Jewish World Review August 6, 2014 / 10 Menachem-Av, 5774
Libs come late to the pot party
By Jonah Goldberg
With the usual fanfare and self-regard we have come to expect from the
It is a significant milestone, but not altogether in the way the Times would like. For starters, the Times is pulling a bit of a
And the libertarian flagship magazine Reason has been waiting impatiently for the rest of us since it was founded in 1968. (The left-wing
Conservatives and libertarians should always celebrate when liberal institutions finally catch up with them.
Still, I am more ambivalent about the national legalization craze than many of my peers, even though I've supported federal decriminalization (of marijuana, not narcotics such as heroin or cocaine) for more than a decade. I don't think smoking pot -- especially to excess -- is a particularly laudable habit for adults, and it's a very bad one for minors. There will be real social costs to legalization. But there are also real social costs to prohibition. Responsible advocates on both sides have recognized this for a long time.
Whenever policymakers in
"The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana," proclaimed the opening salvo of a six-part editorial barrage. "There are no perfect answers to people's legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level -- health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues -- the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs -- at the state level."
The Times' stand is also hypocritical (and not because it still requires its employees to be tested for pot use). In one of the companion editorials, "Let States Decide on Marijuana," written by
There's a whole lot of question-begging there. But let's just stipulate for the sake of argument that all of these things are unquestionably "fundamental rights that should be imposed on the states by the federal government." What about cigarettes? Or the use of highway funds to force a drinking age of 21 (and, for a time, a 55-mph speed limit)? When then-Attorney General
I'm delighted the Times is capable of realizing the error of its ways; I just hope it doesn't stop with pot.
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