Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Push Back Against Marijuana Prohibitionism Continues

One of Andrew Sullivan's readers writes:
I am a twenty-six year old law school graduate who is currently pursuing a masters in political science. I smoke up to three times a week, depending on my schedule. Am I an unproductive member of society? Should I be apprehended to face criminal charges because I enjoy sitting on my couch, lighting a joint, and watching The Wire? According to the puritanical laws governing marijuana, and the false rhetoric espoused by those cognitively inflexible enough to see marijuana as somehow worse than tobacco, I am a criminal. I believe the laws currently in place reflect the views of a society inordinately afraid of the truth.

But what do I know? I smoke weed.

And here's Sullivan himself on the ongoing absurd theater surrounding Phelps' marijuana use:
America's drug war insanity deepens. What I love about the harrumphing is its total incoherence. The argument, so far as I can tell, is: a) marijuana destroys people, renders them incapable of productive and worthwhile lives; b) yes, the new president and the greatest Olympic swimmer of all time have smoked pot; c) but that means we have to punish them all the more!

Because they disprove the lies required to sustain the Prohibition. The more the myths of the anti-cannabis brigade are exposed, the more they have to be enforced. For my original pro-Phelps splutter, see here.

But perhaps the best response to this brouhaha thus far comes from Radley Balko who has authored a brilliant post titled "What Michael Phelps Should Have Said."

My take on what we can learn about the mainstream media from their reaction to the Phelps photograph can be found here.


Slog is appropriately blunt regarding the possible criminal charges against Phelps:
What a bunch of fucking jerks. I hope they totally embarrass themselves with a lack of evidence.

Update II:

At the UI Advocates for Liberty blog, Jeff Yager also comments on the prospect of Phelps facing prosecution for the bong rip heard round the world:
Wow. I really hope they charge him and let this complete insanity of marijuana prohibition be brought into the limelight. Nobody cared half this much when the guy got a DUI a few years ago. You know, something that actually might have put others in danger? But take a hit on a bong at a college party? CRUCIFY HIM!!!! Yeah, that's logical.

Update III:

Balko discusses the prosecutor's discretion in the Phelps case.


Anonymous said...

Balko is a moron. Granting public figures exceptions to the rule of law is exactly the kind of thinking that is ruining our country right now. That kind of thinking is what gave Bush his second term and what's now allowing Obama to fill the White House with lobbyists and tax cheats.

The law is the law. If the law is wrong, make your case and change the law. Fuck Micheal Phelps. He may be worshipped as a god from the poolside, but in the courtroom he can take his place in line right behind me.

Christopher Patton said...

Fine. And then the jury should go ahead and nullify.

Go read some of Balko's work for the Cato Institute. If you think he's an idiot, you clearly haven't read his work.

Anonymous said...

No thanks, I clicked over to hus contribs page and found this He is a columnist for FoxNews.com

What else do I need to know? He's a moron just like Hannity and Oreilly and apparently thinks just like they do that his opinion is more valuable than judge or jury

Christopher Patton said...

Well, that's quite an informed view to take. But they say ignorance is bliss, so I hope you're at least enjoying yourself.