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Josh Marshall Opposes Marijuana Legalization for Ridiculous Reasons

Josh Marshall is a very popular lefty blogger/pundit, and his comments on Prop 19 are a healthy reminder that liberals aren't always on board when it comes to marijuana reform:

A lot of people on both sides of the Prop 19 issue have written in with various points about Prop 19 but usually assuming that I personally supported it. I hadn't really focused on it much, honestly. But I think I probably would have voted against it. For two reason: First, unless I'm missing something, it amounts to nullification. The federal government seems like the competent authority to regulate this question, even if I think our drug policy is a disaster. Federal laws trump state laws, even when you don't like them.

I remember, many years ago, talking to my father about the idea of legalization. And bear in mind, my Dad, God bless him, smoked a decent amount of grass in his day, said he didn't like the idea. One reason is that he was already a bit older by that time. But he had this very contradictory and hard to rationalize position which was that he was fine with people smoking pot but keeping it at least nominally illegal kept public usage in some check. Again, how to rationalize that in traditional civic terms? Not really sure. But frankly, I think I kind of agree.

His first point might almost make sense, except for the very basic fact that states have different laws than the federal government. I've explained repeatedly how uninformed the "conflict with federal law" argument is when it comes to state laws reforming marijuana policies, but anyone who's ever heard of a medical marijuana dispensary shouldn't need my help with this. Obviously, Josh Marshall isn't aware that marijuana is already being sold from storefronts in California. Someone should tell him about it.

But that's just an embarrassing fundamental misunderstanding of the law, and unless I'm missing something, Josh Marshall isn’t a lawyer. What kills me here is his satisfaction with the possibility that our "disaster" of a drug policy at least keeps marijuana use "in some check." That's what Cheye Calvo used to think before some drug dealers randomly chose his address for a marijuana shipping conspiracy and his dogs got shot dead in a botched police raid. I hope nothing like that ever happens to Josh Marshall, but it would be great if he could find time to read about all the awesomely violent stuff police do each day to protect us from marijuana.

For more on Josh Marshall's impressively incoherent defense of marijuana prohibition, Jacob Sullum and Pete Guither have great posts.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Why the hell do we have to keep cannabis use more in check

than alcohol use? Because our culture likes violence too much to accept a peaceful alternative?

He still hasn't focused much on this issue, that's clear. Hopefully he'll take a serious look at it sometime. Liberals like him are driving people away from the Democrats. I'm through voting for Democrats until they stop scapegoating cannabis users, I had nothing to show for 40 years of voting for them, so it's over. If Obama won't take such a basic and obvious step like rescheduling cannabis, he doesn't deserve my support, anymore than O'Malley and Mikulski did. Stonewalling jokers.

Blogger, yes. Pundit, no.

Blogger, yes. Pundit, no.

Who is Josh Marshall?  And

Who is Josh Marshall?  And who really cares what his opinion is on marijuana.  He must not be that bright if he is against legalization!

Blog Assignment for Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall treated us all to a knockdown lackluster bit of rambling about cannabis.  Now, he must recant and repent.

The only solution for Josh Marshall’s literary malaise is to burn one.  ‘Olde times there are not forgotten…’ as Dixie goes.  Then he can write another cannabis blog and tell us for once what’s so bad about getting high once in awhile, minus having the cornerstone of the current police state bearing down on our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


Be a Fool-Support Prohibition


I suppose Mr. Marshall is not aware of the thousands of people killed each year by alcohol (weather they drink or not) or the hundreds of thousands killed each year by their "use" of tobacco products. Perhaps Mr. Marshall would advocate the re-prohibition of alcohol in order to "keep public usage in some check". Heck, while we're at it why not outlaw tobacco as well.  

Were that to happen our once great nation would be transformed into a penal colony where society was split between the incarcerated and those who "guard" them. Every judge and law enforcement officer would be on the take; the rule of law would be a thing of the past.

I suppose that Mr. Marshall is not aware of the fact that Marijuana use among high-school students in the Netherlands is lower than the rest of Europe and the United States in spite of or because of their common sense approach to Marijuana. In the Netherlands cops actually enforce laws that protect victims. Should Mr. Marshall ever find himself a victim of a property crime (perhaps by a junkie looking to trade his nice stereo for a fix) then he will learn first hand how lame our police have become. You could have a bloody palm print on a broken window and a cop would laugh at the suggestion that they take a print and actually INVESTIGATE the crime.

I assume Mr. Marshall simply has not done his homework. Personally, I feel folks of his ilk should be barred from voting, even if that were somehow possible they would continue to make fools of themselves weather on their blogs in newspapers on television or from their podiums.

So lets hear it Mr. Marshall, why not make your next blog post a rant about how we as a nation of laws should immediately take up a debate in the House of Representatives on outlawing tobacco and alcohol.

One more thought for Mr. Marshall in case he is reading-use your spellchecker. Or are you deliberately trying to embarrass yourself in public?

I pretty much agree with your post, but . . .

someone who spells "whether" as "weather" shouldn't be calling others on their spelling errors.

I don't get it so I'm agin it

These are the people that should have just passed on voting.He had a father who was a total hypocrite and I didn't quite get what his objection was,if he had one.The trouble with the marijuana question is that a big % of voters just don't get it and some are against it cause they believe the prison industrial complex and the treatment people that legalization will be the end of their jobs,as if that would be a bad thing.A whole lot of people have learned a new trade and the army,navy airforce and marines need just your type.Hypocrisy is the call word of the anti marijuana people as there are no real legitimate complaints.40 years of this and believe me I have heard the same bogus lies from day one with an ever decreasing volume.Kind of hoping they'll just fade away.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is more enlightened than Josh Marshall

"The federal government seems like the competent authority to regulate this question, even if I think our drug policy is a disaster. Federal laws trump state laws, even when you don't like them."

The above comment from Josh Marshall is just one more reason why we need to reach out to Tea Party-influenced Republicans, who think like Texas Governor Rick Perry in regards to states right to tax and regulate marijuana. 

While saying Texas would oppose legalizing marijuana, he applauded California's apparent decision to tell the federal government to enforce its own drug laws in the Golden State.

"It sure seems unlikely that there could be adequate resources at the federal level to actually tell Californians how to live their lives," Perry said. "In other words, Californians may well be telling the federal government to 'bring it on, we'll handle this how we want to handle it."

Neither of them will explain why alcohol is OK but weed

verboten, so they are both being creeps. How can we make them do what any decent person would do: clearly explain why people are being made criminals for choosing cannabis instead of alcohol. If they give a damn about science, it is clear on the subject: the (much) more dangerous substance to life and limb and fetus is the legal one, they are trying to suppress use of the safer competition (quite futilely, and expensively in a lot more ways than one). STOP THE LYING ABOUT ALCOHOL VS. CANNABIS 

Since Perry is also one of those barbarians who oppose all medicinal marijuana, he's nothing but a degenerate sadist and fascist to me. Texas is on the frontline of the war on selected drug users (herb/drug is more like it in the case of cannabis, even that can be debated), where the bill comes due for America's and Texas' flaming hypocrisy on alcohol, tobacco and big pharma vs cannabis and illegal drugs. Used to be a 30 year sentence for mere possession of weed down in Texas, so have fun paying the bill for that, Texas. Corrupto money must just be sloshing around Texas as it has in ever rising amounts since Lyndon Johnson's first election to the Senate, so have fun with the kind of government that produces, too. 

There are so many things Josh Marshall has not considered, just to name one: how prohibition gives cannabis rebel status, add to that that young people are prone to take a rebel pose and you've got a prohibition created inducement to the young in particular to use the banned substance. His post was pretty frivolous, like the LA Times editorial on Prop 19. Just not an important issue to him, in spite of the slaughter than prohibition is causing just south of the border, the slimy hypocrisy of prohibition 'justice', etc, etc.

Re: "Since Perry is also one of those barbarians....."

"Since Perry is also one of those barbarians who oppose all medicinal marijuana, he's nothing but a degenerate sadist and fascist to me."

Regardless, Texas Governor Rick Perry supports the right of states to legally allow marijuana taxation and regulation without Federal government interference.  That puts him miles ahead of Barack Obama and Eric Holder and prior White House administrations.  If a "barbarian" anti-medical marjuana Governor can get on board with this, then perhaps there is a lot more support for ending federal interference in state marijuana laws than people realize.  We would be crazy not to take advantage of that.

I made this comment on another's comment thread


 and I liked it so much, I decided to post it here.  Another commenter in that thread implied that liberty comes only from religious belief; I disagree and this is why:

Religion need play no part in liberty, ofttimes (more often than not, in fact) religion is a destroyer of liberty rather than a savior. Self government, liberty, begins with the most important property right of all -- self-ownership -- and expands from there to ownership of all that which is created by one's own body and purchased with one's labor.

Religion denies self-ownership in that it implies we are all owned by some (imaginary) deity, which causes many to extrapolate that we are (or should be) also owned by government. NOT SO!

As long as we honor self-ownership we are free!  When we start denying individuals full power and right of ownership of their bodies (i.e. prohibitions of some activities, like ingesting certain intoxicants, engaging in prostitution as a whore or as a john, gambling, etc.; activities which do not violate the equal rights of others -- and note that all such prohibitions come from some religion's sense of morality) we begin down the path toward tyranny.

Support self-ownership in all things and we will return to "liberty and justice for all".

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