Why Thomas Massie Is Wrong About the Pot Legalization Bill

Yes, taxes and regulation are bad. No, they're not worse than locking people up.


Before we talk about the delicious/delirious content on the latest Reason Roundtable podcast, a quick reminder: It's the penultimate day of our annual Webathon. Challenge grants are afoot. We take still more listener questions in the pod below, but before you click the clicky…


OK, long story short, the House of Representatives on Friday voted to, at long bloody last, end the federal war on marijuana. The winning 228–164 margin included just five Republicans—none of them named Thomas Massie, the libertarian-leaning Kentucky congressman who has been a past supporter of legalization efforts. Massie explained his position thusly:

In today's podcast, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch each take turns arguing against this logic, while also reflecting on the broader history of repealing prohibitions and the immediate challenges of convincing any major political party to reduce state power and expand individual autonomy. The gang also has acidic words for the Food and Drug Administration's foot-dragging on COVID-19 vaccines, kinder words for our own magazine (we like ourselves, we really do!), plus the usual pointless squabbling about the Star Wars universe.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: "Endless Fields—Pizzicato Version" by Ian Post.

Relevant links from the show:

Be berry afraid…. (Katherine Mangu-Ward)

"For the First Time Ever, the House Votes To Repeal the Federal Ban on Marijuana," by Jacob Sullum

"Drugs Declare Victory in War on Drugs," by Jacob Sullum

"Biden's Choice To Head Health and Human Services Is a Lawsuit-Happy Government Nanny," by Scott Shackford

"The U.K. Approves COVID-19 Vaccine While the U.S. FDA Dawdles," by Ronald Bailey

"Will the COVID-19 Vaccines Soon Crush the Pandemic?" by Ronald Bailey

"Like COVID-19 Vaccines? Thank Globalization!" by Eric Boehm

"You Asked, We Told: The Reason Roundtable Fields Your Questions," by Matt Welch

"Will Cities Survive 2020?" by Christian Britschgi