Should Conservatives Freak Out About Pot?

Photo Credit: The Federalist “Wolf!” cried the young, foolish shepherd boy in the famous story. The first couple of times, there were no wolves. He just made it up. So people stopped paying attention and rallying to save the flock. When the wolves finally came, people no longer believed his cries. They just ignored him like the noise from an annoying, oversensitive car alarm. Consequently, the wolves descended. The boy’s sheep were slaughtered. In some versions of the story, he wound up on the dinner menu as well.

“Do not lie,” is the lesson moralists have wanted us to take from Aesop’s story, but there are other lessons. Do not let your imagination get the better of you, is one. Sometimes the wolves are real, is another. The boy and his sheep and the wolves are apropos because this is the first year of the legal sale of marijuana in these United States since 1937, in Colorado and my own Washington state.

And I fear that conservatives are reflexively crying “pot!” without thinking through what that might mean. Former George W. Bush speechwriter and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson wrote that the “freedom to destroy oneself with hard drugs” doesn’t just “degrade human nature but also damage[s] and undermine[s] families and communities and ultimately deprive[s] the nation of competent, self-governing citizens.”

That’s a debatable though entirely plausible point that ought to be taken seriously, but then he veered sharply into self-parody. Gerson went on to apply the warning to pot as well. “By what governing theory,” he asked, “did the citizens of Colorado — surveying the challenges of global economic competition, educational mediocrity and unhealthy lifestyles — decide that the answer is the proliferation of stoners?”

One might respond to his paean to technocratic managerialism by quoting from an obscure old stoner tract, drafted on hemp it turns out: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, man, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, so get off of my cloud.”

Read more from this story HERE.

  • joe

    How many drinks of Alcohol did you have, while writing this article, the problem with opinions, they are hypocritical and usually from people that don`t know what they are talking about. You say you don`t trust the government but yet you believe them about pot, typical. I,`ve smoked for many years with no problems, just do everything in moderation and if you can`t don`t blame the pot.

  • gracentruth

    What does hemp have to do with marijuana? And who decided marijuana is a drug? If Drug companies had a monopoly on marijuana, and could earn money from doctors prescribing it – we would love it. And why can’t we grow hemp? Peace,

  • pFeather

    Should Conservatives Freak Out About Pot? The simple answer is no. I still believe pot is no worse than alcohol and should be treated the same and those that use it should suffer the same consequences if they abuse it.

  • wandamurline

    Pot all you want….dope it up all you want, but please remember that it DOES effect the neurons in the brain, so year of smoking it will harm you. Oh yeah, why are we limiting smoking across America, but it is okay to SMOKE and INHALE pot? And I can guarantee you that the second hand smoke of pot can result in a high for those around you. Just saying. Go ahead and make it legal….at least it will cut down on the illegal market….this country is living in la la land anyways.

  • reggiec

    I say do your own research and then track which industries
    spend the most money demonizing cannabis.

    Hint: criminal justice, pharmaceuticals, cotton, beer wine
    and liquor, pesticide and herbicide producers for cotton, and anyone that would lose business if industrial hemp competed against them.

    Government and scientific studies you can look up:

    1860, Ohio State Medical Society, first U.S.
    government study of Cannabis.

    Late 1894, British Official Indian Hemp

    1970s, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
    Jamaica study:

    1970s, NIDA studies in Greece and Costa Rica:

    1944, La Guardia Report:

    1968, Wooten Report by the British Parliament:

    1972, Shafer Commission Report under Nixon

    Mar. 1, 2011 European Journal of Neurology

    Aug. 30, 2010 Canadian Medical Association

  • amiciLatinae

    Oppositionaly defiant addicts say if one tells them not to do something they simply must. But to say they may do it means they will, also. Wow. The logic is staggering. So, it seems inevitable that those who want brain-damaged children and grand-children will smoke pot, snort it, put it in cookies and share it all around. This means that people who care about their children must avoid public schools where classes will be geared to slow learners and pot-head kids will offer to share their goodies [kids always know where their parents’ stash is]. Parents who love their children do not drink alcohol when pregnant, while driving with kids in the car, or offer their toddlers a gin highball just before dinner. The sad truth is that the THC in marijuana permanently alters the DNA in a female’s eggs no matter what age that person starts using the drug. Welcome to real science. I won’t go into the ballooning crime statistics in States with LEGAL pot so junkies can afford their highs. How will you vote, America?