Skip to comments.Will Pot Legalization Help China Defeat America? The National Media Reacts
Posted on 01/07/2014 2:37:38 PM PST by nickcarraway
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."
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.
It is one of the many results of society being dumbed down into accepting absolutely everything
Depends on whether it becomes just a normal thing like having a beer. If it does, it may hurt productivity. Ironic as China was also once hobbled by substance abuse. If only they had all still been on opium, they might not have bothered to do the Long March.
We could start a rumor that the Chinese intend to outlaw Doritos.
Scarborough was correct in his simple analysis. Yes, I know many people who have smoked pot, particularly as youth. But any adult I know who is a regular pot-smoker I do find to be unemployable, lazy morons.
It’s been one long downhill slide since alcohol was legalized.
The great downfall of the U.S. has already happened, while pot has been illegal everywhere.
The idea that pot legalization will be a major factor in China’s overtaking of America seems pretty hard to consider that seriously. The fundamental issue is how many of our manufacturing jobs they have, how effectively they are building up their military under everyone’s noses, including those who are trusted to keep track of all the nations’ armies and how much of our debt is owed to them. At the moment, the proof is not really there that legalizing weed will lead to a mass decrease in productivity any more than legalizing alcohol did after prohibition. Committed weed users have often been using it anyway regardless of its legality. Many an American between the ages of 18-30 can asses how easy it is to get the stuff even when it is supposedly illegal.
Do you really think it was wrong to make alcohol legal and end prohibition? Are you aware that prohibition is widely recognized as a dismal failure by reliable, rational analysts on all sides of the political spectrum?
So many don’t care about crap anymore. Just their big fat guts, their genitals and dope.
Uhh... The Chinese have Obama in president you know? They don’t need a nation of potheads with Obama.
Pot has an effect that seems difficult to pinpoint, yet is evidenced in the ancient Cannabis cultures of the Middle East and that portion of the orient and in the modern awareness about the extraordinary uniformity of “potheads”, the use of pot so suddenly seems to create a somewhat new person, and not for the better.
The alcohol based West has always rejected Cannabis as an intoxicant, for thousands of years it has done so. From the Greeks to the Crusaders, and up until just the last 20 or 40 years, cannabis was seen as a threat to what Western man aspired to be.
I know a lot of people in very prominent business positions who are regular consumers of marijuana. I don’t find them unemployable, lazy morons, but I will say that I believe every single one of them could be living up to a MUCH higher standard and work ethic.
I know I am personally capable of great and amazing things. That’s been proven in my current role as an engineer, as I am seen as the senior to all of my peers and consistently referenced for in depth analysis. When I was smoking pot 5 - 10 years ago, I had that same potential, but as a regular user, there’s no way I would’ve ever achieved it.
I believe it makes the dumb into morons, the average into the unmotivated, and the intelligent into the uninspired. It takes us down a notch, and with a serious intellectual and intelligence deficit in this country, we don’t need drugs exacerbating an already poor situation.
It seems even just writing about marijuana turns people into slack-jawed adolescents.
Doe sit make people that much more unproductive than those who use significant amounts of alcohol or tobacco on a regular basis? I do not think there is much reliable info and truly objective studies on this. I think drugs of any kind inhibit people from achieving their true potential.
We will make good slaves.
What does this article have to do with China?
In other words, prohibition succeeded in its stated aims, although it generated other problems along the way. To say it was a "dismal failure" is to deny history, not that many partisans haven't done so. It was a political failure, eventually, which is why it was repealed.
If alcohol was discovered or invented today, and all its negative effects were known, including thousands of deaths every year, do you think it would be legalized?
I think anti depressants are doing more harm to our society than Pot but being stoned does not help anyone be productive. Damn sure yup.
We have too much government for our own good.