Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ron Paul Is Right-- Marijuana Should Be Legalized


Forget that many of Paul's most devoted supporters are even worse than Jehovah's Witnesses and Limbaugh dittoheads rolled into one. And forget, at least for a moment, that he attracts racists and neo-Nazis to his banner. His voting record--much to the chagrin of the supporters who revel in his uniqueness (and their own profound ignorance)-- is mostly garden variety right-wing Republican rubber stamp. But, unlike most Republican rubber stamps, only "mostly." In terms of his lifetime votes on the "crucial" issues that have come before Congress which divide along partisan lines, Paul almost always votes with his political party, the Republicans, but his progressive voting score, 23.42, sits between those of two former Democrats, Rodney Alexander (R-LA) and Ralph Hall (R-TX), two Republicans who sometimes break with the GOP and vote with the Democrats. That hasn't happened much this year; Paul's progressive score on all issues voted on by Congress is a dismal, zombie-like 2.94, more in tune with reactionary extremists bent on knee-jerk obstructionism like Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) than like the handful of reasonable mainstream conservatives like Chris Smith (R-NJ), Timothy Johnson (R-IL), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Michael Castle (R-DE), who have voted across the aisle 10 times more frequently than Paul.

After President Obama's speech yesterday Paul was on CNN talking about economic fascism and equating Obama's proposals to rescue America to the Bush policies that caused the Depression. To Paul, Hoover and FDR were not opposites, but basically two peas in the pod and fascism is socialism and Obama is Bush. If it were only the 1800s, many of his economic ideas might be reasonable. Nevertheless, Paul does espouse plenty of ideas that are reasonable, right now. This week he joined with one of Congress' most progressive members, Alan Grayson (D-FL) to call for a transparent audit of the Federal Reserve and the bill that he and Barney Frank have introduced to to legalize industrial hemp is long overdue. The 10 co-sponsors go from Congress' most outspoken liberals like Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), George Miller (D-CA) and Raul Grijalva (R-AZ) to a couple of far right kooks from the dark fringes of American politics, Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). The bill calls for the legalization of the non-drug variety of cannabis, the kind that's healthy and nutritious to eat and that can be made into things to wear and that would be a boon to American farmers. There is no downside to legalization, which was mistakenly criminalized in 1937.

This morning I woke up and Ron Paul was on CNN talking about the legalization of marijuana (and other drugs). He makes a lot of sense-- and nearly half of American agrees. A week ago the San Francisco Chronicle wonder why it's taking so long to legalize it and suggest that "an unprecedented confluence of factors might finally be driving a change on a topic once seen as politically too hot to handle."

Among them: the recession-fueled need for more public revenue, increased calls to redirect scarce law enforcement, court and prison resources, and a growing desire to declaw powerful and violent Mexican drug cartels. Also in the mix is a public opinion shift driven by a generation of Baby Boomers, combined with some new high-profile calls for legislation-- including some well-known conservative voices joining with liberals.

Last year Paul co-sponsored H.R. 5843, the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008, with progressive icon Barney Frank (D-MA). The bill was killed in committee. But the ideas that Paul expressed on CNN this morning weren't. He advocates an approach where the real regulation of drugs would come from the individual, the family, the parents and the community. As a practical matter, he thinks it should be left up to the states. 54% of Californians favor outright legalization but, at least under Bush, even the modest state medical marijuana laws were trampled in a mania to continue the failed and totally dysfunctional war on drugs.

I was planning to post the video of the CNN debate between Ron Paul and the reactionary Baldwin brother, Stephen which you can see at the link because I just found the clip of Paul on CNN this morning:

I wonder how neo-fascist Georgia Congressman Paul Broun, the most extreme right member of Congress, feels about Ron Paul's proposal now that Paul Broun III, his 18 year old son has been arrested for marijuana possession. Maybe the crazed congressman thought Junior was out at a tea party.

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At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Megaman_X said...

Good news: Josh Segall will run against Mike Rogers again.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

As someone who hates pot, I still think it should be legalized. It's so easy to get, I sometimes have a harder time trying to find a copy of the The New York Times.


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