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It can be tough articulating an anti-legalization position

New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg had a hard time making himself clear on his radio show. After a question about medical marijuana he incoherently tried to show why he opposed it while clearly describing the arguments for the overall legalization of drugs.

Choire Sicha provides the transcript.

“The argument is that the only ways you’re ever going to end the drug trades is legalize drugs and take away the profit motive and that to legalize—the corruption funds enormous dislocation of society. Mexico, you know, thousands and tens of thousands of people have been killed in the wars of the government trying to clamp down on the drug dealers.

There’s no easy answer to any of these things.

Nobody really — there are places where they legalized drugs. And then whether it destroyed the society or didn’t is up to debate, again.”

Huh?

No, I don’t think it really is up to debate. It’s like saying “And then whether unicorns caused the extinction of the dinosaurs is up to debate again.” It really isn’t. I mean you could debate it just for fun, but there’s no valid reason.

It’s fascinating that, as a supposed opponent of legalization, he gives a pretty clear account of the reasons for legalization, but seems utterly incapable of coherently stating why we shouldn’t.

Ah, but that’s the beauty of being a politician. No need to actually make sense.

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9 comments to It can be tough articulating an anti-legalization position

  • dt

    “Nobody really — there are places where they legalized drugs. And then whether it destroyed the society or didn’t is up to debate, again.”

    Maybe he is taking the fact that drug prohibition is mostly ubiquitous as evidence that it’s a sensible policy? This would be wrong because the ubiquity is caused by international treaties that America pushed on the world. It wasn’t some bottom-up process where every country decided that drug prohibition was the right thing to do.

    Countries that want to liberalize have to bend over backwards to stay within the treaties. Even in the Netherlands nothing is technically legal; they just have an explicit policy of not enforcing the law against limited pot sales.

  • DdC

    Oh come on, Bloomberg makes money on busting pot smokers. Same as Gooliana. Bust the toker get the dealer, give them clemency if they turn in their client list. Mo money busting stoners. Sickening. The result… Besides the obvious hypocrisy in that Bloomberg said he enjoyed toking pot

    NYC Still the ‘Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World’
    According to The Drug Policy Alliance, which got its figures from the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, 50,383 people were arrested for marijuana possession in 2010, or nearly 140 people a day — an increase of 69 percent since 2005. The Alliance said the rise in arrests last year was not related to a rise in use, citing federal data that show marijuana use peaked around 1980. The number of marijuana arrests in New York City has risen for six years in a row, and now accounts for 15% of all arrests there.

    Marijuana busts center stage
    The vast majority (82.5 percent) of the 1.6 million annual drug arrests in the U.S. are for mere possession – and almost half (46 percent) of all drug arrests are for marijuana possession alone. In fact, in 2010, more New Yorkers were arrested for marijuana possession than can be seated in Yankee stadium!.Click here for more facts about the war on drugs

    The drug war is a failure, and it’s time to bring it to an end

    As for the unicorns. I don’t remember any dinosaurs on the Ark. So they must have done it before Noah. We know what happened to them…

    The ark started moving, it drifted with the tide
    The unicorns looked up from the rocks and they cried
    And the waters came down and sort of floated them away
    That’s why you never see unicorns to this very day

    You’ll see green alligators and long-necked geese
    Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
    Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you’re born
    You’re never gonna see no unicorns

    The Unicorn Song – The Irish Rovers U2b

    • Maria

      The fact that the nation state of Bloombergistan gets money from busting pot smokers is nothing new. It’s how this system feeds itself. Prohibition = money in the pockets for the parties involved in enforcing and maintaining the prohibition. Also, that they go out of their way to target specific individuals is a matter of old tactic and not a new development.

      What’s new is the fact that he (and so many other enforcers) feel that they can no longer seriously say: “we’re doing this to be tough on crime” “drugs are BAD” and “we need to bust those evil stoners to protect your children.” More and more they are questioned on these mantras. As such they seem to think that if they try a new flavor of pretzel logic filled with today’s buzzwords and media headlines that somehow they will defend their stance. Instead they end up undermining it.

      For me this reinforces that they are losing a lot of ground in the war for the public’s trust. Bloomberg knows that his audience is growing increasingly informed and is no longer blindly credulous. No matter how much he wants to he can’t simply say “because I’m the boss so fuck you all” so he fumbles around for a life preserver. It’s just that without those tried and true warrior calls and platitudes, he really has nothing left to float on.

  • DdC

    he really has nothing left to float on.

    They have never had anything to float on. Except what everyone wants to avoid… the money. The corporations keeping viable alternatives off the market and I’d wager most Libertarians buy stock in these companies. Feeding the beast is as bad as remaining silent. Again since 1937 I can’t fathom who is left actually believing the reefer madness seriously. They just don’t want to know or debate. Of coarse it isn’t new. That’s what’s so frustrating. Its old news and appeasers still try wrapping a big red ribbon on it like it is new. Its really like they say, protecting the kids. The corporate media is subsidiaries of the war profiteers. This debate has shot its wad. Its time for action or go home and toke in the privacy of your own home. Those without means or profiling candidates will get worse treatment as they have since 37. Cowards picking on hippies don’t deserve Democracy let alone Ganja. The hippies never pretended to be something else and its no damn business of anyone how a person dresses or looks. Appeasing the barber shops is as weak as appeasing the DEAth mongers for a favor. Please don’t cage our grandma for using pot? How weak is that? Begging in a land with a Constitution the moneysluts burn and cook hotdogs on. Jerking their plastic opec flags, sending kids to die for a lie. Gullibles Travels. Pitifools. My pot taste the same quasi-legal as it did illicitly. Only now its more expensive.

    • Maria

      Totally. It’s just that, it seems that it was not too long ago that you could still hear the “we’re fighting the drug war to fight evil” crap used as a regular defense on mainstream media by mainstream politicos. Now.. the likes of Bloomberg seem embarrassed to use such arguments in the defense of their greed. These sound bites tend to be relegated to backwater media and hysterical moral crusader types. And they, sadly, scarily, believe that BS.

      I just spent three days doing a road trip across the south (Alabama/Georgia) listening to the radio. The Reefer Madness morality shit from the 30s/40s is definitely alive and kicking, as are other worrying bits of culture.

      • DdC

        Gutsy Lady,
        Haven’t seen a “Jesus is Lord” billboard since I hit Santa Cruz. If I ever return to the east coast I’ll take Charlie Daniels, advise in Uneasy Rider… Well I think I’m gonna reroute my trip. I wonder if anybody’d think I’d flipped
        If I went to Fla., via Omaha.

  • Servetus

    If anyone needs to debate whether a society has been destroyed, then it hasn’t been destroyed yet.

    Bloomberg’s staff needs to fill the mayor in on what’s really happening in Portugal, The Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. There’s no shame in enunciating truth. If Bloomberg still needs to hide his feelings about certain issues, it’s easiest and best to hide behind a truism rather than bits of circular political nonsense.

    And sorry, Mayor Bloomberg, but there really are easy answers to some things. Things like: if you put your finger on a hot stove and it burns, take your finger off the stove. No heavy debate should be needed, unless your sadomoralism has somehow morphed into extreme sadomasochism.

    Bloomberg admits the same thing in his opening comments about the drug war. The hot stove is the profit motive associated with prohibition. It’s a perfectly logical choice. Take your finger off a hot stove: legalize and regulate drugs.

  • palemalemarcher

    News alert: Starting May 23 begins a ban of smoking in City parks.

    • DdC

      Everywhere? Too late…
      One of the things I wish we weren’t in the forefront on.

      Smoking Ban Enacted in Santa Cruz Sep 09, 2009
      Last night, the city of Santa Cruz enacted a wide-ranging public smoking ban, eliciting cheers from some and jeers from others.

      Some phobia’s are hard to kill. They do a good job of advertising the scapegoat to scare the sheep. Not a word of reality dealing with the various diseases. Calling it tobacco is the same as calling Ganja “marihuana”. Tobacco has been smoked as Ganja has been smoked, sometimes in unison religiously. All of the Temples and Early Religions billowed Incense Cantors filled with Hashish. They inhaled.

      Not until the same Fascists Chemical Killers in the 20’s and 30’s started fabricating this Neocon Empire pulling the strings. DuPont Carneigie Rockefeller Mellon Hearst FDR Henry Ford all benefitting from Prohibitions. Same frickin Monsanto Dow chemicals adulterating the tobacco for your smoking pleasure as converting crude oil cellulose into fabric. Same parent or subsidiary of the Big Pharma corporations. All eliminating competition. Neocon promises. Whatever you want to hear, The Congressional hearings all scapegoating the “tobacco” and the farmers and not a word about the synthetic pathetic polluters. A much larger cause of lung problems than second hand smoke across a field.

      Propaganda by Edward Bernays (1928)

      More pot appeasers hiding behind Vaps contraptions with no Science, just paranoia. Selling Hobgoblins like they were prohibitionists. Campfires, in caves, breathing smoke. With Ganja placed on the hot rocks in cauldrons under a Hemp Tapestry tent. Smoke or early Vaps? Ganja used with tobacco has expectorant effects. Medicinal properties preventing inflammation, a bnatural antibiotic and antiseptic. It’s also the only known material either synthetic or natural, that stops a full blown asthma attack. I always carry a joint when taking a patient to a Hospital. Like CPR, just in case a teen age kid starts dying and there is nothing they can do but watch. Try this doc. Probably get sued for malpractice or fired in spite of saving their life.

      Lot of logic if you smoke “cigarettes” with chemicals, then take a toke or two of Ganja to protect the cells. Best imo to smoke organic “tobacco” for nervous jitters and early Neurological wrist twitches. Then Ganja for stress. Buzzwords like “Nicotine” addiction and potency seem to be the same crapola. The amount of natural nicotine is very minimal. Psychological cravings I find more out of idleness. If I have to do something in a non smoking indoors facility that I agree with. I deal with it. I don’t think an alcoholic could. What I think is really cool about smaller cities and towns is we actually have some say. Not always, but its something you can do face to face rather than via email.

      Santa Cruz lifts park smoking ban for medical marijuana fest
      City leaders have made an exception to the no-smoking rule at parks to allow an annual tradition to continue. The smoking ban, less than two years old, will be lifted temporarily for medical marijuana users to medicate at San Lorenzo Park during next week’s Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana annual festival.

      The smoke ban in SC is at selected outdoor places. Some to do with butts polluting the bay ban and parks, restaurants. Not sure about bars? think they banned guns too. Needle exchange has been doing well. Two Buyers Clubs and Headshops OK. New skate-park underway. Hookah Lounges and Poker Rooms but totally isolated from Casino’s. Private property management corporations have banned guns and don’t recognize prop 215. Most in HUD housing are handicapped, fixed income and probably waited 5 years to get the place. For that they are afraid to speak out. Especially seniors. HUD or any Fed doesn’t bust individuals. Or usually under 99 plants unless its headlined or advertised or a celebrity. Just another prohibition, already having a $multi-billion black-market. Poisoning the lower wage smokers buying generic brands with more adulterations, actually causing the harm. A prohibition government intrusion feeding the Underground Economy. It don’t fix roads. The insanity of the bans fining people for smoking in open fields or homes, because of second hand smoke going through electrical outlets.

      Organic Cannabis/Tobacco vs Chemical Cigarettes
      Cancer risk in relation to radioactivity in tobacco

      The smoke phoebes patting themselves on the asses for saving the kidlets. When millions of cars spewing toxins you can actually see cross their paths without a whimper. Smoke stacks pluming clouds of crap but no particularist. Like Operation Rescue farmers aborting babies in the bibble belt. Growing pesticide fake food and clear cutting trees, producing O2 and filtering H2O. Push Veggie Plastic over OPEC. Hemp over 90 million pounds of chemical poisons for cotton. Tankers of leaking Oil, bought by China from Iran and Iraq selling crap to Wallmart to undercut American Workmanship, Jobs and Quality Assurance. But I degrees.

      You can stop local idiotic city councils easier than the Feds. Every council has a day a month for public grievances, as well as any bond issues or bans. They need public input to avoid expensive lawsuits. Boycott Crap and make damn sure YOUR Community’s local council representatives are representing YOUR and YOUR Communities needs. Make your environment healthy and the International corporatists and government puppets are lost.