DEA: "Every Single Parent" Opposes Pot Legalization. Except For All the Ones That Don't.


Thomas Harrigan (above) is deputy administrator of the Drug Enforcement Adminstration (DEA).

Yesterday, reports The Huffington Post, he told the House Services Committee that "Marijuana destroys lives and families, undermines our economy, and insults our common values." 

When pressed by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) to define those "common values" -especially since a majority of Americans support pot legalization—Harrigan softened his stance:

…pressed by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Harrigan said that "every single parent out there" opposed marijuana legalization.

"Your statement that all parents are against this is ludicrous," said Cohen. "What do you think, that people who are in favor of decriminalization or changing policy don't procreate?"

Harrigan later adjusted his statement, claiming that "most parents would be opposed to this." When Cohen pointed out that 55 percent of Americans now support legalization, Harrigan asked if all of them were parents. He insisted he had based his opinions on "medical and scientific fact, and not public opinion."

"You haven't kept up with society, you haven't kept up with science, it's part of the problem," Cohen told Harrigan.

More at HuffPost.

Even the try-hard prohibitionists at The Partnership for a Drug-Free America admit that some (read: many) parents support legalization.

This seems like a good time to repost our 2010 video, "3 Reasons to Legalize Pot Now!"

Bonus points if you can identify the music being played during this discussion of the "hula hoop of the Jet Generation."

NEXT: Ban the Dollar!

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 or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Say, I’m a parent. I’ve never smoked (or otherwise consumed) pot, nor do I particularly want my kids to. Yet I favor legalization.

    Maybe the DEA defines “parent” differently than I do?

    1. Count me in your club.

      1. I am identical in those respects as well.

        1. Well maybe you should all start. Jesus, you guys are squares. Pot is milder than alcohol by far, no hangover, no nothing.

          1. Someday…but I can brew, and DMAN well (as will be evidenced in my victory in the AHA competition) but my Hops, which is a fucking weed AND very closely related to actual weed, is doing very poorly…after 7 years I have had three decent harvests and that is it. I can’t grow shit but I can rot it.

            1. My hops are similar. I think they don’t get as much light as they need where they are (although it’s a fairly well lit area) and I probably need longer strings for them to grow (they just go to the roof of my garage).

            2. They need full sun. I gave up on mine because I’m in a valley surrounded by tall trees.

              1. My Liberty has been moved to full sun and has apporx 25′ (peak of vaulted 2nd story) to climb. My Cascade actually likes being a parasite to my shademaster locust but has a bug/fungus problem i can’t figure out.

              2. Hrm. Maybe I should try growing hops. God knows I’ve got sun aplenty in New Mexico.

            3. Where you live? Do you have full sun? You can forget growing farm crops in most typical suburban yards where there is far from full day sun. The best places to grow hops would be the East coast including and north of let’s say Maryland, or California up to the pacific northwest. It’s a European plant, so I doubt it handles the East’s hot summers well. Cali would be perfect, but you’re gonna have to irrigate. I would imagine the Pacific NorthWest would be ideal. I’m assuming any hot southern areas are too hot, and are far less than ideal, though of course still doable.

              though huge caveat this is all conjecture from the fact it’s a European plant originally and from what I know about other similar garden food plants that are also European. The Old world crops tend to be finnickky about heat, and need good moisture

              1. It’s a European plant, so I doubt it handles the East’s hot summers well. […] The Old world crops tend to be finnickky about heat, and need good moisture.

                Or, um, maybe not, then. 😉 (Re: growing hops in New Mexico)

          2. As the Most High Platonic Square of the Federation of the Squarest Squares in Squaretown we appreciate your opinion; we won’t pay any attention to it, but we do appreciate it.

            1. (takes hit off bong)

              Whatever, dude. Dave’s not here.

              1. right

            2. Episiarch has pharmacological goals for humanity that are inconsistent with abstaining from psychotropic drugs.

              1. I wish to subscribe to this newsletter.

                1. See, he believes that if each sapient creature in the universe were stoned in the exact same way at the exact same time, the universe would permanently become a happy place. With psychedelic colors and styles from the 60s.

                  1. My God… We have to get Top Men on this right away. I’d volunteer, but I’m not quite qualified. … Also that sounds like a lot of work.

                    1. It requires massive advances in neuroscience, pharmacology, physics, manned spaceflight, and intergalactic relations.

                    2. ….You just want to fuck a green-skinned woman.

                    3. Not I, being happily married to a not-green-skinned woman, but there’s young Auric to consider.

                  2. Here on Earth, I try to do my 1/6,000,000,000.

              2. Hey Libertate, by any chance do yo run the blog Pro Libertate, or

          3. It’s been many years since I smoked but I have recently reconsidered the usage because of migraines. Problem is I’m not in a friendly state.

            1. It doesn’t work for migraines, unfortunately. Doesn’t relieve intracranial pressure.

            2. Try mushrooms. A friend and a co-worker of mine suffer from cluster headaches and they both swear by them. Half a gram is sufficient.

          4. I have had a few pot hangovers — probably more than booze hangovers, since I drink so little.

          5. “no hangover”

            Well, in the sense of no throbbing morning after head, you’re right. But the active ingredient in pot hangs around longer. When I was ‘experimenting” (read “young and dumb”) I noticed that smoking pot made me mentally sluggish for a couple-three days. Maybe that was just me, but people I’ve talked to also claim to have experienced it.

            I’m not for The War On Drugs, but I dislike the “pot isn’t as bad as booze” argument. If you can take it or leave it, pot is relatively harmless. But the same could probably be said for heroin.

            1. If you use it habitually, the psychological effects of sluggishness go away, actually you dont even really get high in the same way that a regular user does, you just kinda do it like cigarettes the brain catches up and adapts to it at any rate, just like any functional alcoholic I have been both in my days and i have to say the difference is that one destabilizes me emotionally and the other had the effect of stabilizing negative emotions so i could function in daily society as a normal productive individual
              Could it be said that some people experience psychotropic effects differently then others, and that for some a “bong rip” will not be pleasurable but associated with the paranoia and intense effect of the first few times of use that probably makes up the “i tried it and i think it should be illegal” crowd
              Not that it was ever anyone’s place to say it was illegal according the the constitution but FYTW

        2. Add me to that list. (1) Parent, (2)never used pot, and (3) favor legalization.

          1. 1. Parent
            2. Currently do not use only as a result of employment
            3. In Favor

    2. The deputy administrator of the Drug Enforcement Adminstration (if that is a real job) means the “good” parents oppose the demon weed.
      The “bad” parents will be investigated and their children placed under the loving care of the State.

      1. Um, then I retract my statement.

        1. As do I (after reading further down).

          1. I don’t have any kids, so he can have my seminal fluid. On his face.

    3. Maybe the DEA defines “parent” differently than I do?

      Great idea! CPS will be about shortly.

    4. What Pro Libertate has said is unimportant, and we do not hear his words.

    5. You’re a sick puppy Pro Lib.

      1. Yes, I know, I’m not a good libertarian.

    6. I’ve never smoked (or otherwise consumed) pot

      What a square…

    7. Your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Also, that describes me as well, except that I smoked pot a couple of times, once in High School and once in college. So I’m a monster.

    8. Maybe the DEA defines “parent” differently than I do?

      They only count parents who are fit to raise children.

      If you favor legalization, you are not fit to raise children.

      CONSENSUS! The science is settled.

      1. I’m already an unperson for believing that free markets and very limited government are the way to go.

    9. I’m a parent, and I HAVE smoked pot, and I am totally in favor of legalization. And not just because it would make my life somewhat more convenient, although that’s a plus.

    10. Dude, Nick needs to grow a beard and get a sweet fade.

    11. If I was a parent, I’d definitely support legalisation. I would much rather have a kid who was a stoner than a felon or a corpse.

  2. When the government catches you with Marijuana it destroys lives and families, undermines our economy, and insults our common values.”


    1. “…insults our common values.” Where in the fuck do you even begin to specifically list what our “common values” are?

      1. The only common value I can find that binds the United States of America is… football. Seriously. And maybe hamburgers and fries.

        1. I only recognize Nebraska football. Hamburgers and fries it is.

        2. And maybe hamburgers and fries.


        3. Sports are lame unless participating, I cant fucking stand watching sports unless you include Ultimate Submission a sport.
          Burgers and Fries it is

      2. He means it insults the common values of the police, like the freedom to run around breaking down doors and shooting people with impunity.

  3. All those parents in prison for marijuana related offenses oppose legalization?

    1. Those are by definition bad parents, so they don’t count as “parents”.

      1. Yes, he amended his statement to: “All TRUE parents oppose legalization.”

    2. As their children have now been taken away by the state, these poor, misguided souls are no longer “parents”.

  4. Maybe Harrigan is concerned that with less prohibition, there will be less need for prohibition enforcers? Nah, that couldn’t be it, he’s just concerned about teh childrenz.

  5. DEA: “Every Single Parent” Opposes Pot Legalization.

    What’s the percentage on married parents?

    1. Bleh, everyone knows that it’s the parents that take their kids to get diagnosed with ADD and then hoard the adderall for themselves. Pot is so mid 2000s. Legal and prescribed meth is the way to go nowadays.

      1. It has its complications. I just moved to Texas and apparently can’t get my Minnesota prescription cashed out for Ritalin, since it’s a Schedule 2 substance and has to be issued by a Texas physician. Gotta protect those Texas doctors from missing a BMW payment!

  6. Some medical pot probably would’ve worked wonders for Frank Schrader after his PTSD episodes and *SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT WATCHED BREAKING BAD* being shot in the spine. Imagine the foaming at the mouths by real DEA agents that would’ve occurred had that been written into the show. Damn you AMC.

    1. If Walter White was a genius botanist that figured out a way to grow top quality marijuana, the show could only have been a comedy.

      1. Maybe they could have called it Weeds.

        1. The first two seasons of Weeds were great. And then they started moving around and shit.

          1. I watched the first three or four on Netflix, and yeah. I should have quit after the second one.

      2. Or Leaves of Grass

        1. GOOD MOVIE! My sigother rented it, and I thought it was going to be a comedy, which I seldom find funny. But then it turns out that it was NOT some stupid Omar Looses His Car At White Castle, or some thing equally stupid. Fine movie, I recommend it to anyone who has not watched it.

    2. Yeah Frank would have done the medicinal marijuana, but his cousin Hank –a DEA agent–talked him out of it.

      1. Haha, whoops, wonder which Frank I had on my mind when I made that typo…

  7. All parents who don’t belong in jail.

  8. Yesterday, reports The Huffington Post, he told the House Services Committee that “Marijuana destroys lives and families, undermines our economy, and insults our common values.”

    They live in their own little world, don’t they?

    An evil, twisted, grotesque, despicable nightmare world.

    I wish they’d stay there, and leave the rest of us alone.

    1. As I said this morning…

      The sorts of people who used to burn witches 300 years ago didn’t go away. They still walk among us; just as superstitious; just as evil; just as prone to violence.

      1. That’s why we have a constitution……
        now im sad

  9. Glad to see his position openly mocked in Congress.

    1. Now if only Congress could amend the Schedule, since the president has made it clear that he can’t.

      1. But damn can he and Sloppy Joe run! Well, er, jog, jog at a mild pace.

      2. Yeah, which is such BS! Changing pot to a different classification is well within his authority:
        “Two federal agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration, determine which substances are added to or removed from the various schedules”
        Nowhere, however, does the ACA give the Administration any authority in adjusting the dates by which individuals or companies have to be in compliance, yet Obama feels free to change those at his whim.

        1. Incidentally, ‘”Drug Czar” was a term first used in the media by then-Senator Joe Biden in October 1982.[2][3]’
          according to Wikipedia.

          The more you know…

      3. Yeah, it’s funny that Mr. Make It Rain With Executive Orders suddenly finds something he can’t do or order someone else to do. Um, you realize you have no more elections to worry about, right, Mr. President?

  10. “Marijuana Prohibition destroys lives and families, undermines our economy, and insults our common values.”

  11. “As a Libertarian”, I completely oppose this presumption of a dogmatic and monolithic point-of-view attributed to a diverse community with a wide array of priorities and personal interests.

    1. Why the scare quotes, bro?

      1. sigh.

        try again, but replace libertarian with ‘parent’.

        1. Put down the weed, wait three hours, then try again.

        2. Put down the weed, wait three hours, then try again.

          1. …says me the double poster. Stupid, stoned squirrels.

  12. It must be difficult to suffer through a sea change that threatens your power to control others.

  13. Parent of almost three kids (May 29th!), don’t use, and not only do I support decriminalization but full legalization of all drugs, decoupling of prescriptions from pharmacies or even requiring prescriptions at all, and telling government officials to fuck off. Granted, I’m an outlier in most circles, present company excluded, but fuck this oppressor for claiming we have common values. We have values. And we have government. Rarely the two coincide.

    1. Congratulations on your impending spawn!

      Also, *high five*

  14. Also,

    “Bonus points if you can identify the music being played during this discussion of the “hula hoop of the Jet Generation”

    I think ‘Something by Grateful Dead’ is probably a safe bet?

    1. nope. “eight miles high” by the byrds.

  15. You mean a prohibitionist lied and then, when caught in the lie, attempted damage control? Let me put on my hemp-fiber shocked face.

    1. he may have conferred beforehand with Clapper but apparently missed the part about least untruthful answer and went full retard. And what do we all know where that is concerned?

  16. I’m the Basil Marceaux of weed – I think it should be illegal not to use it.

    1. I find your ideas intriguing and would like to roll a fat one with your newsletter.

      1. Don’t bogart that newsletter, my friend.

  17. How can the consumption of a PLANT destroy lives, families, etc.?

    Do you think some married mild-mannered accountant with 2.4 kids is going to turn into a psychotic homeless person after taking a few puffs? No. He’ll continue being a married mild-mannered accountant with 2.4 kids. Unless he’s caught possessing the marijuana; in which case, depending on where he lives, his life, family, career, etc., could end up being destroyed.

    Drug warriors focus too much on the harm drugs can do when abused. Well, duh. Abusing anything can be harmful. Public policy should be focused towards helping those who are abusing to make sure they don’t actually end up destroying their lives and families, not ostracizing them like current policy does.

    1. It’s bad because it’s artificial. Natural highs, like the high you get when you bust down someone’s door, shoot their dog, and hold a gun to the head of the nearest child, now that’s natural and good.

    2. I listen to a lot of old radio dramas from the 40s and 50s. Mostly detective shows. The reefer madness in them is pretty incredible, even considering the time and place they come from. Pot is one of the most addictive substances in the world, you see, and using it will make any man violent ::takes a long drag off his 20th cigarette of the past 4 hours::

      Most of us have grown up from that kind of thinking and realized the truth. Guys like this haven’t.

      1. He knows the truth. Nobody in his position can be that stupid and ignorant. He’s consciously lying to protect his power and status.

        1. Well, soon he’ll have the status of used asswipe. It looks like that’s what he’s aiming for.

    3. Kinda depends on the plant, don’t it? Opium has a long and lurid history of abuse, not all of which was made up by the State when the Right Men decided to save us from it. And there are plenty of hysterics, some of whom are probably pro-pot, who will maintain until their dying breath that Tobacco destroys the lives of the innocent. Some plants are outright drop-dead-15-minutes-after-ingesting poisonous.

      And, come to think of it, I’ve seen a family destroyed by model trains.

  18. I am a parent and have been a kid. I’ve smoked and am pretty sure my boys have, too. Despite the pull of the evil weed, we’ve all managed to be productive citizens. And somehow, I have resisted from dictating what all other parents must do. Which probably means I am on some watch list. (As if posting here wasn’t enough.)

  19. That picture of the dog looks almost exactly like my Duke. Boxers are such sweet babies.

    Even though I am not sure how he would be around plants, since I don’t grow, I know that a couple of hits blown into his face seem to make him quite happy.

  20. Why the fuck does anyone care what that jackbooted thug has to say? Legalize pot, and fire his useless ass.


  21. Parent, haven’t used pot in 25 years, for legalization.

    Pot can’t fuck over my kids nearly as much as the drug warriors could.

  22. Bonus points if you can identify the music being played during this discussion of the “hula hoop of the Jet Generation.”

    The Byrds, Eight Miles High, live.

    Ok, where’s my bonus points, and what can I redeem for them?

  23. I want to get all of your kids high and then watch videos of cats on YouTube with them.

    1. The cool kids only watch Russian car crash compilation videos.

      1. While getting their cats high.

    2. If I have kids, I know who’s babysitting!

  24. Fuck off, Harrigan, and go back to your radio show, I’m sure Hudson misses you. 😛

    (Yeah, I know, not many people outside of a few cities are gonna get that.)

  25. The prohibitionists’ descent into irrelevance continues apace.

  26. Even if it were true, my standard answer applies:

    Fuck your kids.

    1. Um, I happen to think that should remain illegal.

    2. That’s harming another person and not one in a position to object. I know all to well.

      Definitely should stay against the law … unless both are adults and at least one of them is sterile.

  27. Politicians want weed legalized so they can tax it like alcohol because they are running low on revenue. A carton of Marlboros runs about $80.00 dollars and a beer is about $2.50 and a mixed drink is about $5.00. People are quitting tobacco and alcohol. Alcohol because of the strong laws of a DUI and to smoke you almost need to leave town. The government doesn’t give a hoot about your health, they want the money.

  28. Sounds like Harrigan has been smoking crack. The bureaucrat is worried that jobs including his own are vulnerable to being lost with the legalization of Marijuana.

    Marijuana arrest and prosecution are more than half of his business.

  29. We own our own bodies… that’s just crazy talk.

  30. Whatta crock! I am a parent & a grandparent. Heck, it was my kids who got me re-interested in cannabis. I am a recovered hippy. I know a bit about MJ. Wife had me busted in the 80’s so I quit for about 15 years. She smoked our tiny monthly stash all the time & we argued. She got huffed & left.

    I also have had a back disease & insomnia [car rear ended by a DRUNK] since those years. I use MJ to help me sleep & do pain free exercising of my back & neck. I have spinal curvature.

    The lobbyists must be treating this liar really well. He makes a fool of himself right out in public no less. Must be getting a nice hunka $$.

    For some good info look up Fully Informed Jury Association. Jury nullification is making a comeback tour across the USA.


  31. Just another talking head trying to protect his job and civil service pension. [Yawn]

  32. Cannabis shall be removed from CSA “Schedule I”, and placed in “CSA Subchapter I, Part A, ?802. Definitions, paragraph (6)”, appended to the list “distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco”, where it will STILL be the least-toxic in the category [by several orders of magnitude].

    Anything short of THAT is UNACCEPTABLE.


  33. I’m a parent and I support legalization, not only of pot, but of all drugs that do not directly harm any person other than the one who KNOWINGLY takes (or smokes) them. I put knowingly in caps because what you think you’re buying had better be what you think it is. That comes under general business laws, but I think it bears mentioning.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.