2016 Republican Convention

"Why do Republicans Respect Marijuana Prohibition Like it Came From Moses?"

Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition take on the RNC.

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Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition
Anthony L. Fisher

"Bad law needs to be dealt with, we don't need to follow it blindly," says 86-year-old Ann Lee, the founder and executive director of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP). In an interview with Reason at a Cleveland hotel near the Republican National Convention (RNC), Lee adds, "The mystery to me is why Republicans respect this law like it came from Moses, and when you read how it came about in 1937 under FDR…why Republicans support that is beyond me."

Lee is a staunch pro-life social conservative who had her come-to-Jesus moment in when it came to marijuana prohibition after her son suffered a devastating accident in 1990. While recovering, he told his mother that unlike synthetic painkillers and other drugs, marijuana actually provided him physical relief. Lee, who grew up in Jim Crow-era Louisiana, says she grew up living under bad racist laws that needed to be changed. She argues that drug prohibition is the modern-day version of Jim Crow and also needs to be changed.

RAMP's treasurer Bonnie Lugo tells Reason that she was also a staunch drug warrior until she met Lee while running against her for a spot on Texas's Republican Executive Committee. Lugo's first impression of Lee was that "she was this crazy lady" advocating for drug legalization but that the "tenacious" Lee ultimately convinced her to do her own research on the subject. When Lugo learned about how much safer marijuana is than alcohol or cigarettes, combined with the fact that people's lives were being ruined in myriad ways because of its criminalization, she did a 180 on the issue. Lugo says, "Once you figure out that your government has lied to you, it's easy to figure out all the rest."

Lugo laments that too many of her fellow Republicans have bought into "60 years of indoctrination by our government that marijuana is a gateway drug, that it leads to harmful acts." Lee adds, "it's very hypocritical" of her fellow Republicans to be "pro-life and anti-medical marijuana." 

In trying to sell marijuana legalization to fellow RNC attendees—who are very much of pushing a "law and order" agenda this week—Lee says she is trying to convince her party cohort that they can be for law and order but need to "remember laws can be bad, too."

When asked if RAMP has any plans to advocate for the legalization of drugs other than marijuana, Lee says, "this is all I can say grace over. I can't handle anything else. But I know this issue."

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  1. Thou shalt not party

  2. Crusty would and would twice.

    1. Act your age, not your shoe size.

      1. My shoe size is 33 1/3.

        1. ladies.

          1. You wear a 33 in ladies? Must be using Euro measurement.

            1. In Euro measurement, 33 means he wears a US child’s size 2.

              1. Say you’re telling me he’s got dat baby dick?

              2. Where does he find those ‘Fuck-Me Pumps’ in children’s size?

                1. Kinderh?re. It’s a Swedish store.

                  1. This has gotten out of hand.

      2. You don’t have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude.

  3. Lady be cra cra

  4. It came about under FDR specifically to target the black community (and Mexicans). And, whaddayaknow, members of those groups have been disproportionately victims of the law ever since.

    Worse, though, is that so many soi-disant leaders of these communities have a thorough case of Stockholm Syndrome, and demand that the law be kept and even that enforcement of it be ramped up.

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  6. Republicans can be sold on legalization if it presented properly:

    1. Federalism – let the states do as they please and keep big government out of it.

    2. Savings – cut the DEA and other federal organizations, many of which Republicans are not too fond of.

    1. I don’t know. I’ve known a lot of law and order Republicans, and that world view just can’t understand legalization or police reform. At all. Just doesn’t make any sense to them.

      1. The trouble with legaliz’n to them is it’s surrender. Who cares why we went to war, can’t pull out now, because that’d mean we lost! All that effort for nothing! But as long as we keep fighting, that means we haven’t lost.

    2. The People Who Matter in the Republican Party obviously haven’t given a shit for a long time about either federalism or savings. I think we need a different approach.

    3. Republicans are fond of all government employees who are issued guns.

    4. BUT IT’S THE DEVIL WEED!!!111one!!11!!

  7. Republicans love those law and order endorsements too much to let go of the drug war.

    1. ^This. Remember how many blacks and mexicans are stopped because “the officer smelled…”

  8. “The mystery to me is why Republicans respect this law like it came from Moses, and when you read how it came about in 1937 under FDR…why Republicans support that is beyond me.”

    A mystery? Really? I guess 80 years of government propaganda had nothing to do with it. The drug war is a shinning example of the power of propaganda.

  9. Also, teh kultur warz. The stereotypical stoner is a progressive hippie.

    1. This x1000

      Conservative dislike of drugs stems mostly from stereotypes that their political opponents like drugs.

      1. And shortly after it’s legalized, nobody will admit to ever having been on the other side, & it’ll be uncontroversial. Then there’ll be a new status quo to defend.

  10. “Why do Republicans Respect Marijuana Prohibition Like it Came From Moses?”

    Why is pot one of the first things that pops into the heads of libertarians?

    1. Not pot, Homple, the prohibition thereof. Because the War on Some Drugs has gutted the Fourth, led to mass incarceration, and caused the size and scope of government to expand greatly.

      1. Get off of Homple’s lawn, Tonio!

    2. The War on Drugs is a symptom of a MUCH larger problem of government excess.

      It’s been recently held that police officer smelling pot — in a medical marijuana state, no less — has the right to detain and search you. Finding something that is allegedly contraband narcotics according to a completely-inaccurate field test kits is sufficient cause to have your assets seized and auctioned off by the state.

      1. You say that like you think they were your assets in the first place.

    3. Why does it have to be Moses?

      Are we blaming the drug problem on JOOOOZ!!?!?!?

  11. Why do Republicans Respect Marijuana Prohibition Like it Came From Moses?

    “If God had wanted us to do pot, He would have given it to us in tablets.”

    1. OK, that was kind of funny

  12. Lee is a staunch pro-life social conservative who had her come-to-Jesus moment in when it came to marijuana prohibition after her son suffered a devastating accident in 1990.

    Because there is an element of the population who lack any empathy for anyone outside their own immediate vision, they can’t see the evil of things like prohibition until it affects them personally. In my experience, the Venn diagram of this element and the Christian right is basically a single circle.

    1. In my experience, the Venn diagram of this element and the Christian right people is basically a single circle.

      I really don’t think so-cons have a monopoly on this.

  13. When asked if RAMP has any plans to advocate for the legalization of drugs other than marijuana, Lee says, “this is all I can say grace over. I can’t handle anything else. But I know this issue.

    Best to purify our ranks, instead of walking what road we share.

    1. More like – what she can sell to the voters she is targeting.

  14. I’m in my 50’s. I can’t help but associate Marijuana legalization with the numbers I first saw pushing for it. They were mostly antiquated hippies. Although the first time I started paying attention to this kind of thing was the mid 1970’s, time had not been kind to them and they all looked at least ten years older then they were. They reflexively supported a laundry list of Progressive/Left claptrap, talked the Progressive/Left jargon, and were in general everything a Conservative Republican considers repulsive and stupid.

    Now, I’m a Crank, not a Conservative. I quickly came to the conclusion that while the proponents of Marijuana legalization were lying there heads off about the comparative safety of the drug and the usefulness of the plant, they were no worse than they Drug War Myrmidons. But if you want to know why Conservatives are reflexively against legalization, I think this has a lot to do with it.

    1. Ah, our old friend, Principals Not Principles – is there anything you can’t fuck all to hell?

      1. Plagiarist!!!1!1

  15. “Why do Republicans Respect Marijuana Prohibition Like it Came From Moses?”

    I think the first time I heard someone argue for legalizing marijuana was when I was a kid in grade school.

    The argument for legalization was coming from William F. Buckley.

    1. He was such a fucking hippie.

    2. Did you watch the Netflix documentary about him and Gore Vidal?

      1. Yes, but spoiler alert, there wasn’t marijuana involved. That I know of.

  16. A lot of conservatives oppose weed because they see it as part of what makes ‘liberals’ bad people. “Gdamn pot smokin hippies!” *Slams down last of 30 pack of bud light*.

  17. It’s the War on Pleasure. Drugs cause pleasure, and all good conservatives are against other people having unapproved pleasure.

    1. Except, the distinctions between approved & unapproved pleasure are…uh…basically nonexistent. It’s pretty much all about inertia. If it was approved in this society before, it’s approved now. With progressives it’s close to the reverse. Take for instance the nascent movement vs. tackle football, particularly for kids; how do you think that shakes out politically?

      1. Tradition and inertia are basically the only two coherent defining elements of conservatism. There not really any other unifying philosophical principle or goal to work towards. Hayek pointed this out in his 1960 essay “Why I am not a Conservative”. The other two dominant political philosophies do have an something of an ethos that policies and goals can be based on. State ownership,regulation and control VS. Self ownership. And everything else is more or less the logical expansion from these first principles. I know plenty of Conservatives who talk the limited government talk pretty well until you start getting down to specific inconsistencies such as this one. And surprisingly, (more often than not in my recent experience), they will even admit I am right perhaps; but these geriatric antiquated laws can not and should not be changed… Because…..? Well… lots of things that just seem to condense and boil back down to good old fashioned tradition and inertia. With a chaser of ignorance and fear on the side.

        1. Which also explains a good bit of the reason teh R’s always seem to be losing ground. The best they can or probably will ever do is to dig their heels in and try to slow the rate or direction of change. That is all. There is no clear direction they can see to go from here and obviously change is bad if your only goal is to protect the status quo and traditions. But this ignores the fact that while a random radical change is more often than not harmful, sometimes it can be a very good thing. It just depends on the direction. Which you can’t find with out some sort of a reliable compass,The American revolution was a good thing in my opinion. Because it changed things in a better way towards greater individual freedom. Something most libertarian types instinctively want to work towards and most statist/authoritarian types abhor at a molecular level. I think most American Conservatives understand something about this in a very vague and nebulous kind of a way. And unfortunately for the rest of us, most of them just seem to lack the philosophical grounding to follow through on the implications.

  18. A good friend of mine who is a staunch social conservative Republican told me once when we were debating marijuana legalization that his reasoning is that quote – “If the government legalizes it then it sends a message that its okay to use” – I remember looking at him like seriously?? I laid out all the facts but he had his mind made up. It was one of the moments that I realized how hypocritical Republicans are when preaching “limited government” while simultaneously advocating government be our daddy.

  19. Thats Great news.. Thanks for the information.

  20. All,,Politicians accept illegal campaign donations from Federal tax dollars via ONDCP participants, bet there will be resistance from State representatives.
    The ONDCP has defended itself in court on these illegal contributions by denying the court access to bank records, based on “Mandate”.
    That “Mandate” justifies any action the ONDCP sees as performing its mission.
    A person cannot fight the government, , the same cannot be said for State officials, the ONDCP ‘Mandate’ excuse does not cover State officials with the same protections.

    If EVERY..every politician at State level was openly asked if they were accepting illegal campaign contributions from ONDC participants, often, LOUDLY.. they would stop.. accepting donations from commercial enterprises to give those enterprises a Mj policy, those commercial enterprises wish for.
    understand, politicians are deciding Mj policy, on the basis of donations, OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS. ILLEGALLY! You can stop this influence quickly, you can consider it a duty, not just in the case of Mj.. because other issues, are handled the same way from the Cabinet level authority- illegal contributions.. if you wish to see your politicians voted for, respond to the voters, you have to call them out on illegal actions.. even if the Central Government generates that problem of illegally influencing elections.

  21. “Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ? and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ ? fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. ? The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.” ? William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983

    We’d all be better off if the police would focus on crimes with actual victims.
    Does anyone, other than those who pad their pockets with prohibition money, honestly believe that wasting $20 Billion and arresting 3/4 Million Americans annually for choosing a substance scientifically proven to be safer than what the govt allows, is a sound policy?

  22. Obvious answer: because too many of them lay awake at night because someone, somewhere, might be having fun…

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