Politicians and pundits are saying a lot of stupid stuff about marijuana in 2017. Here are five remarkably dumb things that caught our eye.
1. Butch Otter
“Idaho is a virtual island of compliance [with federal pot prohibition] and we are paying the price,” Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter wrote to President Trump, coming off like a spineless sycophant. Numerous politicians and private business interests alike are pleading with Trump to lay off the burgeoning billion-dollar bud industry. But not Otter, who encouraged the Donald to crack down on legal-cannabis states to prevent the devil’s weed from being imported into potato country.
2. Peter Hitchens
“Marijuana use is a victimless crime—only if you do it on a desert island, quite alone, and nobody loves you.” That shamelessly unsolicited advice came courtesy of Peter Hitchens, conservative journalist and author of biased books like the anti-pot tome The War We Never Fought. Hitchens’s inane comment was part of a longer diatribe, “Stupid Arguments for Drug Legalisation Examined and Refuted,” published on his blog at the anti-weed UK trash tabloid, Daily Mail.
3. Tom Wolf
“We have a $3 billion [state] deficit, so [marijuana legalization] is not going to help,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf flippantly declared on radio station KDKA. Wolf was addressing the state auditor general’s report, issued a day earlier, that wisely advocated for the legalization of recreational pot, which would generate at least $200 million annually—the tax revenue from which would surely benefit the cash-strapped Keystone State.
4. Hugh Hewitt
“One [federal] RICO prosecution against one marijuana retailer in one state that has so-called legalization ends this facade,” opined the arch-conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on his March 9 show, practically begging his guest, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to pursue an anti-racketeering strategy to take down legal-pot states. Sessions, a weed-hating drug warrior of long standing, had to inform Hewitt that battling the growing ganja industry is much more complex than a single case.
5. Peter Kilmartin
Rhode Island Governor Peter Kilmartin displayed some twisted logic during a press conference aimed at displaying “united opposition” to a state recreational pot bill sponsored earlier this year, explaining that legal cannabis in Rhode Island wouldn’t eliminate the “black market … all you need to do is look at cigarette sales in the state.” Thus did Kilmartin glibly ignore not only the harms caused by pot prohibition, but also the benefits of regulation.
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