a crack baby if something wasn’t done. Instead, “on crack” became a punchline to a joke as people saw that using crack was a really stupid idea. And sure enough the “epidemic” petered out on its own.

            1. Exactly. It’s almost as if the law is irrelevant. But don’t tell pols that; they might make a law to make that illegal.

              1. On this kind of stuff it is. The law is very relevent in crimes that have victims. In those cases the law provides a way for people to get justice in a uniform and hopefully fair way.

                In a sense the law doesn’t exist to keep you from stealing. If you are a thief chances are you will steal no matter what. The law exists to keep the guy you steal from from resorting to physical violence in response.

                1. Pedantic, but

                  The law exists to keep the guy you steal from from resorting to physical violence in response.

                  Is only partially correct – to help prevent people from actively seeking justice outside the legal system you need both the law and correct enforcement of it.

    3. Buchanan and the rest of the “conservative” drug warriors can go fuck themselves. There is nothing uniquely Libertarian about legalizing drugs. Legalizing drugs is classical liberalism.

      On this, we agree 100%.

  5. Also gays can get married.

    We’re living in a veritable libertarian paradise.

  6. Libertarians are all about dropping out of high school in order to get into more automobile accidents.

    1. When a teenaged mother gets pregnant at a marijuana orgy, a libertarian gets its wings.

      1. Somehow that turns me on, just a little bit.

      2. Hey, we gotta get our monocle polishing workers somewhere

  7. Those fucking potheads! They’re of no use to Society!

    Nevermind what they want! I demand more drones!

    /buchanan

    1. Now, now, Buchanan is with us on FP and drones. If we continue to praise him when he is right, and argue respectfully when he is wrong, we’ll have a much better chance of making him, like Joe Sobran, a hard-core AnCap.

  8. The horror.

    The HORROR.

    1. Denver. Shit. I’m still in fuckin’ Denver. **takes drag of join**

  9. Buchanan is not a fan of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, saying that the end of pot prohibition in the U.S. will lead to “more high school dropouts…

    Well, Pat, you should look at the bright side, you dumbass. That means more mindless automatons out there to take jobs as prison guards in the most incarcerated country on the planet.

  10. it never occurs to the chattering class this outbreak of libertarianism could be related to 1) people grasping that prohibition of any sort is pointless, 2) that a massive police state is something we used to be against, 3) that thinking something should be legal is not the same as wanting to rush out and do it, 4) that being everyone’s nanny is not something govt is good at, and 5) that the WOD, like all other govt “wars”, has been a failure.

    1. More and more people are saying out loud that the war on drugs is a failure.

      It’s a total waste of money, blatantly targets minorities in this country, and is wreaking absolute social and economic havoc along a 4000 mile stretch of Latin America.

      Legalize everything. If a person CHOOSES to abuse a drug, make sure s/he can find the necessary resources to get better without fear of incarceration/stigmatism.

      1. I don’t know about everything. There is 1 class of drugs I can think of that there is a legitimate argument for legal controls on because large masses of people really are too stupid/lazy to use them correctly and improper use of them really does create a direct risk for everyone else.

        Obviously we don’t need a war on antibiotic use but I think there is a solid justification to their being legal proscriptions on their use outside of the supervision of a trained medical expert.

        1. It hurts me deep inside to say so, but I have to agree. In a world full of people who think that GMOs are poisoning them, that all hand soap needs to be antibacterial and that vaccines make kids retarded, I fear free access to antibiotics would be a disaster.

          1. Nobody outside a few purists will bitch about controlled antibiotics because nobody seeks out antibiotics for the fun of their effects (except maybe a few purists).

            Even if antibiotics were OTC, what would be the business plan for an antibiotics maker? The R&D costs for a useful one, coupled with the the short time span of effectiveness, means you’d have to charge a very high price to perpetuate the next rounds of R&D. Naturally the state would call that price gouging and would either kill the industry with price controls or step in and control how many people could gain access so as to effectively extend the lifespan of the drug. But we would get an abundance of rarely-effective antibiotic OTC products (much like the OTC antibiotic products today).

    2. Or maybe people just wanna get high.

  11. There really is no convincing people like Buchanan for whom drugs are a moral issue. No amount of facts, logic or reason can convince someone who feels that drug dealers are the same as murderers and rapists, because they did not arrive at their belief through facts, logic or reason.

    1. does the morality wing really draw a distinction between drug dealers and drug users? I don’t think those folks see the difference.

      1. I think many regard dealers as predators and users as victims.

      2. does the morality wing really draw a distinction between drug dealers and drug users? I don’t think those folks see the difference.

        I’m not from the morality wing and the only difference I see is supplier and consumer. If dealers are bad guys it’s because the government has forced good guys from the market.

    2. I think you can have moral qualms against something without wanting to make it illegal, as long as it stays personal. For example, I used to bartend and eventually stopped because I felt like I was encouraging alcoholism. (part of it was I worked for a number of employers and they never let me use my discretion in cutting drunks off..they just cared about making more money) However, I don’t even go so far as to judge other people who bartend…much less want to restore prohibition.

  12. Nietzsche discusses the difference between the morality taught to the slave and the morality followed by the master. Brooks and Buchanan believe–at a fundamental level–that humans are something that is owned, whether it be by their “God” or society or another man who holds the “superior” morality of the master. The morality they advocate for the rest of us is that we be good stewards of their property so that it remain useful to them.

    They are really no different than the socialists they claim to oppose.

    1. Buchanan and Brooks are both fascist, a marriage of corporatism (rhetorically disguised as “free market” though in reality comply crony capitalism) and social engineering similar to communism.

      Buchanan is at least rather upfront about his disgusting views and so is easily discounted; Brooks using is softer “reasonable” language is much more dangerous.

      1. Ach, sorry about the typos…

      2. I think they’re simply authoritarians. They think we need social “structure” in the same way small children benefit from family structure. And our betters need to design systems in which we can comfortably conform. This is particularly true of Brooks.

    2. Bam! Nice comparison Shug. Nailed it.

  13. saying that the end of pot prohibition in the U.S. will lead to “more high school dropouts and more automobile accidents involving marijuana.”
    ——-
    Citation, please!

    Oh yeah, that’s right. There are no cites to that statistic because it’s just fearmongering.

  14. …more automobile accidents involving marijuana.

    But they’re all driving 15 miles an hour.

    1. Up In Smoke was a documentary.

  15. Pat Buchanan surrendered on the War on Drugs long ago:

    Americans are never going to adopt the Maoist solution. For the users of drugs are all too often classmates, colleagues, friends, even family. Indeed, our last three presidents did not deny using drugs.

    There is an abundance of confirmation bias and a dearth of reading comprehension in most of the above comments.

    1. More likely a dearth of reading, if anything. Who has time to actually read the article?

      1. There was an article?

    2. “There is an abundance of confirmation bias and a dearth of reading comprehension in most of the above comments.”

      It’s because of the cosmotarianism, isn’t it?

      1. More like because you’re a fucking retard.

        1. Take a fucking joke SIV.

    3. You are the retard SIV. Buchanan surrendered on the drug war because he thinks America has become so decadent it can’t be won. He didn’t have some kind of change of heart and think that drug laws are bad. No he just thinks they won’t work here because we have surrender our values so much.

      What Buchanan is saying in your link is that America deserves the horrors of legalized drugs. My criticisms above still stand.

      1. That’s why he cites his old colleague from the Nixon administration, Milton Friedman?

        That column is as close as you’ll get for Buchanan to do a 180 on the WoDs. His whole schtick is writing jeremiads about the decline of America. In that column he posits a dichotomy of Milton Friedman vs Mao on drug policy. He dismisses Mao’s approach as un-American thereby tacitly endorsing total legalization.

        You’re wrong on Jonah Goldberg too. The editorial position of his employer is for drug legalization and, IIRC, he said he’d accept it if it meant significantly rolling government back overall.

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