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Guess who’s coming to dinner

I have a pretty rich fantasy life, and some of my daydreams involve finding ways to fix the drug war. One of the simplest, and yet intellectually rewarding, is imagining having the opportunity to sit down and have an extended conversation with someone about the drug war, over dinner.

If you could do that, who would be your dinner partner? Remember, in this fantasy, it could be anyone. They’d agree to have dinner and discussion with you, but they wouldn’t be required to stay, so if you’re interested in just abusing them, it’s unlikely the evening will last long.

In comments, let us know what approach you’d take in talking with them about drug policy.

[polldaddy poll=2023235]

Update: Remember, this is a fantasy, not real life. You don’t necessarily need to change the world with this dinner. It may just be a chance to match wits, get something off your chest, or to see what makes them tick.

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29 comments to Guess who’s coming to dinner

  • If I could talk to Harry Anslinger before all his perjury and contempt for the Constitution, I’d choose to do that.

    But then again, if I could travel back in time, I’d simply shoot Harry Anslinger. He’s up there with Hitler and Stalin.

  • Carol

    Harry Anslinger. I know he wouldn’t like me because of race and gender, but I would like to show him that 70 years from the day, that he has failed in his crusade against pot and other stuff. BTW, Harry, Jazz and Swing didn’t go away either: it just morphed into Blues, Soul and Rock.

  • Carol

    Shooting Harry Anslinger wouldn’t quite do it. Someone else would have taken up the crusade. That’s what it was: a crusade against sin-the sin of indulgence. But being a Republic, those people couldn’t just say it was illegal because it was sinful. They had to make up stuff about how harmful it was or exaggerate the harms. I would prefer to educate instead someone more rational like FDR or Eleanor Roosevelt. Maybe if one of the two had a toke or two secretly, Harry would have been confined to shuffling papers in some Bureau (maybe the Weather Bureau)

  • Dano

    Someone voted for a dinner with Mark Souder. My dad knows him personally, and I can tell you that the only way he would sit and listen to you is if he’s tied up AND drugged. (Dr. prescribed of course!) He’s one of those guys that has already made up his mind before he heard any facts, and he just refuses to talk to anyone of a differing viewpoint about drugs. He’s a very conservative christian, and feels that to do anything against the will of god would be wrong, and that includes changing drug policy.

    (Not that I wouldn’t want him to be introduced to the real truth on the topic! I just think it will be a waste of a good dinner.)

    I looked down that list provided, and other than parents the best choice would be my state representatives (California). If they change just our state policy we can maybe make some real headway nationwide on this whole issue.

  • R.O.E.

    God, The divine made this freaking plant. Let that discussion be the end of it.

  • I ventured an “other” guess: “The head of every single libertarian think tank (Cato, Mises,etc.)”

    I think those think tanks have credibility, authority, the proper philosphy, and tons of money and industry revolve around them.

    Soros has meant a lot to the reform movement, so more of his kind.

  • ezrydn

    Having Gil over would sure make for a quiet evening. Having a Supreme over would only lead to their ezcusing themselves to go conver with their other 8 compadres. Soros possibly as he’d be the only one that would probably listen.

  • paul

    Problem is, very few of these people can be convinced simply by talking to them, although you may learn the truth behind their policies if you plied them with enough liquor.

    The conversation really needs to be directed at ordinary people and converting them. After we have enough people with us, the politicians will see the light and convert themselves. Some already are.

    So maybe your parents would be a good place to start, if they aren’t already in favor of ending prohibition.

  • Duncan

    Hey, am I cooking dinner? Mr. Obama might wonder why he’s still starving after he’s stuffed his face at my table.

    –Alice B Toklas

  • claygooding

    To the religious prohibitionists:
    Behold,I have given you EVERY seed bearing herb,to be used by man as meat. WHAT PART OF EVERY DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?

  • Balloon Maker

    I voted for my local sheriff because I live in Phoenix, then realized I would just hurl insults at Amurika’s tuffest shuruff and he’d cry. Therefore, I’ll go with Obama too. He seems like he can be reasoned with, but maybe that’s part of that wonderful act he used to get elected.

    Paul, point well made. My most effective conversations have been with my ultra-conservative in laws.

  • Nick Zentor

    I voted other and typed in DEA Heads. Wanna know what we’d have for dinner? That’s a surprise.

  • Shap

    I only picked Obama because I want to hear him explain to me in detail his answer regarding marijuana at the online town hall meeting. A simple “no” is not gonna cut it at my dinner table. Not to mention I’d like him to explain his comment about decriminalization that he made here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQr9ezr8UeA

    I wouldn’t let him waiver, equivocate or make the kind of ballsless statements he usually makes either.

  • ezrydn

    I would prefer a town hall party to a dinner.

  • My suggestion is to take all them guys to Narconons drug rehab facility and let them see what life would be like without drugs and alcohol.

  • Write-in answers so far:
    – The head of every single libertarian think tank (Cato, Mises, etc.)
    – DEA heads
    – Mark Kleiman
    – God

    That last one is certainly interesting, and brings up the question of “What does God eat?” (yes, I know, anything He wants, but what does God like to eat? Do you take him to Olive Garden?)

  • Bailey

    I voted Obama because I still believe he can be reasonable and see a real political benefit to reform. Hats off to whoever picked Mark Souder.

    “How’s that cake Mr. President?”

    “It’s really good, I can’t believe I’m having another piece! Can I take some back to my daughters?”

    “Not till they’re 18.”

    “What?”

    “Nothing.”

  • daksya

    The Souder one’s me. I figure the rest are unlikely to make any real change even if converted (and Obama, being President, wouldn’t want to spend his political capital on drugs given the circumstances). Souder, OTOH, as the chair of the relevant House subcommittee, is in a position of power and seems the best choice for a conversation. Although given what Dano said, maybe it wouldn’t be a long dinner.

  • Since I started this, I suppose I should own up. My choice is a Supreme Court Justice. I just find the idea of that fascinating and stimulating (I also really like Constitutional law, even though I am not a lawyer).

    I’d be happy with any of them, though my first choice would probably be Stevens, just so I could ask him about Caballes (“If a fallible dog sniff resulted in a search of my car trunk, which contains only innocent personal belongings, then what happened to my right to be secure in my person, house, papers, and effects?

    I would then ask them why, when it comes to weaking the First Amendment, the Justices require the government to show that the power they wish is necessary, that it actually would achieve the desired goal, and that there isn’t another option that would accomplish the goal without infringing on rights, and yet the Justices do not require the government to show any similar justification for the drug war and fourth amendment erosion.

    I would ask them to talk about the drug war exception to the Bill of Rights and why that is legitimate Constitutional doctrine. I would ask where the government gets the authority to prohibit drugs, or to interfere with state government’s management of drugs.

    I doubt I’d change their minds, but I might make them think.

    Oh, and if there are any SCOTUS clerks reading this, this offer is open and serious. I’ll spring for the meal — any restaurant, anything on the menu.

  • ”If a fallible dog sniff resulted in a search of my car trunk, which contains only innocent personal belongings, then what happened to my right to be secure in my person, house, papers, and effects?”

    I know I’m not justice Stevens, and I also think Caballes is a horrible decision, but if it means anything I can tell you exactly what Stevens would say (and IAAL for whatever that’s worth). He’d say your rights under the Fourth Amendment only protect you from unreasonable searches, not erroneous ones (and he’d be correct). Just because the search doesn’t turn up any contraband (or whatever the cops contend they are trying to find) doesn’t mean it is in violation of the Fourth Amendment. To say an erroneous search is unreasonable is problematic in two respects – (1) you only know it’s erroneous after the fact, and (2) it’s not true, as a perfectly reasonable search can turn up no evidence because, for example, the suspect destroyed the evidence the moment he saw the police coming to his house through the window. The converse is also true – plenty of searches that DO turn up evidence are unreasonable and subject to a motion to suppress. So whatever factors make a search reasonable or unreasonable, it can’t depend on the success of the search.

    With respect to Caballes, I would contend that the use of a dog with a known error rate who is just trying to please his master and get a treat – without more – makes such a search per se unreasonable. Especially when done without probable cause.

    The word “reasonable” in the Fourth Amendment has been used to surgically dissect all the protections that amendment was intended to provide. People – even the best judges – can’t separate the acts of the state from the problem the state is trying to prevent. The crime is unreasonable so everything the state does to stop the crime is thus reasonable, they think. Better to destroy the Constitution than let a criminal go free….

    Anyway, it’s nice to see other people accept the fact that there is a drug exception to the Constitution (not only the bill of rights).

  • ezrydn

    Pete,

    You familiar with the term “shepherdizing?” If not, grab a little book that explains it. It’s the method taught in Law School to bring all your case law together. Really makes things easier. Once you understand it, then it’s off to your local County Law Library.

  • Shepherdizing is just the trademarked word that Lexis-Nexis uses to describe its method of checking caselaw to make sure it’s still good law (hasn’t been overruled, etc.). Westlaw does the same thing. It’s not some law school secret method. Just knowing how to make sure a case is still valid law. It’s practically impossible to do that with any real accuracy using books, by the way. It boggles my mind that people were able to meaningfully practice law before the advent of online databases like Westlaw. I still can’t comprehend how they did it. My guess is that they didn’t do it very well and nowhere near as comprehensively as we can do it now.

    If one just wants to learn basic 4th Amendment law, I’d suggest getting a hornbook on the subject. However, there’s really no point in learning about it when you’re talking about drugs because the Constitution simply doesn’t apply. Can the government do something? If drugs are involved, the answer is always YES. That’s really all you need to know. If you’re talking about cases involving rape, murder, or even terrorism, then things get more complicated because the Constitution does apply to those types of cases.

  • Dano

    What would God eat? Hmmm… Maybe he’s got similar tastes to the Greek Gods, and in that case I think a Brazilian Churrascaria (roasted/bbq meat) would definitely tempt his tastebuds! Those Greek Gods loved their spit roasted meats!

    Now to cleanse post meat feast some kind of pomegranate flavored desert or possibly pomegranate juice would be apropos?

    (Hope I’m getting my mythology right! LOL)

    @daksya, Souder would be an okay guy to try and educate. I tried to get my dad to broach the subject with him one on one, but Souder would just change the subject. And no, he doesn’t believe that the word “every” in the bible applies to all seeds and plants as some are clearly placed here after the fact by Satan! LOL

    Seriously though, all of these choices could lead to great discussions if they were truely open to discussion.

  • Bob smith

    Obama will “absolutely reject that notion” no matter what notion you bring up!

  • Bob smith

    Sorry for the double post.

    I chose a supreme court justice since that is where policy is made and they do have a job to at least try to explain what they are doing although the interstate commerce explanation in Raich is a little thin…

  • J.J.

    I had to do a write-in for Tommy Chong. Given the subject at hand, I’m inclined to think that his perspective on the various aspects involved would be pretty damn fascinating.

    Of course, if Tommy came to dinner, methinks ‘The entire local police force’ would be joining us at some point in time…

  • Somebody wrote in “Pete Guither.”

    That could be arranged. After all, I love to eat, and I love to talk about drug policy.

  • Duncan

    Well last night I was sitting down to dinner and the phone rang. It was my Congressional Representative, Donna Edwards, who was having a ‘telephonic town hall meeting’ and invited questions ‘on any subject’. Oh-oh, you dialed the wrong number…

    My question was ‘My dear friend Dr David Busch, a board certified pathologist who worked at Walter Reed Hospital died of leukemia in 2002. In his last two years he found relief from the pain only from marijuana, and somehow I think he knew what was medicine and what was not. I’d like to know if you’re going to support Barney Frank’s bill HR 2835 which will protect patients from the government meddling with their medical decisions?’ She actually took the question which shocked me. She proceeded to give a 500 word non-answer, noting that Mr. Frank’s bill would only protect patients in states with medical laws, and then went on to babble about how Maryland had ‘protected’ patients from the threat of jail with the lame ass state medical law. Even so, I think I’ll follow up today with a written thank you note. Not that I’m really grateful, just to help imprint the conversation in her mind.

    So it was great to actually live out the fantasy, and hope it raised her awareness a little bit. Does it count more because she called me rather than vice versa?

    Anyway, I picked Obama above, so I really want to know why I got dinner with my Congress critter. I think there’s a glitch in your software Pete.

  • Osborne Perry Anderson

    Shucks only 1 question… hummmmm ok!

    Understanding that ‘social acceptability, and ‘religious opinion’ are not rights…merely opinions:

    1) “What right does ‘Joe Six-Pack’ have that ‘Tony the Toker’ doesn’t?”

    Assuming they could answer that I’d follow-up with:

    2) “Do you agree with religious rehabbers that alcohol drug abuse is considered 2 standard drinks per day or a total of 6 per week?”

    NASCAR nation might want to know this answer too! Or is ignorance bliss?