Marijuana

Barney Frank Explains How America's Libertarian Nature Is Helping Legalize Gay Marriage, Marijuana

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Former Congressman Barney Frank sat down with the folks at the absurdly named Big Think (these are the same folks who gave Bill Nye a platform to assume opponents of Common Core are creationists) about the future of marijuana legalization. Though probably better known to the public for his advocacy on gay rights and financial regulation, he's been a constant fighter to end the war on drugs, long before the current push.

This short segment combines (marries, if you will) analysis of how people's attitudes are changing on marijuana legalization with changes in opinion on recognizing marriages of gay couples. I'm bringing up the video because he makes some interesting libertarian-friendly statements (including actually referencing libertarianism):

Some bullet points of interest:

  • He describes the dilemma of those in favor of the bans as struggling to come up with reasons why it should be a legal or government issue. He notes that America's "basic libertarianism" makes it difficult to convince people to ban something just because you think it's morally wrong. They have to show it has real negative consequences that affect other people. Because prohibitions had been hammered through earlier, though, it was impossible to disprove claims that gay marriage and marijuana use caused actual harms.
  • Thus, the awesomeness of federalism! He doesn't actually use the word, but he talks about how a few places broke through years ago: Massachusetts and Vermont on marriage, and the many states that began legalizing marijuana for medical use. Thus we are able to get the evidence that gay marriage and marijuana don't cause the sorts of social harms that banners insisted on: "None of the negative effects people predicted have occurred. Reality beat the prejudice."
  • Frank explains that when he first began pushing to legalize marijuana, he faced opposition from black political leaders who worried about the impact of drug use on their communities. But their attitudes changed when they saw the "absolutely undeniable discriminatory nature of the law enforcement" of drug laws against minorities.

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  1. Is this the “MOMENT”?

    1. The moment when progressives steal the decriminalization thunder out from under libertarians, and we return to forever being the fringe party that harps on that one issue nobody cares about until one morning everybody suddenly does?

      1. Frank is retired and as is such is suddenly enlightened.

        1. A gay dude who likes MJ suddenly discovers its grand when he can have his preferences legally respected – yea, real libertarian epiphany there, Barney.

      2. I can live with that sort of Progress?.

        1. I might, too, if progressives wouldn’t consistently alloy every good cause with innumerable conditions and restrictions. They’re not guided by philosophy but political expedience.

      3. Most people already thing pot should be decriminalized if not fully legalized. But mostly because pot is a relatively benign drug. You don’t hear any progressives calling for a real end to prohibition or the WOD. So libertarians still own the principled argument against all drug prohibition.

  2. Any headline beginning, “Barney Frank…

    which is not followed by the words,

    …is Torn To Pieces by Starving Wolverines: Hi-Def Video Footage Below The Fold

    is not a story I find myself interested in reading.

    1. That’s all that needs to be said.

    2. You work in finance, don’t you..

      1. Yes, but I think that’s besides the point.

        I mean, its not like Barney didn’t go out of his way to help destroy the lives of millions of people and wipe out the savings of an entire generation…

        …AND then, just to add painful-insult to lethal-injury… doubles down and creates ANOTHER boatload of shit-tastic regulations that pretend to solve the errors of the first boatload of shit-tastic regulations.

        Is he the worst person on Planet Earth? I’m not here to judge.

        However, I think Wolverine Hunger is a real thing, and he should do his part to address it. Preferably dangled by his wrists in a pit of them.

        1. The worst person on Planet Earth is an unfortunately crowded race.

          1. Hey, I thought we had settled on Nicole?

    3. I’ve always sort of liked Bawney. It’s just a shame that he didn’t focus more on pot and ass sex in congress and not so much on stupid financial regulation and such.

      1. The pot and ass sex lobbies don’t pay nearly as much as the financial services industry!

      2. It’s just a shame that he didn’t focus more on pot and ass sex

        What I want to know is what his position on Mexicans is.

  3. These opinions come out now that he’s out of office? That totally makes him not an epic asshole whose actions have helped ruin more lives than helped.

    1. BUT DODD-FRANK FIXED FINANCE.

    2. Did he just figure this stuff out, or was he a lying asshole for decades?

      1. Could your boyfriend run a brothel out of your house without you noticing? There’s your answer.

        1. To be fair, it was an escort service out of his apartment, but still….

    3. I thought Frank was pro-marijuana in congress?

      1. I don’t remember him working to defund the DEA or anything else that would end the Drug War.

        1. Looks like he did put forward some bills to undercut the WOD

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_Frank#Drugs

          But this reminds me of a variant on an old joke, that a liberal Democrat would legalize drugs on Monday but vote against cutting DEA funding Tuesday.

        2. Odd. I remember he and Ron Paul co-sponsored legislation to fix the WOD on several occasions.

      2. On his way out the door is the only time I recall him addressing it.

  4. I always put the word “the” between Barney and Frank.

  5. Thank God. PB and Bo were running out of straws to clutch to; now they can call Barney Frank “libertarian friendly” while accusing us of being Bush-lovers.

    1. In your imagination I’m the blue version of a partisan like yourself, that’s cute.

      Frank might be better than the average Congresscritter on these issues, but he’s pretty terrible on liberty in general, and I’m no fan.

      1. Why do you hate consumer protection, Bo?

        1. Grown up adult consumers can protect themselves unless fraud or force is involved, and Frank and his buddies were not targeting that.

          1. Evidently not, which is why we need an agency funded to the tune of half a billion dollars writing tens of thousands of pages of new rules to encompass fair lending practices. Because fairness.

            1. That’s old fashioned statism, they are spending other people’s money to protect people from themselves.

      2. Relax dude, I’m busting your balls. You’re sort of annoying, aspy, and elitist, but you’re no leftie. You’re definitely miles away from pond scum like PB.

  6. As far as I can remember gay marriage really got going in less libertarian Western Europe, didn’t it?

  7. No Mexicans? I am disappoint.

  8. You know, it occurs to me that the principal freedoms of prisons are gay sex and drugs.

    1. And there are a good number of Mexicans in prisons, so the trifecta is complete.

  9. So Rights don’t exist, as long as one side can argue effectively that something is “harmful” then it’s fair game for the boot of authoritah.

    1. Everything is fair game for the boot of authority. Haven’t you been paying attention?

  10. “He notes that America’s “basic libertarianism” makes it difficult to convince people to ban something just because you think it’s morally wrong.”

    So, he’s in favor of bakers choosing who to bake cakes for?

    1. It’s a moral wrong to hold opinions the majority finds repugnant.

      1. Indeed – the majority is switching sides, it still won’t tolerate that which it doesn’t like.

  11. Oh, and from what I heard, he wasn’t endorsing federalism – he was saying that evidence from some states showed that gay marriage/MJ legalization could be carried out nationwide with no ill effects. He didn’t say he’d respect any state’s 10th Amendment authority to *disagree* with him on SSM.

    1. I know, it reminds me of those people who push for allowing states to determine their own abortion policies while also supporting a federal human life amendment. What’s up with that?

      1. Oh, Bo, you were doing so well, and now you’re back to this:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gROO7xSTxfY

        1. Eddie likes his standards so much he’s doubled them all!

          1. And don’t get me started on the 13th Amendment, which deprives people of the right to make deeply-personal choices about their household and business arrangements!

            Because “federalism” is just another word for “letting the states do whatever they want.”

  12. I understand the need to take your allies where you can find them. But Barney Frank? Really? This guy did more damage to the economy and to economic freedom than about any other individual in the last 40 years.

    Jesus Christ, if Cuba legalized gay marriage would Reason do a fawning interview of Castro?

    1. Jesus Christ, if Cuba legalized gay marriage would Reason do a fawning interview of Castro?

      Yes?

    2. The interview wasn’t by Reason, they covered it.

      1. All reporters look alike to John.

  13. You Know Who Else supported a Statist Fuck because he gave them some minor concession on a social issue they liked?

  14. “”basic libertarianism” makes it difficult to convince people to ban something just because you think it’s morally wrong.”
    Would that be objective or subjective morality?

  15. America’s “basic libertarianism”

    Which is Obama is President and the Democrats and Republicans are so libertarian.

  16. Because prohibitions had been hammered through earlier, though, it was impossible to disprove claims that gay marriage and marijuana use caused actual harms.

    Not a good parallel. It’s not as if same sex marriage had been practiced forever and then prohibited, the way marijuana was.

  17. Unless he’s genuflecting his way across the continent in apology for the housing crisis and Dodd-Frank, I’m not sure why Barney’s words are at all meaningful. To anyone.

    1. speech-therapist?

      1. Meaningful, not valuable.

  18. The only problem with legalizing marijuana is Democrats will use all of the problems it will create in the lives of some user to impose higher taxes and more government programs. If the US decided you are free to smoke all the weed you want but if your life turns to crap you are on your own to fix it, it would be legal in a minute. However, most people know that will never happen. As for gay marriage, I think I am like the majority of people, I don’t care. Get the government out of marriage and it is no longer an issue. The only thing the government needs to have its nose in is the legal issues. IF every couple, straight and gay was issued a certificate of civil union to deal with the legal issues, the problem and fight vanishes. The current fight is about the word “marriage” and its moral undertones. In the 90s, the gay community was fighting for civil unions, but now they demand to have their unions called marriages, why? Because they want society to sanction their relationships as normal and are trying to use the government to do it. But again, I really dont care and am sick of hearing the BS from both sides about the issue.

    1. The reason that we are fighting for the word is that the social conservatives have managed to tie all of the 1149 legal benefits and protections to it.

      I still support getting the government out of the marriage business, but we moved out of the state we lived in because even basic benefits like hospital visitation rights and spousal survivor benefits were not protected in a state which constitutionally banned not only marriage, but also civil unions, domestic partnerships, or any similar arrangements. What’s more, there were no states within 700 miles which did allow them. That became expensive when we decided to head out.

      I really couldn’t care less about what word is used to describe my relationship, but I do want it to have the same legal benefits as heterosexual relationships. My faggot tax dollars are spent just as profligately as straight tax dollars, and I resent being treated as a second-class citizen (in some states) because some people find the idea of two men loving each other to be icky. There is no constitutional protection against being offended, but there is one about equal protection, and another about the government butting out of anything which is not specifically delegated to them.

    2. The reason that we are fighting for the word is that the social conservatives have managed to tie all of the 1149 legal benefits and protections to it.

      I still support getting the government out of the marriage business, but we moved out of the state we lived in because even basic benefits like hospital visitation rights and spousal survivor benefits were not protected in a state which constitutionally banned not only marriage, but also civil unions, domestic partnerships, or any similar arrangements. What’s more, there were no states within 700 miles which did allow them. That became expensive when we decided to head out.

      I really couldn’t care less about what word is used to describe my relationship, but I do want it to have the same legal benefits as heterosexual relationships. My faggot tax dollars are spent just as profligately as straight tax dollars, and I resent being treated as a second-class citizen (in some states) because some people find the idea of two men loving each other to be icky. There is no constitutional protection against being offended, but there is one about equal protection, and another about the government butting out of anything which is not specifically delegated to them.

  19. Gee thanks Libers! Thanks for further eroding of our once stable and lawful society with your anarchy riddled BS! Hope you’re proud. I’m sure your own family founders are, especially those of you with grandparents whom fought in any of the world wars.

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