Marijuana

Attacking Marijuana Legalization, Bill Bennett Explains Why Better Pot Is Worse and Why Adults Must Be Treated Like Children

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Back in 1998, when the federal government unveiled a new batch of anti-drug ads, I noted that widespread experience with marijuana had made the anti-pot propagandist's job more difficult: People tend to be skeptical of tall tales about psychoactive substances when they themselves have tried those substances or know others who have without suffering any noticeable harm. That phenomenon, I suggested, "helps explain why government officials continue to insist that marijuana is either more dangerous than it used to be or more dangerous than we used to think."

Bill Bennett, who when I wrote that column was already a former drug czar and has now held that position for 24 years, is still pushing both prongs of this argument, trying to make a familiar drug seem newly exotic and threatening. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece co-authored by Robert A. White, a former federal prosecutor, Bennett argues that "legal pot is a public health menace" because today's cannabis is stronger than the stuff that Journal readers smoked in college and because recent research shows that it damages teenagers' brains.

There is no denying that marijuana nowadays is typically stronger—i.e. better—than it used to be, although I am not sure what Bennett means when he says "it is often at least five times stronger." In any case, why does Bennett insist that better marijuana is worse? "With increased THC levels come increased health risks," he says, citing the Colorado man who killed his wife after eating marijuana-infused candy and the visiting college student who jumped off a hotel balcony in Denver after eating a pot cookie. The fact that prohibitionists endlessly recycle these two "marijuana-related deaths" suggests that things in Colorado, where recreational use has been legal since the end of 2012, must be going pretty well. How many alcohol-related deaths has the state seen during the same period?

Another problem with Bennett's evidence: He seems to have forgotten that he was supposed to be explaining why stronger pot is more hazardous to your health (a somewhat counterintuitive claim, since higher potency tends to reduce the amount of smoke inhaled). Instead he ends up arguing that marijuana edibles are especially dangerous. But edibles are made with concentrates, so their strength does not depend on the potency of the original plant matter. In fact, Colorado concentrates are often made with low-potency leaves that in the old days would have been discarded.

Getting even farther from the claim he is trying to substantiate, Bennett mentions "more intoxicated driving," which presumably is a reference to a recent study finding that the percentage of fatally injured Colorado drivers who tested positive for marijuana metabolites rose between 1994 and 2011 (i.e., prior to the policy Bennett is criticizing). For reasons I explain here, those drivers were not necessarily intoxicated when they died, and their crashes may have had nothing to do with marijuana.

Finally, Bennett makes what sounds like a health-related claim. "Since Colorado legalized recreational use earlier this year," he says, there have been "more emergency hospital admissions due to marijuana exposure and overdose." He does not cite a source or specify any numbers, but let's assume that's true. How would that trend illustrate his contention that "increased THC levels" bring "increased health risks"? Have THC levels increased since January? It's not even clear how many of the "emergency hospital admissions" to which he refers involved smoked marijuana. In cases involving edibles, the potency of the plant would be irrelevant.

If Bennett's argument that increased potency makes cannabis fundamentally different is less than persuasive, what about his claim that we need prohibition to save the children and their delicate brains? I address that marijuana menace at some length in my most recent Forbes column, which you can read if you're interested. I'll wait.

For those who do not feel like following the link, here is a quick summary: Even Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and no fan of marijuana, concedes that research on the impact of adolescent pot smoking is inconclusive. "Although multiple studies have reported detrimental effects," Volkow and three co-authors write in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article, "others have not, and the question of whether marijuana is harmful remains the subject of heated debate." There are three major reasons for that debate: 1) The evidence is mainly correlational, meaning it does not establish cause and effect, 2) observed differences between pot smokers and abstainers do not necessarily have practical significance, and 3) results based on studies of heavy users do not necessarily apply to people who consume cannabis occasionally or moderately.

Bennett and White do not seem to have delved into this research very deeply. If they had actually read the studies they cite, they probably would not have written this:

The APA [American Psychological Association] noted that young people who become addicted to marijuana lose an average of six IQ points by adulthood. A long line of studies have found similar results—in 2012, a decades-long study of more than 1,000 New Zealanders who frequently smoked pot in adolescence pegged the IQ loss at eight points.

Actually, both of those results come from the same study, which found that subjects identified as "cannabis dependent" in three or more follow-up interviews lost an average of about six IQ points, which rose to eight points for the subjects in that group who were diagnosed as dependent before age 18.

Whatever the practical significance of such findings, how do the potential hazards of marijuana to adolescents justify treating adults who grow, sell, or use cannabis like criminals? Bennett, despite his Ph.D. in philosophy and frequent pontificating on moral issues, has never found that question interesting, and he ignores it once again in his latest prohibitionist plea.

For a review of Bennett's last co-authored collection of tired prohibitionist arguments, go here.

NEXT: As Ferguson Illustrates, Libertarianism Is More Than Just an Electoral Question or Intra-Party Debate

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  1. So, do we need to prohibit strong whiskey, rum, vodka, etc., because they are clearly stronger than beer and wine. And beer and wine came first.

    So, what is it, prohibitionists?

    1. If they thought they could, they would.

      1. But only for the ‘little’ people, that they need to protect.

        1. Of course alcohol prohibition was repealed because of all the gang violence in the cities. Back then that was intolerable. Something changed in the inner city since then I think. Not sure what would make it intolerable then and ok now.

          1. The difference is that government has succeeded in convincing many people that its policies exist to combat – rather than wholly engender – such crime.

  2. Frum, now Bennett.Are we starting a dick-a-thon?

  3. After eating marijuana-infused candy and the visiting college student who jumped off a hotel balcony in Denver after eating a pot cookie

    Can someone give Bennett a pot cookie, please?

    1. Both those articles linked to were written within 3 days of 4/20. Coincidence?

  4. “young people who become addicted to marijuana lose an average of six IQ points by adulthood.”

    and yet they’re still than Bennett

    1. AlmightyJB|8.14.14 @ 8:57PM|#
      “young people who become addicted to marijuana lose an average of six IQ points by adulthood.”

      I’m betting even Tony could blow holes in the ‘study’ that supposedly identified the effect.

      1. I’m guessing the kids were maybe stoned when they took the IQ tests? Just sayin’.

        1. A lot of IQ test are time based as well so there is that.

      2. I’m guessing they smoked a hell of a lot of MJ, so in addition to toking way more than normal people they had lifestyles and diet that weren’t good for their brains.

    2. It supposed to be “and yet they’re still smarter than Bennett”. I used to smoke a lot of pot.

      1. Joez Law strikes again.

  5. “Bennett and White do not seem to have delved into this research very deeply.”

    Well, what do you expect? It’s not like its *their* job to be experts on that stuff.

  6. Bill Bennett is a horrible person.

    1. “He’s bad, but he’ll die. So I like it.”

  7. …”For a review of Bennett’s last co-authored collection of tired prohibitionist arguments”…

    Uh, how about the NYT on just about anything instead?

  8. The thing I never understood is how we created a position proudly known as a “Czar” and that didn’t raise any red flags with anybody.

    1. I see what you did there…

    2. It’s “Tsar.”

      1. It’s “Zardoz”, and it’s awesome

        1. Not enough people appreciate the genius of that movie. Sean Connery at his peak.

    3. It was a way of co-opting a Soviet enemy when initially adopted.

    1. I only took note of the thing at the bottom in fine print that said, “and if you’re Catholic? well you’re going to hell anyway!”

      1. Ah Chick publications. People used to leave them in random places in the town I grew up in. We found them so damn amusing, especially as Catholics.

  9. Has this disgusting fat pig ever heard of the mortal sin called gluttony? He should write a book on virtures or something.

  10. Bennett’s arguments strike me as completely unrelated to any kind of effort to make a ‘fact-based logical argument’ that would appeal to “public health experts” or policy makers, so much as rhetorical appeals intended to go after specific angles of concern to Baby Boomer Parents – the very people whose minds seem to be changing most rapidly on this issue *(now that their kids are out of college and apparently not destroyed by drug use)

    The frequent comparisons they try and make between ‘the weed YOU smoked in college’ and this apparently CHRONIC DEATHWEED seems to me a naked admission that their audience are people who were college in the 1960s/70s… and they appeal to them from the perspective of “worrying about their kids for them”.

    IOW, its nothing to do about ‘facts’.

    its designed from the ground up to be *all feels*, simply echoing what a concerned-parent probably already thinks. (and which i would be unsurprised were arguments crafted after polling boomers and asking them what their concerns are)

    re: IQ loss…

    …how meaningless is that ‘study’ without any context about how much IQ tends to fall simply through other ‘natural processes’, unrelated to teh Weeds? Is IQ such an otherwise static and unchanging characteristic? Does one’s choice of *careers* have any impact? etc. it seems an idiotic claim to make that such a small sample provides any actual insight there.

    1. I think you’re exactly right that it’s an argument meant to appeal to Boomers who used to smoke pot but who don’t anymore and might (he hopes) be persuaded that “it’s different and more dangerous now.”

      A desperate and definitely short term strategy, but that seems to be all they have left.

      1. My (boomer) parents used that line on me as teenager while trying reconcile their use of marijuana with a command that I not try it. They failed so badly… but when you think about it, it’s logical to employ this argument if your goal is to discourage weed use in your kid and you have no rational argument to make.

  11. Studies, smudies, I suspect the only evidence Bennett really needed to make up his mind was right here:

    http://www.newsweek.com/pope-f…..ion-255708

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P80.HTM

    1. *Sigh*…I suppose you’re referring to this:

      “2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

      “2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.”

      I guess I missed the part where it says “it is morally licit to smash down people’s doors and kill their dogs.”

      1. Git a rope, ma!

        “”A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use…Rather, it is necessary to confront the problems underlying the use of these drugs, by promoting greater justice, educating young people in the values that build up life in society, accompanying those in difficulty and giving them hope for the future.”

        1. Every jackboot needs a shiny coat of polish.

          1. I am willing to forgive some ideological deviations in a man who has probably done more to help addicts than the entire Reason staff, and who literally kisses addicts’ feet…though until His Holiness instructs the faithful, in his capacity as universal Pastor, that legalizing dope is heretical, I will continue to support legalization. But without demonizing those who disagree.

            1. (exception – if my bishop instructs me to oppose legalization, and my appeal to Rome fails, then I would at least drop my legalization advocacy, waiting for a future time when things have evolved a bit.)

              1. Wow, you are an authoritarian follower to the core there, Eddie.

                1. Bo, if your senior partner ordered you to suck his dick, would you insist on smearing on tabasco sauce first to make it more palatable, or would you take it straight?

                  1. Goodness, Eddie, what would your Bishop say about this comment?

                    1. He wouldn’t like it, your’re quite right, I’m very sorry.

                      Everyone is under some sort of authority…some claim that they’re free spirits up until the point it endangers their jobs, then they cave in. Some outline in advance the nature of the authority to which they’re subject. I hope this is a better expression of the concept.

                    2. Eddie, come on. Just think for yourself. If you think your Bishop or Pope is wrong, just follow your own conscience. Following an authority when you think they are wrong is kind of definitional of authoritarian.

                    3. There is no conflict, I was discussing a purely theoretical situation, His Holiness has left me fully free to follow my conscience in this matter. He is much more liberal than most bosses. Try opposing your boss on a key issue and see where it gets you!

                    4. Eddie, good grief. A person might feel compelled to go along with his boss because he will suffer real financial hardship otherwise. But you and your Bishop???

                    5. Shorter Bo – “duh, I’m clueless!”

                  2. I tend to take it like Gary in “Team America: World Police.”

                2. Is that similar to you taking orders from your WoW clan leader?

              2. I’m sorry, but that really is creepy as shit. Don’t you have a conscience, man?

            2. His sweeping pronouncements may very well also do harm to addicts as well. Guess we’ll overlook that part. I mean, papal infallibility is right there in the Bible.

      2. Yes, labeling it a ‘grave offense’, ‘evil,’ and ‘gravely contrary to the moral law’ are not providing excellent cover for such practices.

        You prove my point in your rush to defend this nonsense Eddie.

        1. Ah, so you think the government should criminalize everything which is “contrary to the moral law?”

          Otherwise, I fail to understand your point, which compels me to the reluctant conclusion that you are full of shit.

          1. I think my point was clear. When a moral authority like the Church declares something to be a ‘grave offense’, ‘evil,’ and ‘gravely contrary to the moral law’ it provides support for government attempts to do all kinds of awful things to combat the ‘grave offense’ and ‘evil.’

            1. Do you think refusing to bake cakes for gay couples is a moral evil? If so, are you encouraging government to suppress that evil?

              1. I think you totally missed my point, and I won’t repeat it a third time.

                1. You mean you’ll shut up? Thank you thank you thank you!!!

            2. Right, because the US government and the Vatican have always been ever so close.

              1. Yes, Catholics have never exerted political influence in this nation!

                You’re really ridiculous.

                1. Shorter Bo –

                  Duuuuh!

                  1. Again…

                2. Did I say they never exerted influence? Jesus Christ, Bo. But for shits and giggles, can you name one concrete example of the Vatican exerting massive influence over legislation in the US Congress?

                3. Yes, Catholics have never exerted political influence in this nation!

                  Only in the sense that Catholic-phobes like yourself used the specter of the Pope leading the nation as an excuse to stir up hatred towards immigrants.

                  1. I’d have to say that in certain areas at the local level they can be influential. Not so much at the national except in the manner GMSM describes beyond being one more voice in a chorus.

                    Well, that, and the recent challenges to Obamacare regarding the contraception mandate.

                    1. I’d have to say that in certain areas at the local level they can be influential.

                      When looking at religion by plurality, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are the Catholic-est states in the Union. In both MA and RI, same-sex couple can get married and with a doctor’s prescription enjoy some medical marijuana; if Adam and Steven don’t have a prescription, no worries, as in both states possession has been decriminalized.

                      So can someone kindly tell me what Bo is harping the fuck on about?

                    2. Oh, and ditto for New Mexico.

                    3. History? Not linguistics but still an important field, right?

                  2. Grand Moff, awesome! I think Mr. Magoo saw that coming.

                    1. So you’ve given me link showing statistics of the Catholic population n the US. You’ve yet to show me how something the Pope has said has greatly influenced legislation in the US.

                    2. Mr. Magoo could probably do a better job recognizing cognitive dissonance than you can.

                      To reiterate Heroic Mulatto’s point: the states with the highest Catholic populations have some pretty un-Catholic public policy towards drugs and gays.

                      In order for the Pope to have any influence on US politics, we would have to an overwhelming cultural attachment to the Catholic Church as an institution similar to Mexico and other Latin American countries.

                      That is not and never will be the case in the United States.

                    3. Yes, the largest church in the US has negligible influence!

                      Derp?

                    4. The percentage of American Catholics (22) is only slightly more than the percentage of Irreligious Americans (19.6).

                      We all know the deep influence atheists and agnostics have had upon American law and government.

                    5. Well, they come beating on my door every election!

                    6. And we must also consider how many of those Catholics are just nominally Catholic.

                      Just because you were baptized in the Catholic Church and identify with it for cultural and familial reasons does not mean you grow up supporting its doctrine in politics.

                    7. I would *love* for the Church to have more influence, but that influence has declined a *lot* – in many cases thanks to the Biden/Pelosi school of Catholic politicians.

                      I look forward to the day when your fears are more well-founded!

                    8. Man, Bo, I think at this point you should just have a cup of warm milk and go to bed.

          2. Bennet can still base his prohibition-ism on the Bible by seeing it differently than you.

            1. Well, of course Bennett thinks the Church’s pronouncements and the Bible are fully compatible.

  12. I notice that when a major party wants to express an idea that they think might be stupid, they trot out someone at the tail end of their career who won’t really suffer any real damage if the public finds their idea stupid. It’s a risk-free way of taking a temperature reading. Bennett has no political future no matter what.

    1. The Democrats trotted out Bennett?

  13. Obama should declare Martial Law in Ferguson. Why not just nuke it from orbit?

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..rtial-law/

    1. Well this sounds like a good shoot. I can’t understand what people would be mad about. Send in the guard already.

      According to Mitchell, Brown, Jr, began to run away after the first shot was fired.
      “After the shot, the kid just breaks away. The cop follows him, kept shooting, the kid’s body jerked as if he was hit. After his body jerked he turns around, puts his hands up, and the cop continues to walk up on him and continues to shoot until he goes all the way down,” Mitchell said.

    2. I never thought I’d see the day that a black Democrat argued in favor of declaring martial law to put down a black riot and a conservative blog attacked him for his blase attitude on criminal punishment.

      1. Irish, look at Lewis’ comments, he seems to favor a declaration of martial law not to put down a black riot but to put down the local police response.

        “”It is very sad and unbelievable. It’s unreal to see what the police is doing there,” Lewis said in a Thursday interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “First of all, Ferguson, Missouri, is part of the United States of America. People have a right to protest. They have a right to dissent. They have a right to march in an orderly, peaceful, nonviolent fashion. And the press has a right to cover it.”

        “So my own feeling, right now, is that President Obama should use the authority of his office to declare martial law. Federalize the Missouri National Guard to protect people as they protest,” Lewis said. “And people should come together. Reasonable elected officials, community leaders and address what is happening there.”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..79033.html

        1. So he wants to use the national guard to shoot at American police officers?

          That’s even dumber. Especially given that the police are only armed the way they are because the federal government provided them with military surplus.

          1. Why is that dumb?

            1. Jesus Christ, Cyto, you just love deploying the military in all conceivable situations, don’t you?

              1. If deploying the military is necessary to protect the rights of the people of Ferguson then deploy it. I don’t think it is but it’s not crazy.

          2. Irish, I think his idea is that the Guard ‘take over’ from the usual police and act to protect the protester’s rights. If you read his comments different please explain.

        2. Am I recalling correctly that when the people in the town initially planned a protest march towards city hall that the mayor threatened them with arrest and the riots broke out after that?

          1. Yup is the answer.

  14. Fuck Bill Bennett in the ass with a red-hot poker, sideways.

  15. I’d like to thank Cytotoxic for directing me to this hilarious article from Breitbart.com in 2012 where Kurt Schlichter, last seen casually advocating genocide in the Middle East, freaks the fuck out over bronies.

    All the while, as these pathetic sissies giggle like school girls over magic unicorns that spray rainbows from their horns, real men ? and women ? who have put aside the temptation to retreat into a frivolous fantasy world are tromping through the wilds of Afghanistan. Such young adults, some younger (in years) than the “bronies,” are protecting all of us ? including these pathetic weirdos.

    Yeah, some will say it’s unfair to compare a bunch of harmless fem-boys who stopped maturing at age seven with the heroic men and women facing death or dismemberment on all our behalves every day. People who say that are wrong. These perma-virgins ought to be ashamed of themselves, but if they had the capacity for shame, this disgusting obsession would be a secret they guard almost as closely as a Harvard faculty member might guard the fact that he’s a registered Republican.

    1. Hilariously, the comments are a BreitBrony convention. I think it says a lot that this is better than the typical BB commentary. Also, regarding the article: shit writing. Prose so purple it’s ultraviolet. And of course THU TROOPS.

    2. Kurt never once advocated genocide in that article Irish. The main thrust of it is well-reasoned. Maybe he’s improved from his Brony-freak out. Difficult to get worse.

      1. I’m not necessarily talking about emulating the original Middle East peacemakers, the Romans, who got tired of Carthage’s attitude and leveled the city, killed the men, sold the women and children into bondage and sowed the fields with salt. But then, on the other hand, we haven’t had a lot of problems with the Carthaginians in the last couple millennia.

        1. Eh iffy but not ‘casually advocating genocide’.

      2. Then there’s this:

        One should ask presumptive President Hillary Clinton about that.A tape from September 10, 2011, just came out with Bill Clinton talking in Australia about how he could have killed Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, but held back because it might cause perhaps 300 civilian casualties. Of course, the next day bin Laden killed 3000 Americans. Was that the right choice, Ms. Clinton?What would you do? Do you think Bill made the right choice in not taking out bin Laden because he bravely surrounded himself with 300 civilians even though it cost us 3000 Americans?

        He’s arguing we should use terrorist tactics up to and including the mass slaughter of civilians and he’s upset Clinton didn’t do it even though Clinton can’t conceivably have known what Bin Laden would do three years later.

        1. The USG had a moral obligation to kill OBL, without any regard to Afghan lives lost. What Clinton effectively was sacrifice the Americans he was supposed to defend for people he had no obligation to defend.

          1. Self-defense is never genocide.

            1. I’ve seen you trot out this phrase twice now and I think it might be the dumbest that you’ve ever posted.

              1. Then it just goes to show how brilliant my posts are.

          2. By your logic, the US should nuke the rest of the world to kill any potential future bin laden’s hiding about. And IMO, Canada should be first.

            1. That’s not my logic that’s a caricature that your feeble mind produced because you can’t think.

  16. Milton Friedman in a 1990 letter to Bill Bennet:
    “You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are tearing asunder our social fabric, ruining the lives of many young people, and imposing heavy costs on some of the most disadvantaged among us. You are not mistaken in believing that the majority of the public share your concerns. In short, you are not mistaken in the end you seek to achieve. Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore. Of course the problem is demand, but it is not only demand, it is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault. Drugs are a tragedy for addicts. But criminalizing their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike. Our experience with the prohibition of drugs is a replay of our experience with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.”

  17. Meanwhile, in Canadia, the next Prime Monster, Justin Trudeau is strongly for marijuana legalization (in much the same way Obama suddenly came out in favor of teh geys just before the 2012 election).

    This, however, will stay comfortably in the memory hole:

    The Liberal party’s position has been for decriminalization for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. But Liberal MP Justin Trudeau is not in favour of decriminalization at all and feels that would be a step in the wrong direction. “It’s not your mother’s pot,” notes Trudeau of the stronger marijuana grown today, in contrast to the weed from hippie days. “I lived in Whistler for years and have seen the effects. We need all our brain cells to deal with our problems.”

    1. Thanks for that too bad nobody will care because the Conservative Party’s anti-MJ ads are self-parody at Reefer-Madness levels. Transcendent ineptitude. God I fucking hate Harper and can’t wait for him to leave. PM Trudeau may just be a price to pay for that.

      1. Both parties have descended so far down the depths of fucktardedness that it’s time for Ottawa to be nuked from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

        The near-term future of a country with a trillion-dollar economy will be decided by a cripple fight.

        1. I wanted to like Trudeau but he doesn’t want me to vote for him. That’s the only way to explain his stupid economic ideas (more deficits will help Canadians DUR) and opposition to Enbridge. He is planting his foot firmly in every trap the Cons are setting, and it’s doing a great job of riling up the (stupid and gullible) CPC base which should be demoralized and grumpy. The ineptitude of Trudeau and strategic incompetence of Harper is truly going to be an immovable object meets unstoppable force situation in 2015. Can’t wait to vote Libertarian!

  18. Putin is denominating Russia’s oil sales in Ruble. This will probably hurt him more than America. If it ends the USD house of cards, all the better.

  19. Which SEC Team Should You Root For?

    But what about those of you who will have the SEC Network and haven’t really developed a rooting interest in the conference? You want to pick a team because you want to be involved in the SEC insanity, but you’re not sure which one fits your personality yet. Well, you’re in luck. Outkick has developed an easy to use 14 question test to appropriately assign you to a particular team.

  20. Bill Bennett is a degenerate gambler whose opinions on morals nobody should take seriously.

    1. Bill Bennett is a degenerate gambler whose opinions on morals nobody should take seriously should provoke gales of derisive laughter.

      FTFY

      I enjoy pointing out to the “but what about HEROIN!?” types that there were no illegal drugs before 1906:

      http://platedlizard.blogspot.c…..story.html

  21. Sullum makes the same old tired pothead arguments. How many alcohol related deaths have their been in Colorado he asks. He is implying that alcohol is legal and more dangerous than weed.

    Of course he refuses to furnish this answer since he thinks everyone knows it. I guess he is too lazy to look up the answer or maybe too high.

    Either way the point is what does alcohol related deaths have to do with pot related deaths? Absolutely nothing. Investigative reporter Michael P. Tremoglie has repeatedly asked pot propagandists “How does legalizing pot prevent the problems associated with alcoholism?” Are pot proponents suggesting we prohibit alcohol? I thought they do not believe in prohibition?”

    Pot propagandists need to find some new material.

    1. Ellsworth|8.14.14 @ 11:19PM|#
      …”Pot propagandists need to find some new material.”

      I’m guessing stupidity; the tone is too overwrought for sarc.
      Hey Ellsworth! Get lost!

    2. You need to find a brain and stop being retarded. Or down some bleach.

    3. He is implying that alcohol is legal and more dangerous than weed.

      A factual statement.

      1. Is there really a debate about this? I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose.

        1. Dances-with-Trolls|8.14.14 @ 11:34PM|#
          “Is there really a debate about this? I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose.”

          Ellsworth seems to fantasize that there is.

    4. Ellsworth? As in Ellsworth Toohey?

      How droll!

  22. This is a tangentially related anecdote (and I’m sure I’ve related this before): in Spring 1996 I was an intern at Empower America, which was the think tank of Bennett, Jack Kemp, and Jean Kirkpatrick. I was in Bennett’s part of the organization. The GOP Primaries were going on, and Pat Buchanan had just won the NH Primary. We had a staff meeting, and Bill asked everyone if it became a contest between Bill Clinton and Pat Buchanan, who would each of us vote for. Every single person except for myself said Clinton.

    Not sure if there’s anything to take from that. Maybe they really knew that Buchanan would have sucked hard as President. Also, this was before the Lewinsky scandal broke, but for supposed Conservative-types to throw someone Conservative-ish under the bus for…well, I don’t quite remember what their beef was with Buchanan, other than the “Isolationist” thing. Their inner Neo-Cons must have been repulsed beyond endurance, or something.

    1. Did you play black jack with him?

      1. No, but he lost me (as an intern) to Jack Kemp in a game of poker.

        1. kinky

      2. I should have gone with a Congressman. I interviewed with Senator Bill Frist’s office, but the old bag doing the interview was a former Democrat, and she hurt my feelings.

        I should have stuck it out, though, or gone with the Congressman from Bartlett (can’t remember his name; he was on the Impeachment Team). Interning for a think tank was stupid. Congressional interns get all the perks.

  23. No one of any consequence gives a fuck what that dickwad thinks.

  24. Mr. Bennett was the main cause for the rapid expansion of drug cartels in Mexico. This lead to the killing of more than 10000 people in a span of six years many of them innocent these are more deaths than the Vietnam War and at a faster pace. This also does not include the ruining of thousands of young individual and there families due unjust prison terms and ruined employment records. Mr. Bennett has more blood on his hands than any drug can ever cause and I hope people see further into his actions.

    Remember we have more non-violent prisoners in the US than China. Lets work to restore these people’s lives. It is not a matter of how accessible or addicting pot is or is not, Is it fair for the for these folks to punished to this extent? I feel legalization is correct, erasing the criminal records is correct, let the parenting job be performed by parents and not by the government.

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