Is Lying About Marijuana a Prerequisite for an Attorney General?

Loretta Lynch denies the obvious truth that pot is less dangerous than alcohol.


Senate Judiciary Committee

During her confirmation hearing yesterday, Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to replace Eric Holder as attorney general, showed that she will happily lie to secure the job. Alternatively, she demonstrated her fitness for the job, which requires enforcing arbitrary distinctions among psychoactive substances, by displaying woeful ignorance about the relative hazards of marijuana and alcohol. I'm not sure which interpretation is more charitable.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), an old-timey "Just Say No" prohibitionist, was "heartbroken" last year when Obama admitted, during an interview with The New Yorker, something that is obvious to anyone who considers the evidence: that alcohol, as measured by acute toxicity, impact on driving ability, frequency of addiction, and the long-term effects of heavy consumption, is more dangerous than marijuana. It was clear at yesterday's hearing that Sessions still has not recovered from that affront to his worldview, according to which alcohol is a benign social lubricant while marijuana is a devil weed with its roots in hell. He sought solace from Lynch, reading her the relevant part of the New Yorker interview and imploring her to disagree with the man who had nominated her to be the nation's top law enforcement official. Lynch, currently the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York,  obliged:

I certainly don't hold that view and don't agree with that view of marijuana. I certainly think the president was speaking from his personal experience, personal opinion, neither of which I am able to share.

You don't need to have smoked as much pot as the president did in his youth to recognize that its harms pale beside those associated with alcohol and tobacco. Even Patrick Kennedy, co-founder of the anti-pot group Project SAM, concedes that "alcohol is more dangerous." So does Michael Botticelli, Obama's drug czar, along with a large majority of Americans (including many who nevertheless do not think marijuana should be legal). Pace Lynch, this is not a matter of "personal opinion." It is a threshold test of intellectual honesty.

You can admit that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and still oppose legalization, as Kennedy and Botticelli do. But this truth is undeniably inconvenient for pot prohibitionists, since it casts doubt on the wisdom and fairness of the lines Congress has drawn. An honest prohibitionist sucks it up and presses his case anyway, saying it would be impractical to ban alcohol but reckless to allow unfettered access to another intoxicant, even one that is less dangerous. A dishonest prohibitionist does what Lynch did.

NEXT: AG Nominee Loretta Lynch Says Civil Asset Forfeiture 'Protections Are There.' Not When Her Office Ignores Them.

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  1. That’s utterly ridiculous.

    You don’t have to lie about marijuana. You can lie about whatever you want.

  2. She will still get confirmed. They don’t call it the Stupid Party for nuthin’.

  3. It’s not like the AG is the drug czar

  4. Is Lying About Marijuana a Prerequisite for an Attorney General?


    1. My thoughts exactly

    2. Well, the one does imply the other. But general willingness to lie does seem to be a positive boon to about any political appointee.

  5. Can anyone say with any certainty that she really believes anything or has any principles? My guess is she will say, do or believe whatever she needs to in order to advance.

    1. Well, she is a lawyer. It’s sort of their job to have no beliefs or principles and to make the weaker argument look stronger.

  6. obvious to anyone who considers the evidence: that alcohol, as measured by impact on driving ability, is more dangerous than marijuana.

    Not obvious to me. I can barely stand up stoned, I couldn’t imagine driving like that.

    1. I’ll drive…

    2. And drunks are more able to stand?

      1. Never had a problem with that. Used to play Quake II at a high level while pretty drunk. Takes a lot more coordination than driving.

        1. Takes a very different sort of coordination than driving. Hard to say one is more than the other. Driving involves a lot more different parts of your body.

    3. I’ve driven stoned a few times. I had a difficult time maintaining a steady velocity and kept forgetting where I was. No fun.

    4. And I bet you avoid driving when stoned. It’s a problem that solves itself.

      In my fairly extensive experience, I find that alcohol makes you think you are driving better than you are and pot makes you think you are driving worse than you are. So for the most part, people who shouldn’t drive stoned don’t.

    5. Where do you get your weed? I get the strongest stuff i can find sour diesel white widow holy grail kush ATF etc never get so high that i cant function lol haha

    6. Hearing On Stoned Driving Undermines Pot Prohibitionists’ Scary Prophecies…..tle-basis/

  7. The prohibitionist mindset with regard to marijuana is the same as that of alcohol. The difference is that the fascists that prohibited alcohol recognized the need for a constitutional amendment to legitimately do so. This is something that has been ignored by the rest of the substance prohibition crowd. (or, perhaps, the prohibition crowd in general. see: firearms bans.)

  8. Shackford slaps Scullum silly in this round. You’ll get em next time!

  9. I have often asked drug warriors to give me an argument to keep marijuana illegal that is not also an argument to reinstate Prohibition. I have yet to get a coherent answer, nor have I succeeded in getting them to connect the dots. Drug warriors are simply not rational on the subject, and you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t arrive at by reason.

    1. I have actually had them try to argue that Marijuana is worse/more dangerous because it is illegal so therefore it has to remain illegal.

      1. Of course the person making the argument was a Young Earth Creationism Christian Fundamentalist so he was totally cool with circular logic

      2. I saw the same argument in the comments section of a Washington Post article. I pointed out the circularity and quickly got several likes.

    2. I got one to admit that he considered alcohol prohibition to have been for the most part a good thing.

  10. “Michael *Botticelli,* Obama’s drug czar”

    First they put a Renaissance painter as drug czar, now they nominate a country-music singer for AG.

  11. Somewhere, someone’s falling in love…with the idea of holding higher office!

    (from Youtube)

  12. An Obama appointee dishonest? Where’s the fainting couch?

  13. Is Lying a Prerequisite- Absolutely, The DOJ doesn’t make policy for MJ, they are just required to follow the Mandate.. to lie.
    The origination of the ‘Lie’.. lays in the Cabinet, formerly from the ONDCP, which with the HHS and NIH, set the “official” line, the DOJ and DEA follow the legal responsibility to accomplish enforcement by saying anything.. to fulfill their mandate.

    50 billion in Drug War tax dollars filters to, thru the ONDCP, HHS, NIH, DOJ, DEA, FBI and NIDA. Half for MJ exclusion.
    These funds are use in a variety of ways. The ONDCP has for years illegally donated at the State level to candidates, with Federal Tax dollars and constituents of the ONDCP run a good percentage of forced and voluntary counseling. Including in prisons at as much as 40K for 6 months of counseling for individuals while doing many in attendance at one time.
    There is no reason in the ONDCP to EVERRRRR, change the Mandate and even provide Campaign Contribution Management Services to all the last 3-4 decades of Presidential candidates.
    From both sides of the aisle, same time.
    Obama and Romney used these ‘services’, for free, for the policy decision on MJ.
    Hillary and Rand Paul have signed also.

    This is part of the network, operating on Federal Tax dollars. If you believe the new head of the DOJ will not follow suit, then you believe she doesn’t care to be part of Hillery’s team, or any other Presidential contender’s team.
    25 of the 50 Billion Drug War dollars will tell you you are wrong.

  14. Government statistics show that alcohol is the most violence-causing drug in America, with over 50% of all violent crimes being caused by people using alcohol: murder, rape, child-molesting, assault, robbery, and spousal abuse, among others.

    The lying hypocrisy of those in power (our controllers: To govern means to control) is clearly apparent to those who are not blind because they refuse to see.

  15. Either she is completely inept or completely a liar. Either way, we deserve someone more human.

  16. She hates Black People.

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