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Admitted Pot User Mike Bloomberg Says Pot Legalization is "Stupider" Than...Prohibition?

During tenure as mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg banned or tried banning all sorts of things that bugged him: trans fat, smoking, salt, cups of soda whose size he found excessive.

So maybe it's not surprising to learn that the former hizzoner is still really down on pot legalization. Here he is, speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival:

"What are we going to say in 10 years when we see all these kids whose IQs are five and 10 points lower than they would have been?” Bloomberg said Friday night at the Aspen Institute, according to The Aspen Times.

“I couldn’t feel more strongly about it," Bloomberg added. "This is one of the stupider things that’s happening across our country.” 

The socially liberal Republican turned independent is no fan of medical marijuana, either, calling it "one of the greatest hoaxes of all time" back in 2013. That's a view that Reason's Jacob Sullum rightly characterized as one of "astonishing ignorance." Back in 2013, Bloomberg didn't just diss medical marijuana. He also said recreational pot was no-go, on the grounds that it's stronger than when he used it and that "if marijuana were legal, those dealers would just start selling something else, like cocaine."

This time, Bloomberg was speaking in Colorado, the state  has blazed the trail for legalized recreational pot and has encountered no problems more serious to date than higher-than-expected tax revenue

More here.

Bloomberg apparently didn't bother spelling out the cost of the status quo in the 48 states that do not yet have operating sales of recreational pot (for legal status of states regarding pot, go here).

It's great that he cares about the latter-day Shaggys from Scooby-Doo who might be damaged by legal pot, but what's his take on the hundreds of thousands of people arrested each year for possession? Does the disruption caused by such things matter to him? Guessing from his tenure as New York's mayor, it's a big fat Bronx cheer. During his time as mayor, "the NYPD arrested an average of nearly 39,000 pot smokers each year, compared to 24,487 under Giuliani, 982 under David Dinkins, and 2,259 under Ed Koch."

You can't expect someone as fixated on controlling people's bodies as Bloomberg is to change his mind on pot legalization from first principles. That is, he clearly doesn't think that individuals own their bodies and thus have the right to do with them as they please (and reap or suffer the consequences).

But it's surely not asking too much that characters such as Bloomberg be pushed to explain how demonstrable harms from the war on drugs are less somehow less pressing than hypothetical problems that are mostly grounded in myth anyway.

For god's sake, he was speaking at a supposed "ideas festival." I doubt his audience was expecting to hear a rehash of "ideas" and policies that have been in place for decades and fail to accomplish any of their goals while exacerbating every social ill they claim to ameliorate.

Hat tip: The Twitter feed of Mike Hewlett.

Watch: "The Mike Bloomberg Legacy: 12 Years of Little Tyrannies in 2 Minutes"

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It must be a burden to know every fucking thing.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Are you referring to Warty?

  • d3x / dt3||

    No - that would be everything fucking.

  • Libertarian||

    Hey, if Bloomie smoked pot AND says it lowers one's IQ -- who are we to disagree?

  • Libertarian||

  • gaoxiaen||

    NEEDZ MOAR LIPSTICK!

  • Mickey Rat||

    "During tenure as mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg banned or tried banning all sorts of things that bugged him: trans fat, smoking, salt, cups of soda whose size he found excessive."

    He justified some of those bans by referencing his personal weakness for the products. He may be a nanny but he has been consistent about it.

    "The socially liberal Republican turned independent is no fan of medical marijuana, either, calling it "one of the greatest hoaxes of all time" back in 2013."

    He's a socially liberal Democrat turned Republican turned independent. His affiliation with GOP was just long enough to get him elected on their ticket.

    I don't think it is controversial to say that the point of the medical marijuana movement is to get the camel's nose under the tent. Most people supporting it don't really care about what medical efficacy it may have.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "His affiliation with GOP was just long enough to get him elected on their ticket."

    He was widely presented and seen as Rudy's successor and similar city governor. He was given a prominent speaking slot at the national GOP convention. It was a bit more than a charade. He's part of a long line of Northeastern Republicans, such as Rudy, Christie, Rockefeller, Kean, Whitman.

  • Mickey Rat||

    For which he changed his party affiliation from Democrat in order to achieve that perception. He the spent most of his mayoralty as an independent. It does not speak of a committment GOP politics even at the most crass mutual backscratching level. All demonstrates is the weirdness that is NYC politics.

  • Robert||

    And it should be remembered that such politicians, and members of the grass roots with similar views, were for a long time the mainstream of that party, which is why I snicker at the appel'n "RINO". It's only in the past 40 yrs. that the rest of the GOP left them behind as a regional phenomenon.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    He's part of a long line of Northeastern Republicans, such as Rudy, Christie, Rockefeller, Kean, Whitman.

    You know, except for that whole thing about being a Democrat his entire life until he ran for mayor. And then buying his way to the GOP nomination. And having no affiliation whatsoever with any GOP politicians after getting elected. And then trashing Giuliani within a year of getting in office. But, other than that he was straight GOP.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "What are we going to say in 10 years when we see all these kids whose IQs are five and 10 points lower than they would have been?” Bloomberg said Friday night"

    I suspect legalization might lead to an uptick in some underage use, but it's really brazen and calloused of Bloomberg to focus on that and somehow forget all the suffering the Drug War itself inflicts on children.

    All the kids who've been driven into foster care because the Drug War put a parent in jail, all the kids who have had to grow up amid well-financed, violent street gangs--because of the Drug War.

    I guess when you're ex-mayor Bloomberg, and you've been directly responsible for inflicting that kind of pain on so many children, you become numb to the sadness you caused every day. But the fact that some kids may have an easier time getting weed sans the Drug War is incredibly insensitive considering the horrors the Drug War itself continues to inflict on so many children.

    Talk about being out of touch.

  • John||

    I suspect legalization might lead to an uptick in some underage use,

    It might. It could be that legalization causes people to be more accepting of pot and thus more kids think it is okay to use it. I doubt that, however. My experience is that pot is available in any high school in America. The kids who choose not to smoke it do so less out of a concern over getting caught and more so out of a cultural rejection of it ingrained by their parents. I don't think legalization will change that much. The parents and the types of people and culture that reject pot as the devil weed will continue to do so prohibition or not.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That just seems to me to be contrary to basic economic principles. Lowering the cost of something usually means it becomes more, not less purchased and used.

    Of course, who cares? Pot is no worse than lots of other things and it's nobody's business what you buy, sell or use as long as it doesn't violate anyone else's rights

  • Ken Shultz||

    Again, the question is whether foster care, well financed street gangs, and the militarization if our police, giving so many of our nation's poor a criminal record, etch. is worth keeping pot use down among teens.

    You have to completely ignore the consequences of the Drug War to imagine that legalization is just about whether we want more or less marijuana use among teens.

  • d3x / dt3||

    To Bloomberg, the costs that you describe about drug prohibition are unseen. I think that's largely true for the general population as well; they aren't personally affected or know someone who is, so they figure everything is just ducky.

    The militarization of police is one part, though, that is becoming more difficult to conceal.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Lowering the cost of something usually means it becomes more, not less purchased and used.

    That is true. The question is whether marijuana demand is particularly elastic around the price differential we're talking about. It's entirely possible that social pressures make it not.

  • Robert||

    The parents and the types of people and culture that reject pot as the devil weed will continue to do so prohibition or not.


    I disagree. There'll be a small residue like that, but for most of them disapproval of cannabis is just a puddle-shallow groupthink. It'll seem like overnight that they'll switch from disapproval to approval once it's legal. Conversely, make something illegal and they'll just as swiftly fall into disapproval of it.

  • rudehost||

    The socially liberal fascist Republican turned independent is no fan of medical marijuana, either

    FTFY

  • manhattanguy||

    He was a great Mayor. Period.

  • Scientist||

    I'm a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research. The evidence of the value of Marijuana as a life saving medicine is now so strong that the need to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 has become a moral imperative.

    This weekend over 3,000 Americans will die, in pain, of Cancer. Every day after that, 1,500 more Americans will die, after suffering horribly, from it. Every single minute another American dies of Cancer. Every American Cancer patient deserves the right to have safe, legal, and economical access to Medical Marijuana. Every single one.

    Americans who need Medical Marijuana shouldn't be used as "Political Footballs" Please call the Whitehouse comment line at (202) 456-1111 and ask that the President take immediate action to remove Marijuana from Schedule 1 so American Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it.

    Oncologists have know it for more than a quarter of a Century that Marijuana is a "wonder drug" for helping Cancer patients.

    The American Society of Clinical Oncologists wants Marijuana removed from Schedule 1. So does the American Medical Association, the professional society of all Physicians. A strong majority of Americans want Physicians in all 50 states to be able to prescribe Medical Marijuana. So do their Physicians., Cancer patients can't wait.

  • d3x / dt3||

    I know you are a Scientist and all; you've posted this exact same thing here before. So I'll post this again:

    Don't give the drug warriors ammunition by claiming MJ is some kind of miracle. I'm sure it's good for some things, and I agree that the schedule I status is a big deal. It degrades your (our) credibility when you pretend that the science is settled on this.

    I know, I know, but ... Science!

  • manhattanguy||

    And I've suffered from Epilepsy for a majority of my life and did smoke some joints when I was in College. The pot made my condition worse.....yes worse.

    I'm all for providing people who are in pain medical marijuana but your cherry-picking one positive of the drug. I just gave you one negative through personal experience and can give you a dozen more reasons for not abusing any drug including alcohol.

    Epileptic!

  • Robert||

    Now, when a person flies over New York City, they will see that 95 percent of roofs are painted white, he said.


    Ach, I'm blinded! We're gonna crash!

  • Robert||

    Bloomberg is such a Not-Invented-Here prick—and NYC mayors do tend to have swollen egos like this—that if you questioned him a while on pot policy, you'd have to conclude that he wants it neither legal nor illegal. He'd insinuate that if only we'd bow down to his expertise, he would present a way to deal with it that'd make every other person's plan look benighted.

  • manhattanguy||

    My Ex-Mayor Bloomberg is one of the finest, smartest and best mayors our City has ever had! Crime down and he got us through one of the biggest economic downturns since the Great Depression.

    Fact is abusing anything, pot, alcohol etc...will lower your IQ. Do I believe that people should be arrested for small amounts? No....but people who deny that using it lowers your IQ is living in a fantasy world. I just look at some of people who abuse it and they are living off of their parents or the Government.

    Wake up guys....Bloomberg was a super Mayor and Super CEO!

  • Dilligaf||

    "Fuck Off,Slaver.",is the prefered honorific where I live.

  • JeanPAlvord||

    Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me. I started working for them online and in a short time after I've started averaging 15k a month... The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start...
    This is where to start……….

    ➜➜➜➜➜ http://www.netpay20.com

  • BoundlessExistence||

    Hey Bloomberg, stfu!

  • Anne Armstrong||

    http://youtu.be/P2tIxCXUaL0

    An honest politician.

  • Paul Pot||

    He has admitted to considerable cannabis consumption.
    He says that cannabis consumption lowers IQ.
    Is he blaming his apparent lack of intelligence on his own drug consumption?

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