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Jane Hamsher Talks Marijuana Legalization on MSNBC

Hey, watch this unbelievable video of firedoglake's Jane Hamsher hurling marijuana legalization like a hand grenade into the middle of the immigration debate:

…and everyone just nods in stunned agreement. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I sure haven't seen much coverage of marijuana policy on MSNBC recently, if ever. Is it necessary to tell them you'll be discussing immigration in order to get some airtime for legalization on the most left-leaning cable news network?

It's time to stop labeling marijuana reform as a liberal issue when FOX News has two pundits talking about it constantly, and MSNBC's got nothing to say.

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Leeberulz don't want to talk

Leeberulz don't want to talk about it cuz they don't want to be stereotyped as hippies and conservatives do talk about it cuz they want to prove that they aren't complete boring prudes. Fuck both sides if all they care about is image.

BIg Government = Pro drug war

William Aiken

While I wouldn't classify myself as a conservative, the principles for repealing the drug war have always been those of a conservative appeal. Conversatives may present themselves as law and order types, however, it was the big liberal Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neil who was instrumental in passing the insane crack cocaine laws in 1986 and 1988. Marijuana arrests skyrocketed under a President who didn't inhale. President Obama has shunned pot legalization without explaining why and he appoints a drug warrior, Michele Leonhart to head the DEA in a classic liberal example of "I'll show those conservatives that I'm not soft on crime."

Liberals have never championed drug reform. It's signififacant that the Libertarian wing of the conservative movement have repealing the drug war in their platform. Yes, Scott is correct with his analysis. But there are millions who agree with Bill O'Reilly when he misrepresents the facts by characterizing drug reformers as far left loons funded by George Soros. As misguided as Bill O' is, at least he'll have on reformers like Ethan Nadelmann to debate the issue. MSNBC has to stumble upon the issue. And Former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey who serves as an MSNBC analysis never debates anyone with the view opposite of his drug warrior mind set.

Somebody needs to talk about Prohibition 2.0 repeal

because few politicians will. They treat it like that "third rail" of politics, Social Security. I have heard only 3 politicians speak openly about decriminalizing or re-legalizing cannabis: Republican Ron Paul, and Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Barney Frank. A forth, Democrat Jim Webb only talks about a much more general topic of criminal sentencing guidelines.

Every other politician is apparently afraid to speak out in favor of ending the War on People / Drugs, in fear of either public ridicule or arrest themselves. As such, our politicians are far behind the curve of public sentiment regarding cannabis.

There are more than those three....

I take your general point, but for what it's worth there are more politicians who have expressed support than you mention here. Gary Johnson is a big one. There are also a ton of California politicians who have expressed support, led by Tom Ammiano. The New York gubenatorial primaries have a couple candidates running on anti-prohibition platforms.

Then there is the "we need to have a debate" crowd, which is quite large as well. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the big recent name, but there are a ton of people who have publicly expressed this opinion, including one Senator Barack Obama. We can expect more change in a positive direction too -- Mike Meno recently wrote a great piece about how political strategists are finally finding value in support of marijuana law reform, and harm in support of prohibition.

So yes, the political landscape is still pretty bleak, but it's not quite as bad as you describe and is headed in the right direction.

Shameful Complacency on the "Left"

I'm continually amazed at how despicably mild-mannered "progressives" are when discussing civil liberties generally, and the drug war in particular. For decades they've conceded this ground to their opponents because of pathetic political fears. It's time to start demanding that prominent Democrats and progressives place more emphasis on this issue. It's time to move on this, and we libertarians are sick of tugging the liberals along behind us like whiny children.

Also, can anybody tell me why every comment I post is listed as "anonymous" even though I always enter a username and email address? It's getting a bit frustrating.

If you want your name/username to show

you need to register. Registering also allows you to edit your posts. It's simple to register, just do it. ;^D

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Progressives and the Drug War

It was the Progressives in cahoots with the theocons of the day who brought us the drug war and alcohol prohibition.

The Progressives for the most part have given it up. The theocons are a bit more conservative (well Progressive actually).

The reason it is so hard to get the sides together on the issue is that neither side is coherent: Progressives believe in big government except for the drug war and conservatives believe in small government except for the drug war.

Every one has a drug war exception to their philosophy except libertarians.

It is enough to drive a man to drink or drugs (depending).

Drew B's picture

No Stupid Stereotype Clips

The thing I noticed the most is, since the video people clearly didn't anticipate this angle, there wasn't the barrage of bics lighting bowls and bongs, scruffy-faced people in t-shirts with questionable slogans rolling joints, shots of disheveled living-rooms, and all the other stereotypes it seems the media loves to shove in our faces whenever there is a discussion about drugs or marijuana.

Back to the points raised… I agree, being arrested knows no political boundaries and being forced to pay for the malicious and useless destruction of others' lives knows no political boundaries.

Helping the sick, personal freedoms, reducing waste, religious freedoms, and on and on; there are issues to agree with for every stripe.

the broken clock syndrome

I don't get much respect for my contention that the incremental approach to drug policy reform, exemplified by medical marijuana, is the wrong strategy to effect change. Or for saying some drug policy reform leaders have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. And I'm OK with that. Really, I am.

But it is gratifying to see the "Oh, really?" reaction I've happily endured for the past 5 or 6 years to my contention that fundamental drug policy reform is a Republican opportunity has finally lost some of its condescending tone. I put forward such a theory in my 2004 book, "The Naked Truth About Drugs." True, the Republicans have not all of a sudden taken to wearing love beads and digging Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women."

But they do have Gary Johnson (though he has walked back from his belief in ending the drug war to just ending the war on cannabis...), someone gearing up for a run to become the Republican nominee in 2012. I've yet to hear a Democrat talk that talk. (Barack Obama doesn't count, for obvious reasons.) And the Libertarians? Sadly, my party still seems to have an abundance of lint to pick from its collective navel. Even the Wall Street Journal, that bastion of conservative thought, via the excellent reporting of Mary O'Grady and other WSJ contributors, has shamed the more liberal rags regarding the drug issue.

Tick tock, tick tock...

Daniel Williams

leagalize marijuana

read this book and you will really understand the value of industrial hemp and the true history of marijuana,
this information blew my mind .

Jack Herer's book is an excellent educational source!

Anonymous, you ready to have your mind blown again? A second source of information on just the medical aspects of cannabis is "Granny Storm Crow's MMJ Reference List - July 2010" I collect medical studies about cannabis and articles about them. My list is free and can be found online here-

I've grouped the studies and articles for easy use. The format looks like this-


Antitumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma (full - 2006)

9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Inhibits Cell Cycle Progression in Human Breast Cancer through Cdc2 Regulation (full - 2006)

Anandamide inhibits adhesion and migration of breast cancer cells. (abst - 2006)

Cannabidiol inhibits tumour growth in leukaemia and breast cancer in animal studies (news - 2006)

And it goes on for 420 pages like that! Please take advantage of this opportunity to educate yourself about an amazing healing herb! Thank you.

Granny Storm Crow's MMJ Reference List

Recently started following you on facebook, Storm Crow. Your articles are wonderful. Thanks for all you do!

i dont think any of you

i dont think any of you really understand the severity of the pain we endure and if this drug would be legal and we can get a prescription from our doctors then maybe the suffering would be minimal. i wish marijuana would be legal in brooklyn, or at least in new york so i would not suffer so much.

Its pretty FUCKING ridiculous

Its pretty FUCKING ridiculous that people especially conservatives and Libertarians will go and talk about the personal freedoms of people and how there are human rights but when someone wants to do something like kill themselves or take a drug or abort a fetus it is something that they go and say fuck no about and try to get the government to pass laws breaching personal freedoms if it doesn't hurt anyone except the person doing it it should be allowed.



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