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Posts Tagged ‘tancredo’

Don’t bogart that joint, Tom, pass it over to me

Posted by Richard on January 23, 2013

Tom Tancredo, vilified by the left as a far-right Neanderthal, has always been more libertarian than either he or most libertarians will admit. Last fall, he endorsed Amendment 64 (marijuana legalization, which passed in Colorado by a decisive 55-45 margin) in no uncertain terms:

Exactly 80 years ago, the people of this great state passed a ballot initiative declaring an end to the misguided big-government policy experiment that was alcohol prohibition. One year later, the federal government followed.

This November, the voters of Colorado have the opportunity to repeat history.

I am endorsing Amendment 64 not despite my conservative beliefs, but because of them.

Throughout my career in public policy and in public office, I have fought to reform or eliminate wasteful and ineffective government programs. There is no government program or policy I can think of that has failed in such a unique way as marijuana prohibition.

Our nation is spending tens of billions of dollars annually in an attempt to prohibit adults from using a substance objectively less harmful than alcohol.

Yet marijuana is still widely available in our society. We are not preventing its use; we are merely ensuring that all of the profits from the sale of marijuana (outside the medical marijuana system) flow to the criminal underground.

Marijuana prohibition is perhaps the oldest and most persistent nanny-state law we have in the U.S. We simply cannot afford a government that tries to save people from themselves. It is not the role of government to try to correct bad behavior, as long as those behaviors are not directly causing physical harm to others.

To be clear, I do not consider marijuana use a good thing for society. I have never used marijuana personally and do not encourage others to indulge. But as the son of a violent alcoholic, I know enough to appreciate that it is irrational to have laws in place that allow the use of alcohol, yet punish adults who choose to use a less harmful and less dangerous substance.

It was an important and influential endorsement, and it no doubt helped Amendment 64 pass in some of the most conservative areas of the state, like El Paso county (Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family).

Now that it’s passed, Tancredo is apparently going to take yet another daring step:

In a promotional video for a new documentary on the passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, Congressman Tom Tancredo went even further than just speaking out in favor of marijuana legalization — he agrees to smoke marijuana with the film’s creator, comedian Adam Hartle.

Near the end of the 10-minute trailer for the documentary (at 9:21), Hartle asks Tancredo, “True or false, when Amendment 64 passes and marijuana is legal, the next time I’m out in Colorado, we’re going to smoke a joint together.”

To which a wide-eyed Tancredo responds simply: “Deal.”

Hey, Tom, remember me? You spoke at several Libertarian Party events when I was Denver LP chair and state LP board member. We had some nice conversations. I’d really like to join you and Adam Hartle for this upcoming event. I suspect it would be the highlight of my year to be able to say, “I smoked a joint with Tom Tancredo.” What do you say? 🙂

UPDATE: Tom, if you’re nervous about your first pot experience (understandable), I highly recommend that you read the 1969 classic A Child’s Garden of Grass and/or listen to the 1971 album version of that book. Especially the latter. And use either headphones or a good audio system, not the cheap-ass speakers that came with your PC. 🙂

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