Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Politicians' Hypocrisy: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Reason Magazine asks: Why should other Alaskans be arrested for something Sarah Palin once did with impunity?

When it comes to questions about youthful marijuana use, Sarah Palin is no Slick Willie. "I can't claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled," the Republican vice presidential candidate
told the Anchorage Daily News in 2006 (Palin said she has smoked marijuana -- remember, it was legal under state law, she said, even if illegal under U.S. law -- but says she didn't like it and doesn't smoke it now), before she was elected governor of Alaska.

Although Palin's handling of the issue scores higher on the candor meter than Clinton's, she has the same difficulty reconciling her personal experience with her policy positions, a problem also shared by former pot smoker Barack Obama. None of them has a persuasive answer to the question of why other Americans should be arrested for something they did with impunity.

Chart above is from NORML.


At 9/17/2008 8:13 AM, Blogger Steve said...

"Why should other Alaskans be arrested for something Sarah Palin once did with impunity?"

Because it was not illegal in Alaska when Palin smoked it. Today it is illegal. Either way, it's a pretty silly argument. Everyone has broken the speed limit but we're not stupid enough to argue that this means no one should be punished for speeding.

At 9/17/2008 9:08 AM, Blogger Marko said...

This is stupid. Just because you did something wrong, and admit it was wrong, doesn't mean that forever more you are not allowed to tell other people that it is wrong, on pain of hypocrisy.

If she was claiming that anyone who ever smoked MJ is evil or should be arrested, then she would be a hypocrit. Instead, she is supporting state and federal laws. What is wrong with that? If you don't like the law, get it changed.

On a personal note, I think the federal government has no right or business being involved with what substances are legal or illegal (where is that in the Constitution? Regulating interstate commerce? give me a break), but states certainly can, and do, decide.

At 9/17/2008 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Everyone has broken the speed limit but we're not stupid enough to argue that this means no one should be punished for speeding."

Ahh, but if you have ever got an unreasonable ticket (a 'revenue generator'), I bet you gave some new thought to how the speed laws should be written or enforced.

That's what NORML is asking for; if you have a mass number of people breaking a law, and the punishment is actually quite harsh in many places, should we not reconsider the cost/benefit?

As an aside, I think Libertarians could make some progress with more 'progressive' or 'left-leaning' independents on these types of issues that affect personal liberty (although those heathens must be toxic bc they are not closet Republicans...) I think a lot of people, yes even on the left, don't want a lot of government in their personal lives; they want a reasonable society, although not an anarcho-capitalistic one.

At 9/17/2008 11:03 AM, Blogger Dave Narby said...

Decriminalize it.

No jail time.

No record.

No drain on the penal system for having to pay room and board on non-violent offenders.

Make it a hefty fine for public use and possession (say $50 a gram).

Use the profits to pay back a tiny portion of the massive debt the futile bailout of the financial industry is creating.

At 9/17/2008 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Decriminalize it.

Tax it.
Regulate it.
Make it conform to SOX.
Make it liable for adverse health effects.

Let it share the benefits and responsibilities of being a legal industry.

At 9/17/2008 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that pot should be decriminalized, but anybody can still smoke it with impunity. Just don't get caught and you won't be arrested. The sensationalized "Why should other Alaskans be arrested..." line is a strawman. Not every Alaskan who tokes up is arrested.


At 9/17/2008 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, when we do have a deficit, we've got what is the top, or among the top cash crop in several states, and its completely untaxed. Aside from costs you can cut by legalization, the revenue would be great too, and hey, you could even create new jobs for stoner-farmers!

As for medical dangers, there's some pretty strong evidence that mj is not more cancerous than cigarettes, particularly when used with a vaporizer which avoids all combustion (tar) by-products.

At 9/17/2008 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The U.S. is losing out on billions in taxes by not legalizing marijuana

At 9/18/2008 8:47 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9/18/2008 8:48 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

This is all a failure of the Jury Nullification system.

If Juries would nullify marijuana prosecutions as they likely feel is justified (excluding those involving violent criminal actions, for example) then the DAs would realize it was a waste of time to bring them to trial and a waste of time to charge them. And then you would have a defacto end of the system in advance of the repeal of the idiot laws, just as there was a defacto end of prohibition well before the repeal of the Amendment made it official.

Everyone in this nation should be aware of both their rights and their responsibilities as jurors.


Pass it on with the doob. Don't bogart that information, man!


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