William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn dropped a load in the L.A. times with What happned to the marijuana stigma?
Twenty years ago, drug dealers were seen for what they were â€” criminal and dangerous elements in our society. They were shunned by the mainstream. People who sold marijuana were considered losers, in the business of harming our children. Parents warned their kids to stay away from those known to use drugs.
But thanks to the marijuana lobby, what was once scorned is hyped and celebrated â€” even as the drug has become more potent, with THC, the intoxicating chemical, present at much higher levels than in the 1990s. Dealers run state-sanctioned dispensaries, lobby to further legalize their product and receive positive media coverage when doing so.
Paul Armentano responds today: Drug warriors are still crying ‘reefer madness.’ The facts don’t support them.
In their op-ed article against cannabis legalization, former drug czar William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn yearn for a time when fear-mongering, not facts, drove the marijuana policy debate in America. Those days are over.
Bennett and Leibsohn blame the “marijuana lobby” for re-shaping the way Americans think about what they consider to be a truly dangerous drug. But the reality is that voters’ views on pot have evolved in recent years based on both the failures of prohibition and the success of legalization and regulation. For decades, those opposed to amending cannabis criminalization warned that any significant change in marijuana policy would lead to a plethora of unintended consequences. Yet the initial experience in Colorado and Washington, in addition to many other statesâ€™ deep-rooted experiences regulating the production and distribution of marijuana for therapeutic purposes, has shown these fears to be misplaced.
I love that phrase: “yearn or a time when fear-mongering, not facts, drove the marijuana policy debate in America.”
Yep. that’s what prohibitionists counted on. But they just can’t hold off the massive marijuana lobby that’s funded with… facts.