Drug Policy

Nick Gillespie vs. Patrick Kennedy, Talking Pot Legalization Tonight TOMORROW on CNN


UPDATED, 4:45PM ET: This has been bumped and rescheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday) night. Will keep you posted.

Last night, I discussed pot legalization on CNN's Erin Burnett: OutFront with guest host Don Lemon and CNN Legal Analyst Dan Callan. The starting point of the discussion was President Obama's recent acknowledgement that pot "is no more dangerous than alcohol."

Watch the segmant above or by going here.

I'll be back on OutFront again tonight, around 7.10pm ET, continuing the discussion about ending the war on pot. Don Lemon is back as guest host and we'll be joined by former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), who cofounded the anti-marijuana group Project SAM since leaving Congress.

Read my new Daily Beast article, "Ending the War on Pot is Obama's Last Chance for a Legacy."

NEXT: Declassified Court Orders Show the NSA Provided the FBI With "Tips" Two or Three Times a Day

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  1. One argument I hear and read over and over lately is that the pot is so much stronger now. Big deal, so is laundry detergent. Now we use less and still get clean cloths.

    1. So you admit you’re addicted to laundry detergent?

    2. The “pot is so much stronger now” is the amazingly hypocritical whining of people who used to smoke pot, haven’t for years and years, and then somebody gives them a new strain and they smoke it like it was ditch weed, because that’s probably what they were smoking 20-30 years ago.

      There are so many strains of weed now, you can get something tailored to what you like. Don’t want it too strong? Here you go. Don’t want it to trippy? Here you go. Want it to make you sleepy? Here you go.

      The dopes who come in and go “waaahhhh, this is too strong” are like people who stopped drinking 20 years ago and then try Bacardi 151 as their first experience drinking again. Bad idea; you might want to start with the Imperial Pilsner from Rogue first.

      It’s kind of mindblowing watching a new generation of pundits and entertainers suddenly act like old farts, just like the boomers did before them when they hit a certain age. It’s also pathetic.

      1. It is very silly when people who clearly don’t enjoy being stoned use their own subjective experience as an argument for continued criminalization.

        1. Not only that, but the outright hypocrisy is amazing, seeing as they had to have smoked pot in their youth to even be able to go “it’s stronger now”. So, once again, it was ok for them but the kids these days can go fuck themselves.

  2. Did Kennedy and Sabet invent Project SAM as anything other than a way to get on talking head shows that are desperate to find “balance” for their panels on pot legalization?

  3. Come on, is that a punchable face?

    1. It’s a face that deserves repeated bludgeoning with a meat tenderizer.

  4. Will Pablo Escobar’s great grandson be leading the fight for alcohol prohibition?

    1. So, coke:alcohol::alcohol:pot?

  5. I hear legal pot is being sold over the counter in CO. Game over. I’ve had my fill of Refer Madness. We can afford to ignore these fuckwads now.

  6. is it me or has the pot question become the distraction of the day. Sure, let’s spend a lot of time energy debating something that neither side particularly wants to change. Govt does not give up on its wars that easily.

    1. Some days I think that all politics is a distraction and neither side particularly wants change on anything.

      Be that as it may, I think there is plenty of time in the day to discuss pot issues as well as anything else.

  7. I just learned that this site exists:


  8. As a committed contrarian I’m starting to see which way the wind blows and have decided that pot legalization is wrong.

    1. Seems to me if a pol wanted to play both sides of the fence he would leverage “the children” issue. Without getting into the viability of these studies and polls there are certainly a number of them that show or claim to show coorelation between addiction and early use and they have been pretty consistant for decades. Just say they’re going to focus the drug war on enforcement against mj sales to minors and ignore adult purchases and usage. Instead of saying the WOD is wrong they can then just say it lacks focus and it needs to focus on early teenage use. I think with legalization you’ll see less sales to minors because you’re taking the black market players out, but this way they can take the credit for that even though they won’t deserve it.


  9. The argument I particularly like is the “send a message to the children” by keeping pot illegal. When I tried pot in the 1970’s the message I got, loud and clear, was that adults were liars and hypocrites.

  10. Oooh, the last thing that fashionable-eyeglass-wearing prick said just burned me up. He’s a hipster that is a little too old to be a hipster.

    But he said, “The founding fathers didn’t say anything about pot!” with the same smug, condescending countenance that hipsters have mastered. God, there’s nothing worse than someone who’s saying something horrifically wrong while holding a smug grin on their face. Punchable indeed.

  11. How could the same mind contain both of these thoughts:

    “Alcohol prohibition didn’t work!”


    “I think pot should be prohibitited!”


    1. The only think going on in that mind is two monkeys playing ping pong. Unfortunately that doesnt stop them from speaking.

  12. Hi Nick,

    You say: “the economy is still barely stumbling forward into an uncertain future”

    The economy grew at an annual growth rate of 4.1% for the third quarter of 2013. The DOW is up by 139% since hitting its lows in March, 2009. NASDAQ is up by 270% since January, 2009. Why are you so grumpy? Were you like the rest of the libertarians who got AuGonist fever and decided to put all your money in gold bricks because the US economy was going to collapse once Obama and his socialists got into office. Sucks to be you.

    “There’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president.”

    He also said in the very next sentence that there were probably black people and white people who voted for me because I’m black. Nice that intellectuals like you put things, you know, in context. You were intending to be fair, right?

    Let’s say it was an isolated remark… could anyone say it was false?

    “he could likely count on the support of characters such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.”

    Yes, two idols of the libertarian movement who would like, among other things, to get the government involved in forcing women to carry their babies to term and who think its the governments business to determine who can and cannot marry each other.

  13. I enjoy being on a libertarian website that has so many pop-up ads to promote economic liberty (and, hilariously, an ad for Obamacare) that basically anywhere I click brings me to a right-wing fellow traveller website or, you know, healthcare.gov. You guys are doing your part to enroll libertarians in Obamacare…

  14. “Ending the War on Pot is Obama’s Last Chance for a Legacy.”

    -or he could just point out that he ended two brutal, illegal, immoral, and wasteful wars that his predecessor got us into. Or that he ended discrimination against gays in the military. Or that you have a reasonable chance to get married in the country if you are gay. Or that he didn’t Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran/North Korea/Syria/North Ossetia like a majority of libertarian-loving Republicans wanted him to.

    Nick, I quite enjoyed the piece here… https://reason.com/archives/201…..am#comment

    Can you explain why a President with what should be a defensible record for libertarians gets no love in the comments section to such a reasonable argument? I make the argument that most rank-and-file libertarians are either crackpots, wannabe cult leaders, or Republicans. Is there another explanation that I’ve missed?

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