The Media's Approach to Marijuana Coverage Has Changed Dramatically

This CNBC appearance by MPP's Rob Kampia is an exhibit in the rapid evolution of marijuana policy coverage in the mainstream press:

Radley Balko pretty much nails what I wanted to say about this:

Former DEA chief Asa Hutchinson is the only person on CNBC’s (oddly enormous) panel arguing against legalization. These aren’t stoners or activists. They’re financial reporters and pundits. And they seem to be uniformly in favor of legalizing. This debate has come a long, long, way since the 1980s.
I've been critical of CNBC in the past, but this more than surpasses my expectations. Asa Hutchinson probably feels like he was ganged up on, but he should just consider himself lucky that the press didn't start asking these questions a long time ago.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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I hate to be crude, but that

I hate to be crude, but that was a 7-on-1 gangbang with the DEA talking head getting pounded hard.

Also, I think if the tobacco companies are smart they'll throw their money behind the legalization movement. Think about it, all they would be doing would be switching out one plant for another. Their whole business model could stay the same, they could even cut out rolling cigarettes as folks will be more interested in buying whole, fresh bud rather than dried, pre-rolled crap. And they wouldn't have to spend millions actively defaming their own product (remember, most anti-smoking propaganda is produced by the tobacco companies themselves) as the health effects of cannabis aren't nearly as dire as tobacco and you don't even need to actually smoke it.

Anyone else see a day where we'll be buying five gram packs of Marlboro Cannabis and vaping it in a Marlboro-brand vaporizer?

Been wondering the same for years...

It's just so clear that big tobacco should be getting involved -- they have been losing business all these years as many fewer people are smoking, they have the industrial apparatus already in place, it's healthier than tobacco, and there's 25,000,000 Americans alone smoking it. Talk about economic stimulus -- I'd love to see those violent drug cartels lose this revenue and see it do good in the public purse. They should be granting money to all the legalization groups (including my favorite -- Stop the Drug War) pushing for this sensible change to our laws.

- Michael

Marijuana poses no threat to the alcohol and tobacco industries

Alcohol and tobacco are by far the top two drugs used in the Netherlands, whereas in the states Marijuana is now tied with tobacco cigarettes because of tighter regulation and stigma surrounding cigarette smoking.

Remember Joe Camel?

Considering what the tobacco companies did with cigarettes... give them marijuana, and if there’s a way to make it addictive and dangerous, they’ll find it.

I’m 100% behind legalization of possesion, use, and non-commercial cultivation/production and distribution of marijuana and most if not all other drugs (except where the production entails a physical danger, such as operating a meth lab in a residential area — but that’s a safety and zoning issue, not a drug issue). But for crying out loud, let’s not turn the corporate profiteers and marketing hacks loose with it; haven’t they done enough damage?

Except for one thing,

It appears that the corporate profiteers and marketing hacks have more political capital that ordinary citizens. So, getting them on board could lead to expedited results. Would it be a deal with the devil? That would be a question to consider. But, rest assured, if it were legalized, profiteers and ad-men would show up to the party. It's just part of the American Way.

Also, I was interested to hear that there are no corporate lobbyists in D.C. pushing to maintain the prohibition. But, instead, "intertia" is holding it back. On the one hand it could be argued that the decades of propaganda have permanently affected the citizenry's will to promote civil liberties and save money.

But then I realized that they failed to address the most obvious vested interests. Asa's former office, the DEA, happens to stand to lose sizable funds if its war on citizens were narrowed in scope. Also, the prison guard labor unions are pushing hard against policy reform (or so I am led to believe). The problem is, they are existing on a lot of money aimed at purposes that do not further the public good.

They manufacture criminals to process through the criminal justice system by criminalizing generally victimless behavior. It's might just be an example of a natural negative externality of a government that sees itself as tasked with governing morals, that then goes on to define morals without reference to the more honorable ideals upon which the country was established.

These are great ideas. I

These are great ideas. I have given this a lot of thought but I had never considered the intentional manufacture of criminals; nor a plan to preemptively engage profiteers. Both make perfect sense. Thanks!

CNBC

not MSNBC

I'm crying with joy. That

I'm crying with joy. That was the most powerful human rights advocacy panel I've ever seen on TV. Beat their f'ing doors down Rob Kampia!

Some of us watch CNBC

I do on a daily basis. And I have been writing them for years now giving them numbers and economic rationalizations for reform. It seems enough of us have been doing this to get them to listen.

Also, their resident right-winger, Larry Kudlow, was forced into rehab years ago by a wife he was divorcing, she went to court and said he was snorting up his net worth to keep it out of the settlement. Kudlow is an economist, a stupid as shit economist but an economist none the less. It could be that he and Jim Cramer and other like minded folks at CNBC supported the idea of putting together that hour long marijuana markets piece that CNBC aired earlier this year.

I was really impressed that their economics reporter, Steve Liesman, referred to the 'rule of law' issue. That showed that he is thinking deep thoughts on this issue. This was the most substantive question asked of Hutchinson. And he could not respond to it. Neat.

All that Hutchinson could do was fear-monger with the 'for the children' rant. And no one there, including Kampia, had a good rebuttal to his crap. I am going to write to the CNBC people on the panel and give them my counter-argument. Kampia too.

Everyone Loves a Winner

Recent polls have made it clear that cannabis legalization is no longer an ‘if’ but rather a ‘when’.

The energized media focus on reorganizing drug policies reflects what the talking heads believe is a popular topic for public consumption—one that is no longer likely to come back in the future and bite them in their ass.  Additionally, a faltering world economy and a vicious civil war in Mexico over control of drug territories have added new dimensions to the debate favoring legalization.

This good news about reform does not mean that drug law activists can rest on their laurels.  There will be plenty of moralizers and corporatists such as Asa Hutchinson who will continue to do battle with the forces of freedom and democracy, this despite the fact that losing media support means their Normandy beachhead has successfully been breached.  Thousands of new opposition troops will now pour in to liberate the world from drug tyranny and oppression.   This time the wave of change will not crest and roll back.  Victory is within our grasp.

Giordano

Seriously?

these reporters are all fuckin idiots..... "hard drugs like meth, cocaine, and Marijuana? fuck hah

wake up you fucking morons.... weed has been helping people for it's whole existence and is not a drug let alone a hard drug.....

alcohol poisoning!

There is a special on ET or some show like that, going on about the ER episode on alcohol poisoning! It is a "hard" drug itself. It could kill more than drugs do, by poisoning, every year! Any way, it truly kills more than cannabis ever has, in like, FOREVER!!

Mr Obama

will never legalize weed if he did .police would assassinate him like they did JFK .they will not give up that racket they got going.so get ready for more robberies beatings and murders.

asa

Did anyone miss the fact that Hutchinson classified cannabis as a “hard drug”? That puts him well away from Western categories of drugs and on par with human rights backwaters like Dubai and Thailand. Amazing that this guy was the head of the world’s most powerful secret police. Also, is it not interesting that he was the only one on the panel in favor of prohibition and had a Southern accent? Is it any real stretch of the imagination to conjure up southern slave holders arguing with free-state advocates? After all, if the drug war is about anything, it’s about slave labor from incarcerated minorities—a big boon to industry because prisoners can’t unionize for better pay and conditions.
Hutchinson’s final comment, that he wants to “Strengthen our culture” through continued police terror tactics and incarceration was laughable until you ask the question, whose culture? Why, the culture of the nanny state and the bureaucrats that run it, of course. Substitute “cult” for “culture” and you will have a better picture of what he really has in mind (same etymology).
Hutchinson, like Goebbels before him, just wants what’s best for his Homeland.

The backwaters of...

...Arkansas, is where Asa is from. And he desperately wants to get back into the political waters.He's a full blooded yahoo, just like his brother Tim, the once upon a time senator. When it comes to freedom or a strong culture, they're both frauds.

Moral?

Moral?

Kidnapping/extortion in violation of the 8th Amendment for supressing the safer substances (Marijuana and Coca) in order to protect the more dangerious alcohol and tobacco?

Talk about white is black and black is white- that which has been long promoted by Jesuitical Georgetown University and company.

Why marijuana? I believe

Why marijuana? I believe that marijuana should be legalized for the same reasons that you do, which is medical use, some control over the use of marijuana, and a better economy. Former President Jimmy Carter once said, "Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual then the drug itself"

A breakdown of Hutchinsons arguments.

I've posted my breakdown of Hutchinsons arguments on here

Stop calling them reporters when they say drug violence

or when they say drug problem etc. in debate. If they are not saying prohibition violence or terrorist run war against drugs,you know they are terrorists themselves. same goes for the terrorists who call themselves police.

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