Will pot legalization help China defeat America? The national media reacts

Categories: Marijuana, Media

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Tina Brown on Twitter.
As we noted earlier today, the national media's response to the launch of recreational pot sales in Colorado suggests a case of news munchies, with the mainstream press, satirists and everyone in between sharing views on the topic -- including pundits and personalities less than thrilled by the development. Most of the latter are doing their best not to come across like drug-war dinosaurs, but that hasn't stopped one observer from inducting the likes of Tina Brown and David Brooks into the "Yuppie Prohibition League."

The New York Times' Brooks created the template for high-brow naysayers with a column burdened with the clunky headline "Weed. Been There. Done That."

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David Brooks.
Brooks begins the piece by making it clear that he has personally inhaled, writing, "For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana. It was fun. I have some fond memories of us all being silly together. I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships."

However, Brooks continues, he and his buds eventually drifted away from pot -- not because of the many horrible things about it ("it is addictive in about one in six teenagers," "smoking and driving is a good way to get yourself killed," "young people who smoke go on to suffer I.Q. loss and perform worse on other cognitive tests"), but due to the fact that "stoned people do stupid things." After one such incident, he confesses to feeling like a "total loser."

This acknowledgement serves as prelude to his argument that "in healthy societies...government subtly encourages the highest pleasures, like enjoying the arts or being in nature, and discourages lesser pleasures, like being stoned." And while "citizens of Colorado are, indeed, enhancing individual freedom," they are also "nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be."

Presumably, Tina Brown, of The Daily Beast fame, agrees with Brooks's sentiment. Yet she took to Twitter to argue that he had been too polite to say that....

MSNBC token conservative Joe Scarborough took a less erudite tack in his reaction to sales in Colorado. In a video shared by Talking Points Memo, he says, "I don't get it, man. I don't get the legalization thing. I don't want to get too much into it, I mean, seriously, it just makes you dumb. Pot just makes you dumb."

Not that he's speaking from personal experience. He says he stayed away from weed in part because everyone who smoked the stuff struck him as a moron.

Here's the Scarborough clip, from his Morning Joe program:

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi subsequently ripped on Brooks, Brown and Scarborough in a recent post. Yep, he's the one who coined the "Yuppie Prohibition League" handle -- and it's likely he'd sign up Ruth Marcus as an honorary member.

In a Washington Post op-ed dubbed "The Perils of Legalized Pot," Marcus attempts to preempt critics labeling her a "fuddy-duddy" by not only admitting to prior pot smoking, but suggesting that during her next visit to Colorado, she may well try out some Bubba Kush. Yet she believes that "on balance, society will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance. In particular, our kids will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance." She underscores this last statement by spending much of the piece citing studies about the harm done to kids who toke and brushing off the idea that Colorado's law limiting legal consumption to those 21 and over will make the slightest difference.

Fellow WaPo opinion writer Ed Rogers takes a more political slant. In his take, "Republicans, Just Say No to Marijuana," published today, he advises Republicans against jumping on the pot legalization bandwagon.

"Without question, we will face more human tragedy and ruined lives as a result of marijuana legalization," Rogers allows, adding that "if the Democrats think they have found an issue for 2014, let them be the ones to promise more pot to the population. And spare me the talk about personal freedom being at stake here. You aren't more free if you are a pothead and freedom isn't measured by marijuana consumption."

Depends on who's doing the measuring, presumably.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Marijuana archive: "'Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37' story among Colorado pot satires some take seriously."


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24 comments
Hrothgar
Hrothgar

I can see China growing it & the USA importing it.  Just like everything else this sorry piece of crud nation of jackarses we now live in does.  Personally I don't mind if everyone staggers around all day stoned & mesmerized by the sound of a bird or the smells in the wind.  It will be it easier to control them.  It will benefit the nation when the gov't taxes it as high as they do cigerettes.  What is the cost of tobacco (which by the way was once a cure all especially amongst Indian tribes) in NYC?  $11.00 a pack?  Maybe the tax on dope should be so high, a pack of 20 joints should cost $300.  Just think of the revenue.  We could pay off that national debt and feed the homeless people.  Plus I hear so many great things anymore about pot.  Did you know 6 out of 10 people improved their bowling scores by 15 points after smoking a joint!  No?  It doesn't?  What do you care?  You'll be stoned and believe it anyway, or at least debate on it for 4 hours until you doze off.

Tunisha Hayward
Tunisha Hayward

with the money from legal sales Maybe now we can get the national debt payed off and shelter and feed the homeless in our our country

Chris Heller
Chris Heller

I believe more tax revenue, business opportunities and and less strain on police resources can only be good things.

Shawn Zerokewl Dixon
Shawn Zerokewl Dixon

It's their default response. Most of them have macros created just for situations like this.

Kalei N Rick Troch
Kalei N Rick Troch

If every state legalized marijuana and hemp, we'd be able to reinvent an old billion-dollar-industry. If we were smart we'd quit porting with those suckers, start selling our oil at ridiculously high prices and then we'd see who runs shits and who owns who.

William Bolton
William Bolton

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Fricking sheeple. Stop being afraid of cannabis. Take a vallium and shut up.

mnieto420
mnieto420

Just a fear based argument.  People have been smoking pot forever already and America hasn't blown up yet, geez!

Amanda McGregor
Amanda McGregor

Yea. Thanks, Obama.... Cause he has so much to do with this topic.

Natasha Schwertley
Natasha Schwertley

Yep. I'm not a fan of his, but the "hate him more than love America" attitude some have is kinda sick.

Chad Hill
Chad Hill

Why do advocates feel the need to continually validate the benefits of marijuana legalization? At this point, you either get it or you don't. Retail sales opened to long lines, over a million in sales and without incident or alarm. Recreational marijuana is a tiny piece compared to banking, investing and commercial developments. Not too bad for a bunch of morons lol.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The U$A is already THE MOST OBESE Nation on planet earth !!


With over 30% of the TOTAL POPULATION being Clinically Obese.


If pot becomes anymore prevalent, China will get rich making, and the U$A will go bankrupt buying 100s of millions of Hoverounds just so the lazy fat American pigs can get to McDonalds and Country Buffet for their hourly feedings.


Case in Point = Mendacious Mason Tvert aka. Jabba the Tvert


Soooooooo weeeeeeee! ... here piggy piggy!


http://singularityhub.com/2011/07/19/fat-america-keeps-getting-fatter/




VerryFunney
VerryFunney

Nice headline. Why not just ask if we are going to be attacked by aliens as well? Sometimes the Westword is just Westweird. Get it.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

                            *** SSAASSD! ***

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Oh shit! Gimmie a break! So no one ever does stupid shit? Here's a clue for you: if you don't know when to avoid pot, you are a stupid shit, and prohibition cannot help you. It also hurts the rest of us.


BTW, that's one of the stupidest suggestions I've ever heard--that "legalizing" pot will help China defeat America. The United States did its most impressive ass-kicking (I.E., I'm not talking about killing people, and breaking and taking things) before pot was prohibited. Think about that. Freedom has always been superior to fascism (and don't come back and try to claim they're communist--it's just a moniker for them now.)

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Kalei N Rick Troch  ... didn't major in Economics, did you?

DougHubka
DougHubka

What  stupid remark. The knee jerk Obama haters have no idea what they are even talking about.  And they say that hating Obama is not a racial thing. Getting hard to believe that anymore

VerryFunney
VerryFunney

@DonkeyHotay I don't know too many fat pot smokers. They all look pretty healthy to me. I know fat beer drinkers mostly. 

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