Federalism

'The War on Pot…Has Affected Millions of Lives in This Country Negatively'

Sticking up for pharmacological freedom on Fox Business Network

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Jeff Sessions ||| Sipa USA/TNS/Newscom
Sipa USA/TNS/Newscom

"Whenever this topic comes up," Fox Business Network host Charles Payne said today, while kicking off a segment about the Attorney General Jeff Sessions' new marijuana enforcement guidelines, "everyone says, 'Let's grab Matt!'"

I am always happy to talk about America's shameful, life-mangling War on Drugs with anyone, on any network, from any continent. Especially on days like today, when an announced decision by a powerful politician reminds us of how arbitrary the lines are between freedom and oppression when government decides to police what individuals choose to put into their own bodies. In this clip, which also includes Washington Times columnist Madison Gesiotto, I respond to Payne's question about whether we should weigh post-legalization safety stats in states such as Colorado by saying, "The War on Drugs—and the war on pot, which is a significant part of it—has affected millions of lives in this country negatively. I look at that as being more significant than a slight uptick or downtick in any macro kind of economic indicator." The whole exchange, including Rick James references, below:

Jacob Sullum, who has forgotten more about drug laws than every TV anchor knows combined, explained in detail earlier today how "On paper, Sessions' memo does not change DOJ policy." At The Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin characterized it is as a "limited, but potentially dangerous step." And Damon Root also reminded us about the awful, Sessions-enabling 2005 Supreme Court decision (which itself is a cautionary tale about how the War on Drugs leads directly to restrictions on liberty that have zero to do with getting high).

More in this space tomorrow.

NEXT: Jeff Sessions Escalates the Federal War on Marijuana - and his Assault on Federalism

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  1. Why don’t the Feds just let States deal with it?

    1. *** scratches head ***

      Too much like slavery?

      1. Owning Black people is the only right states are bound to respect.

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    3. Rufus,
      I could do a search, but how does Canada deal with dope?

      1. Mostly they make them take ‘The Hot Walk’ across the Southern Border into the Hell Lands.

  2. Many people are unaware that anyone thinks meth should be legal. I blame stoner libertarian journalists.

    1. Sounds like Jonah’s disgust is leading to a harsh reaction.

      1) We can argue the death penalty, but I hope he’s consistent enough to say that any act of pedophilia should be a capital offense.

      2) Why would this make me rethink my position? People act like pro drug legalizers aren’t aware that people can do fucked up things on drugs. Doing amphetamines, something that is really only pretty recently illegal, is quite a distinct action from raping a kid.

      3) Why? Why should someone be punished LESS because they were sober while doing a crime? In some ways that seems worse to me, but at the very least I don’t believe that the crime is suddenly worse because they were on meth while doing it. It just gives one a kneejerk thing to blame for a monstrous act.

      And of course, try to pay attention to the many, many more people you condemn to rot to death in prison who have done nothing more than consumed a drug.

      1. Methamphetamine is available with a prescription, and sometimes prescribed for kids to treat ADHD. It’s a dangerous drug if misused, but prohibition has added many more dangers while failing to stop that misuse.

        1. Meth has been around since the late 1800’s. Most Americans had never even heard of it until our government, in their infinite capacity to fuck up everything they touch, cracked down on pharmaceutical amphetamines in the early 80’s, creating out of thin air a demand for meth as a street drug. Too bad for them, despite their best efforts to make it dangerous, even illegal, meth isn’t a particularly dangerous drug. So now they’re doing the same thing with Rx opiates. Even if you can believe your lawmakers are completely incapable of learning from history, the effects of the crackdown are inescapable. Their refusal to roll back destructive policies is a more proof, as if those of us who lived through the meth epidemic that never was needed more proof, that doing harm is the WHOLE POINT.

    2. If fighter pilots can use it, why not others?

    3. I know a lot of people who think meth should be legal. For the same reasons heroin, cocaine, and marijuana should be. Because no one should have the right to dictate what other people put into their own bodies.

  3. I really have a hard time getting upset with something like this. It’s annoying, yes. But this is just another example of things which should be changed in legislation. If you didn’t like it, Congress should change the law. The AG shouldn’t be announcing which laws are the real laws. I understand there is a difference between an AG letting off and an AG going wild on pot but damn, why do we even have the CSA? Shouldn’t these be state level crimes anyway?

    1. You are 100% right, it should be changed in legislation. BUT, it is steps like this, and not getting behind the will of the people, that is going to cost Repubs Congress, at which point, the Dems will give us legal weed and then proceed to fuck everything else up. I cannot stand Repubs, but hate Dems 3x as much.

      1. “Dems will give us legal weed”

        Maybe, highly doubtful. I doubt President Trump would go along with it unless he thinks its overwhelming popular. I also have very little belief that the leadership of the Democratic Party would push the issue. Maybe in the unfortunate circumstance if we elect President Cory Booker/whatever other Democrat plans to run in 2020, then you’ll see a change in how Cannabis is treated at the federal level. But that’s putting a lot of “faith” in the Democrats to actually work to reform an issue that they haven’t care about in the past.

      2. The Democrats will not give us legal weed at least at the national level. Obama was just as bad about cracking down on medical marijuana and the Democrats had control of the Presidency and Congress and did nothing but pass healthcare legislation. They would have been better off completely legalizing pot at the Federal level.

  4. Especially on days like today, when an announced decision by a powerful politician reminds us of how arbitrary the lines are between freedom and oppression when government decides to police what individuals choose to put into their own bodies.

    And also, and I believe this is important, the danger of letting ourselves being contented with executive memos. The congressman defer from doing their damn job so they don’t have to risk any fallback. But the police refusing to prosecute a law is not the same as that law not existing.

    1. Seriously though, glad to see you give ’em hell Matt. The absurdity of locking people in prison, of completely taking away a person’s life, for voluntary consumption of a good. It’s disgusting.

  5. Boy, I’d like to see that tie knotted a little more snugly. It had me siding with Sessions.

  6. Someone should erotically asphyxiate Sessions to death.

    1. Do you any idea how traumatic it is to read “Sessions” and “erotic” in the same sentence?

  7. Imagine that we can accomplish with a War on Guns??

  8. “The War on Drugs?and the war on pot, which is a significant part of it?has affected millions of lives in this country negatively. I look at that as being more significant than a slight uptick or downtick in any macro kind of economic indicator.”

    Yup. Nevertheless, you have drug warriors saying that this is a fight worth fighting.

    I’m being serious. That’s exactly how blonde bubblehead Ainsley Earhardt introduced a segment this morning on Fox & Friends bwfore interviewing a drug warrior who claims the “voters [in Colorado] got a raw deal”, presenting a less-than-compelling argument to justify that. It reminded me of ghoulish Madeleine Albright’s cavalier attitude towards dead Iraqui children.

  9. Policy will never change as long as prominent advocates wear pink shirts with *polka dots* on television.

    If Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech while wearing a turtleneck and a wide-lapel plaid suit, he would have been thought of as an eccentric furniture salesman, at best.

    That said, there was a lot of sexual tension between that ….shirt-thing, and Charle’s tie. They yearned for one another across the desk.

    1. I mean, Latino Elvira might not have said anything that made even a lick of sense, but she definitely wins the ‘turn-the-sound-off’ contest.

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