(((My Fellow Americans))) #99: Jacob Sullum

(((My Fellow Americans)))

About This Episode

Drugs won the war on drugs long ago. Is Biden going to continue to destroy lives with his disastrous laws? Author and Reason Magazine Senior Editor Jacob Sullum joins Spike tonight to talk about what lies ahead in the fight to legalize substances.

Episode Transcript

This episode transcript is auto-generated and a provided as a service to the hearing impaired. We apologize for any errors or inaccuracies.
i’ll be buried in my [Music] that is [Music] before i become [Music] change [Music] i’ll be buried in my [Music] that is [Music] but it seems like since [Music] oh [Music] south carolina you’re watching my fellow americans with your host spike collins yes yes it’s me it’s me keep clapping i wasn’t thinking about how dark this would be when i put it together but keep clapping keep clapping for the all black on black on black miracle how would we know that you wanted the all black miracle if you didn’t keep clapping welcome to my fellow americans i am literally spike cohen and i am literally i look like a floating white head right now and i didn’t really consider that until this moment but here we are folks thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of my fellow americans we’re going to have a really cool conversation uh in just a bit uh this is a pre-recorded conversation so i will be live in the comments while you watch my well it’s not live it’s not live either it’s just not live watch my uh conversation with jacob sullivan we’ll be talking about that shortly uh but again thank you so much for joining us this is a muddy waters media production check us out everywhere on all social media platforms on all podcasting platforms join us on all of them go to muddywatersmedia.com go to anchor.fms where you can uh listen to all of our uh episodes uh on for podcasting and also you can leave us questions that we will answer uh every single tuesday uh night except for last tuesday because i was stuck at the airport but most tuesdays if this the airport lets me go home and you know something else doesn’t come up uh for the the muddy waters of freedom we play those so join us go to moneywatersmedia.com subscribe to us there hit the bell if you use youtube to watch us then hit the bell we want your phone to blow up with notifications whenever we go live thank you so much be sure to share this right now the last thing that i want is for you and your closest loved ones to miss out on a roughly hour-long libertarian podcast actually this interview is exactly one hour and i believe 10 minutes or seven minutes i don’t know about an hour and a half total because i’m going to be talking between it too or before and after so be sure to share it right now give the gift of spike today spike cohen or spy give the gift of spike cohen today kids love it this episode of course is brought to you by the libertarian party waffle house caucus the fastest growing waffle related caucus in any party ever or anything ever because who would do that uh be sure to become a member by going to the facebook group libertarian party waffle house caucus to become a member today and if you want to become a dually seated and voting member you have to get a button or a shirt go to the money go to muddywatersmedia.com store and get your libertarian party waffle house caucus button or shirt today then you’ll be able to vote whatever that means there’s it doesn’t mean anything uh this episode is brought to you by the gravy king by nug of knowledge smokable cbd products nug of knowledge it’s not your everyday person selling weed on the internet because a portion of their pro proceeds go to help end the war on drugs they also have a compassionate use program that donates medicinal hemp products that’s what we call it now to veterans and people with disabilities who cannot afford these natural remedies many people who say it say that it helps with joint pain stress relief or a much-needed pick-me-up if you want to do that go to nug of knowledge.com and use checkout code spike for ten percent off joe soloski the key to pennsylvania’s success joe soloski is running for governor of pennsylvania as a libertarian if you want to help him go to joe siloski j-o-e-s-o-l-o-s-k-i dot com i said that right uh.com to help him in his run today this episode is brought to you by the aptly named mudwater if you woke up today and said hey i’m sick of coffee i want something that’s got masala chai cacao mushrooms turmeric sea salt cinnamon and literally nothing else well folks i have some fantastic news for you go to muddywatersmedia.com mud and you can buy some mud water two day and it actually doesn’t taste terrible this episode is brought to you also by oh god i didn’t put it in the thing hold on i gotta pull it up i feel terrible i forgot jack casey is selling his books hopefully he’s watching and he will put the name of those books in in the comments and where you can buy them but you can buy them fantastic books look it up jack casey he has these books one of them has a butterfly with a knife i mean that’s it’s a good book it’s a good that’s i mean that’s got to be good casey uh and finally this episode as always is and has been brought to you by chris reynolds personal injury attorney chris reynolds attorney at law uh if you find yourself personally injured in florida then he will sue whoever did that to you and make them pay and i don’t mean make them pay like just hold them account but actually make them pay you real dollar bills that you can trade for dogecoin i don’t know why you really shouldn’t those coins are hyper inflationary it’s like it’s a mean coin i even bought some because it just keeps going up but it’s not real folks like there’s no ecosystem it’s hyperinflationary there’s no scarcity i don’t know what the hell is going on like just because someone keeps tweeting about it like you don’t you don’t have to do it and yes i got some too for the same reason you did this is tula mania it’s dogecoin mania personal injury attorney chris reynolds attorney at law uh he will not be able to sue dogecoin for you because they’ve literally said that it is a joke but he can sue anyone who damages you personally or injures you personally in florida chrisreynoldslaw.com the intro and outro music to this why am i grabbing the water that’s next the intro and outro music to this and every single freaking episode of my fellow americans that has ever been aired and will ever be aired comes from the amazing and talented mr joe davey that’s j-o-d-a-v-i check him out on facebook on soundcloud go to his bandcamp joe daveymusic.bandcam buy his entire discography it is amazing it’s like 25 bucks he’s got new music coming out now he’s got a new album he’s got a secret uh launch party that’s happening in the stockton lodi california area go to joe davies facebook message them say you want to go to it pay whatever it costs to go there the man is a music legend and i love him i love you joe davey thank you so much i also love le blue pure ultra pure water i look every time i can’t remember what kind of water it is it’s ultra pure and we i’m not doing the thing with the what percentages we’ve established that that’s normal the percentages of hydrogen and oxygen that are in it it’s water turns out there’s not much deviation there but it’s very good it’s kosher it’s made in america it’s bpa free just like me i don’t i don’t know if i have vpas i don’t know what those are but i am kosher well actually i’m not kosher i am made in america though and i’m jewish but i’m not kosher which actually makes it worse shout out to tamron turks’s mom and him as always folks i had a really cool guest the interview wasn’t that long ago it was only a couple hours ago so it’s still fresh in my mind uh he’s an incredible guy he’s a senior editor at reason we had a really cool conversation about the war on drugs uh and his perspective on it he has been writing about this for decades like his first book came out in 98 and he’s been writing ever since senior editor at reason contributor to town hall many other uh publications across the country’s nationally syndicated award-winning author and he got to speak to me a jew in his guest room for an hour what what an amazing triumph for him that is so i’m gonna go ahead and play this i will be in the comments so don’t act up now you can act up i’ll probably be acting up too so i will be in the comments so let’s hang out together and with no further ado here is my episode my interview with mr jacob sullem folks my guest tonight is a senior editor at reason magazine and a nationally syndicated columnist he’s also the author of two critically acclaimed books saying yes in defense of drug use back in 2004 and for your own good the anti-smoking crusade and the tyranny of public health uh ladies and gentlemen by the way i didn’t edit this so there might be like some spots in there that are kind of wonky i think i don’t think so i think i actually i think this was like a one and done number but there might be something weird in there so we can enjoy that together my fellow americans please welcome to the show mr jacob sullem j so much for coming on sure thanks for having me i’m right off the bat had something fun happen there i think that might have been what i was thinking of anyway enjoy i’m happy to have you on and folks uh be sure to uh tune in with your thoughts and questions and jake well actually no this is pre-recorded so i will let you know in the comments if you are right or wrong now uh jacob before we get started talking about all of this i’m always interested when i see people that you know they’re they’re editors and authors on on uh and experts on very specific uh policies and and specific issues what is it that uh led you to you know really dive down and get um as i guess um as much expertise on specifically on drug policy as it was was there a specific moment that something happened or sort of a gradual evolution into that type of thing tell us a little bit about the the genesis story of what led to you becoming a nationally acclaimed author and contributor on this subject well uh i guess i mean in a way drug policy was sort of my entree to libertarianism um rather than than the other way around um i’ve been interested in altered states of consciousness since i was a kid really i was fascinated by my dreams um and lucid dreaming in particular and um as i got older i i looked there’s this collection called uh although states of consciousness by uh by edited by i think charles tart that i probably i probably read that in late high school or early college um and uh it explores the links between all these different methods that people use to change the way they perceive and think and feel um and and then once i started um trying drugs myself i found that very interesting the way they their effects uh how they affect different people differently they affect the same person differently depending upon the context what they call drug set and setting being the main factors that produce the experience and i thought that was quite interesting just from a psychological perspective i was a psychology major and and a sociological perspective uh because the context really matters in terms of how people react to drugs and lots of other experiences as well um so as i was becoming interested in that i also became aware or pretty much was always aware that there were laws regulating how people could change their consciousness which always seemed insane to me i mean that seemed utterly arbitrary um that the government should be trying to dictate that sort of thing at all but especially uh drawing really arbitrary distinctions between certain in the case of drugs between the drugs that are officially approved and the ones that are prescribed uh usually with no uh sound scientific basis for distinguishing between these different psychoactive substances and so i guess thinking about that made me think more broadly about what the government’s proper role is especially in terms of trying to override individual choices and that was a big part of the push toward becoming a libertarian um and and once i sort of became a professional libertarian i found you know i’ve been writing about this stuff for like 30 years or so now and um and it’s it’s endlessly fascinating really because uh on the one hand the government finds all kinds of crazy new ways to screw things up always always new things always yes uh new uh unintended consequences although there are consequences that that absolutely could have been predicted if you look at the history of drug control in the u.s and elsewhere um but also that it touched the subject of you know drug use it touches upon uh lots of other areas having to do with civil liberties i mean the most obvious civil liberties issue is is control over your your own mind and your own consciousness um uh your own body but also it extends to freedom of speech it extends to religious freedom i wrote a feature years ago for reason about religious exemptions to drug laws which uh that’s such a challenging subject actually for a libertarian because on the one hand if some people don’t get arrested and go to prison for this sort of thing that’s an improvement right but also it seems suspect to give people a special status based on their religious beliefs meaning that atheists don’t get to use the psychoactive substance because they’re atheists or or even people who consider themselves to be spiritual but don’t belong to any kind of organized religion they would not get the qualify for these exemptions so the exemption for peyote for example goes back many many years but you’ve got to be a member of the native american church in order to legally use it um and uh other groups uh got exemptions uh the i guess the most familiar one being for ayahuasca uh that which that went all the way to the supreme court and it wasn’t uh based on the first amendment it was based on the religious freedom restoration act uh but the court as i recall was unanimous decision or at least a an overwhelming majority agreed that this was protected by statute but you had to belong to one of these religious groups that treated ayahuasca as its sacrament um and so so so that’s that’s uh it was interesting to me which kinds of drug use qualified for these exceptions and which didn’t so ayahuasca yes peyote for a long time marijuana never even though rastafarians that’s right even though raspberries uh uh consider it an important part of of their rituals and their lifestyle and the only you know uh reason that you can come up with for that is simply that marijuana was always way too popular so the the worries about diversion were much greater when it came to marijuana it’s not any sound you know principled reason to say rastafarians can’t have their marijuana um surely because of that whereas the the things that tended to win exemptions uh things like pyongyang ayahuasca are they’re challenging drugs they often make people nauseated so if you take a drug it makes you vomit you have a much better chance of getting an exemption under the law because they figure most people aren’t going to be into this and it’s true most people aren’t into it even if they don’t have uh you know a negative physical reaction right you know psychedelics especially those are are challenging and and um people can have bad experiences and if you look at the data marijuana has always been way more popular than it’s also been way safer than anything else including alcohol which is you know perfectly legal you would think if anything that the drug that makes you throw up would be more tightly regulated than the one that actually helps people with nausea uh and and actually can help reduce uh symptoms of nausea uh yes i mean i think the psychic dogs like lsd are actually quite safe physically right i mean the main thing people worry about is is that people will have bad reactions bad trips um the more i looked into that the more it was clear that while that’s true that depends hugely on context and expectations um and part of the reason people have bad trips is they’ve been told that this they might have bad experiences that it might drive them crazy it might make them stare at the sun until they go blind might make them right i think they can fly and jump off a tall building so the government the government’s messages about these things affect the way people experience them even with marijuana you know i mean there was this long time idea that marijuana makes you paranoid but it was always controversial whether that was actually a drug effect or simply the fact that you’re using this illegal substance and you’re a little bit worried the whole time right uh so i can actually i can be i’m a case study of that so when i was uh when i when i used to to um do drugs including uh smoking pot um i was paranoid whenever i was in a setting where there was a high likelihood of or a higher likelihood of my getting in trouble for it whereas if i was somewhere with the you know like i’m out in the woods at someone’s you know cabin or something like that there’s not going to be any police or anything else and i’ll be sober long before i leave i was never paranoid and so i people would say well it’s the drugs making you paranoid and i think no i think it’s the fear of going to jail that’s making me paranoid more so than anything else so yeah i mean so the message is um um this is what people like uh norman zinberg were talking about decades ago and also timothy leary that it’s not just the drop the way that people behave under the influence of dru of a drug the way they feel about the experience whether they go on to become regular regular users heavy users what people would call addicts this is all very context dependent and the context is broadly understood to mean your own you know pers personality your own tastes and preferences uh your own expectations but also the broader culture in the broader social context and it’s very clear if you look at any you know people’s histories with any kind of drug including alcohol that context is really crucial there was a great book uh published years ago years ago called drunken comportment where these guys i guess they were either social psychologists or anthropologists uh look at drinking behavior across a wide range of cultures and they found that it’s not that once you drink a certain amount you become violent um or you become friendly or whatever uh there was there’s this uh no popular notion that it’s dose specific right how much you drink determines whether you’re having a good time whether you’re depressed whether you’re getting along with other people whether you’re getting into fights so i think most people recognize that that’s also contingent on personality right some people you may know who get violent uh pretty often when they drink or at least get belligerent whereas other people don’t at all no matter the dose right but then the other important factor is the social context so so in cultures where people would drink as part of rituals they could drink very large amounts and still be very well behaved and peaceful in other cultures where it was less constrained by social convention people would be more likely to be disorderly and to get into fights and to be violent even within the same culture depending upon whether people were drinking as part of a ritual or drinking just for the hell of it they could behave right differently on the same dose so this you know i think this is a universal truth about drugs regardless of their legal status and it’s something you really have to keep in mind when you’re trying to distinguish between the effects of drug use itself and the effects of prohibition and prohibition makes you know drug use worse and more dangerous in practically every way yeah not just that you get more paranoid when you’re smoking pot but that actually you know people if people buy drugs on the black market they just don’t know what they’re getting right and you know you may be buying mdma you think you’re buying mdma you know that’s what they tell you it is but you have no unless you have a test kit you don’t you don’t know what’s actually in there and uh the best scenario is you just get ripped off and it’s just a caffeine in it or something but but it could be that it’s a more dangerous substance you know there are cases where people have bad reactions or even died because what they thought was mdma was actually something else uh even more dramatically with opioids we’ve seen this very clearly in the last several years the government cracked down on pain pills thinking oh this will discourage abuse discourage addiction reduce opioid related deaths yeah and exactly the opposite happened because the non-medical users were driven into the black market and so they’re moving from products where you know the dosage you know the potency to ones where you buy it you have no idea from one purchase to the next what you’re actually getting and and when fentanyl was introduced as um uh either a a booster for heroin or is it just an outright replacement for it it it magnified the range of potency that made the problem even worse so so uh the problem is not really fentanyl per se or any other drug per se it’s that people don’t know what they’re getting and the you the the you know potency is highly variable and unpredictable so so that policy of cracking down on pain pills to reduce opioid related deaths had just the opposite effect and you can see that in the in the upward trend and opioid related deaths not only continued but accelerated at at the same time the government was succeeding by their own standard in you know driving down uh opioid prescriptions of course at the same time you you’re hurting lots of legitimate patients who can no longer get the medication they need to control their pain i mean that’s another thing i’ve been writing about for decades because it’s just it’s so outrageous because like even if you’re not worried about drug users which i am but you know some maybe some people aren’t aren’t that sympathetic to recreational drug users when you have patients who depend upon these drugs to make their lives livable livable tolerable who suddenly can’t get the medication they need because somebody else right is abusing these drugs that’s just i can’t see how that can be morally justified uh from any from any perspective um so like i said yeah no i was just going to say on the campaign trail last year i can’t tell you how many people it’s well over a couple dozen people that i met and they would tell me the same story over and over again because i would always do q and a and try to meet as many people as i could on the trail and hear their stories and uh and i can’t tell you how many people i talked to that either they were veterans or they got in an accident or something happened where they were having a chronic pain issue they were taking pain pills and then one day their pain management doctor said you’ve reached your fda limit you can’t take uh you can’t get you know these pills prescribed anymore we’re gonna have to start doing pain management without using them well they’ve become dependent on them both in terms of addiction and also in terms of needing it for their pain that has actually gotten worse over time and so now they’re having to try to get them illegally and eventually they find out well for a lot less money and for a lot more easy reliability i can just start using heroin and some of them would even try micro dosing you know heroin to try to keep control of it and the thing is now you’re using a street drug it might have fentanyl in it you’re not going to be able to micro dose long term it’s not under doctor supervision so you’re just trying to figure it out on your own the dosages and efficacy and strengths and potencies are different from batch to batch and you end up becoming a heroin addict and i met people that were actively still using heroin people that had gotten off of heroin but it was the same story over and over again the government helped them by telling them that they couldn’t get the pain relief they needed and they were still in chronic pain and they needed to end up using street drugs and heroin and including sometimes with fentanyl in it as a result of that and i one person that i spoke with who lost his brother to that that you know chronic pain led to addiction led to a fentanyl overdose unintentional fentanyl overdose and now he’s not here anymore and we can thank government for that so so i mean this is yet another way that the drug war invades you know every aspect of life yeah um um we met the practice of medicine doctors are not making decisions many of them are not making decisions in the best interest of their patients they are elevating the government’s demands which you know translates into their own concern about getting into trouble about above the patient’s legitimate interests and needs right and that’s you know if you had told i i think this is a way a way that that people who otherwise you know support the war on drugs to really start to question it because uh they never imagined by the way uh for those who are wondering uh it’s been asked a few times here you’re gonna be shocked to discover i am eating smoked salmon yep okay it could have this sort of result you know why would it prevent legitimate use of pain medication yet it does it’s inevitable because if you’re determined to prevent diversion because they’re because pain can’t be objectively verified doctors have to make a choice they either have to trust their patients or they have to be really suspicious of their patients and if they’re really suspicious of their patients the patients many of them are going to be screwed but the doctors will be safer in terms of uh regulators and and prosecutors and police so it’s a terrible dilemma you know to put doctors in um i guess the other major uh well there’s several other majors there are all kinds of ways in which the word drugs you know intersects with other aspects of life as we mentioned a few of them but two more that we should definitely note are um privacy you know search search and seizure rules um the war on drugs has been the main force driving the erosion of the fourth amendment over the past several decades one case after another and this actually goes back to alcohol prohibition uh some of the earliest cases dealing with you know when can you search someone when can you stop them when you can detain it all it had to do with preventing uh bootleggers from operating and then that carried over into the war on drugs and and you know so all these protections get whittled away in the name of making it easier to enforce the drug laws um and then uh one other i guess obvious thing or should be obvious is property rights property rights you know centrally uh you know are being denied because you’re not allowed to own certain products and if you own if you own these prohibited products it’s taken away from you but also indirectly indirectly through a civil asset forfeiture even if you have not actually committed a drug crime police can take your stuff simply by alleging that it’s connected to uh typically drug crime but crime in general but similarly yeah and and then the burden is on you to get it back right that’s the way that works yeah we can talk all we want about uh standards of evidence and and the procedures that are supposed to provide due process but the essence of it is first they take your stuff and now you have to try to get it back and so they may have an innocent owner defense which requires you to prove that you didn’t know that say say your son borrowed your car and and bought some pot right that would make your car subject to forfeiture now uh most states at this point in the federal government haven’t and this is owner defense but then you have to prove your innocence in order to recover your property right insanity like that it’s like all of this flows out of the war on drugs well and on no knock raids as well you’ve got a legal fiction has been created we just saw with the brianna taylor case the police were not prosecuted for killing brianna taylor or shooting her boyfriend uh because they were uh filling they were doing a legal no knock search uh briana taylor’s boyfriend was not arrested was not uh uh charged or or or uh tried for um shooting the police officers because they broke into their house and he would have every reason without knowing who it was to fire back this has created a legal fiction where shootouts in people’s homes are legal and it’s all because of the justification of well if we knock that gives them time to get rid of the evidence it’s a lot easier to conduct law enforcement in a way that comports with the with the constitution and with defending protecting our right to due process and against unreasonable search and seizure when they’re just enforcing against crimes that have actual victims but now that they’ve actually banned the possession or distribution of a thing a substance now they’re having to engage in things that blatantly violate our rights and create those kinds of disasters right so so the add the second amendment or the right to arms uh yeah as as to the list of casualties because although brianna taylor’s boyfriend was not in the end prosecuted he was initially arrested and he is charged with attempted murder of a police officer had the case not gotten as much attention as it did they might have proceeded with that prosecution but think about what the resolution of that case implies is these people broke into somebody’s home for no good reason i mean look if you look at the basis for the warrant there really was not probable cause for that warrant at all even if you accept you know the drug laws as a given uh it was it was a a very shaky warrant so they break into somebody’s house in the middle of the night they’re the you know they’re the people who are who are aggressive they’re the aggressors in this situation exactly when somebody defends himself against them either they will arrest him and charge him with with uh you know attempted murder or murder or as in this case they will say now we can understand how you misunderstood you might have mistaken the cops for criminals right no surprise really i’m not right right i’m not sure that’s really a mistake in this context operating the same way exactly they’re moving the same way yeah so but then if you say well with he was in his rights with defend himself you have a situation where both the cops who killed brianna taylor and her boyfriend who was trying to defend her and himself against them are somehow in the right somehow lawfully use violence that’s crazy right and that’s a puzzle that’s created entirely uh by laws like these um and uh yeah so i think uh second amendment supporters you know your average nra member should be very worried about the war on drugs because of the way it affects people’s right to defend themselves a guy may be stopped um for some bogus reason or even a legitimate reason like some minor traffic violation and it can escalate into an armed confrontation if he happens to have a gun even if he’s legally carrying the gun yeah he can easily end up dead right that should be a concern to nra members um and and also just more generally that anytime you create a new law and you charge police with enforcing it you’re just increasing the opportunities for potentially violent interactions exactly we should be trying to reduce uh interactions between police and and and citizens and civilians as much as possible um and when you have a assist a complicated system of laws like the drug laws it just provides endless excuses for for stopping people for searching people for arresting people for taking people’s stuff um and and i i think you know i wish that more uh people on the left who tend to be against the war on drugs and more people on the right who worry about uh gun rights and the right you know the right to armed self-defense that they could see you know agree on the warrant about the war it’s the same struggle um if you’re trying to defend civil liberties against an overweening government it’s important to talk about what is the government’s appropriate role what should it be doing and what what should they be doing yeah and we we’ve talked a lot on this show uh with many guests and uh i talked a lot on the campaign trail about the fact that the war on drugs it’s all it’s an obvious blatant violation of our rights as you said our property rights our civil rights our bodily autonomy uh it it octopuses into many other things as well it it seeps into other things as well like your right to keep and bear arms right to due process all of these other things in order to enforce something that has not worked taking out the you know as if we’re talking to a non-libertarian if we’re talking to a normie about this about why it’s bad we can just look at the consequential factors of this it hasn’t worked just like the war on alcohol didn’t work all it does is it creates more addicts uh it creates uh more addiction and and more overdoses because people who have a legitimate problem who want to get help risk prosecution and jail time if they admit that they have uh problems unless they’re very wealthy and can go to some kind of you know resort to get their help um it leads to a black market which empowers cartels makes them billions of dollars we’re seeing how central america is being completely destabilized as a result of them becoming so powerful under the guidance and support of the cia that they’re now taking over entire countries all those people are rushing here to get a way to escape the political violence in their in their homelands um it’s leading to all these terrible things that’s leading to corruption more corruption and government because those cartels pay off government officials and police officers and enforcement agents to look the other way often there’s a lot of um working directly where this is a sponsored cartel fighting against another government-sponsored hotel cartel all of these things are happening um as a direct result of simply the the via the blatant violation of people’s lives and rights and in property now one example probably the most absurd example all of these are bad examples i mean that the the war on drugs is a proven failure if your goal is to reduce drug use and make people safer if if your goal is to empower cartels increase corruption uh lead to more blatant violations of people’s rights and create a massive enforcement state that doesn’t help anything more gang violence and everything else working perfectly um the war on cannabis specifically is additionally absurd because cannabis is safer than many things that aren’t even drugs there’s not a single example of a proven example documented example of someone dying from a marijuana overdose for example there is many much a lot of data of marijuana being used for medicinal purposes there is increasing evidence that marijuana alone typically does not impair driving enough so that it should be something that you shouldn’t be able to use and drive it is a very very safe as drugs go it’s about as safe as it gets and yet it is a schedule one drug which is right up there with hair it is the highest level of enforcement against it uh 69 of americans support legalization uh joe biden during his campaign said that anyone who has a marijuana record should be let out of jail he promised to quote broadly use his clemency power for certain non-violent and drug crimes he has of course done neither he has continued to enforce all of the tough on crime war on drugs legislation that he championed while he was in uh congress he continued while he was in the senate he continued to champion as a vice president and he is now uh sitting at the top of the the top uh throne enforcing um i know it’s very early in his administration but is biden actually worse than trump on cannabis uh i won’t say that he’s worse but in turn in practical terms he has so far not been better yeah i mean the main uh issue that the trump administration had to confront when it came to marijuana was how do we deal with all of these state legal industries right that are good that are in more and more states are legalizing marijuana for medical use legalizing it for recreational use so you have people who every day are committing federal felonies but according to state law they are legitimate business people paying their taxes and and uh you know to be encouraged it’s economic activity they want to they want to encourage they want to get getting licenses and everything else yeah so you know there’s there’s this obvious you know untenable conflict between state and federal law well the way the obama administration addressed that was by saying this won’t be a high priority for federal prosecutors right to go to go after state legal marijuana growers wholesalers and retailers unless they’re doing some other nasty stuff and there was a list of things like selling other drugs right right selling to miners shipping across state lines this kind of thing right we will pretty much leave them alone and they did you know this is after a lot of hemming and hawing and and and a bunch of raids on medical marijuana suppliers early on they settled on this policy uh you know which real recognize the reality that you can’t put this genie back in the bottle that states are going to do this and they’re going to continue to do this and we can’t go to war with the states and we can’t enforce drug prohibition without state cooperation states are responsible for the overwhelming majority of drug arrests and the federal government if no state is going to help it the federal government can’t enforce marijuana prohibition on its own so they recognize that but they you know they haven’t changed the law so they couldn’t just say we’re not going to enforce this they just made it a low enforcement priority which meant for practical purposes even though all of these marijuana entrepreneurs were committing felonies every day they could be pretty confident they weren’t going to get arrested go to prison they could be pretty confident their property wouldn’t be seized or the people that they dealt with would not uh have their property seized they still have problems getting banking services still do because uh this is money laundering you know when you when you if you take somebody money from somebody who who sells marijuana even if it’s legal under state law it’s still money laundering money alone and so there were some some halfway assurances from regulators in the obama administration on that score saying to banks well you still have to file these activity reports um you know we probably won’t ruin your business and you know probably throw you in prison for a rico statue but that’s still you know there’s obviously a chilling effect there and it’s still a problem um and there’s a problem under federal tax law where you can under under when you file your income taxes you cannot deduct uh your business expenses because they’re illegal yeah right with with one bizarre exception which is the cost of goods sold which is the marijuana itself that you can deduct under under federal tax law but you know if you buy coffee for your employees you can’t deduct that you can’t do that that’s illegal pay them salaries you can’t you can’t deduct that right so so it’s still quite difficult and complicated for legal reasons to operate one of these businesses but people marriage um and obama said when at least when it came to to actually prosecuting them they were pretty much going to be left alone right and then when uh trump came in with jeff sessions as attorney general the industry was worried because this guy i don’t know if you’ve looked at his past comments on marijuana but he’s crazy oh yeah he’s like an old-fashioned drug warrior um you know who would say things like well you know good people don’t use marijuana yeah yeah it’s outrageous that states are doing this and and so he made noises about um a crackdown and he actually rescinded the obama administration memo that it said you know this should be a low priority but then basically nothing happened so even you though you had this vehemently anti-pot attorney general in charge of the justice department federal prosecutors were not very interested in pursuing these cases um and uh so that was in practice trump’s policy and then when william barr took over the justice department he explicitly said i do not plan to go after state licensed marijuana businesses he made it clear he was not a fan of legalization but he said this has been going on for years there are our people have you know reasonable expectations on on past guidance that they will be left alone i’m not going to screw around with those investments and those expectations um but really congress ought to change the law so that you no longer have this conflict um if that’s what congress wants right right so that was their position and that and that is also uh the the biden administration’s position uh the new attorney general merrick garland said basically the same thing we’re not going to be going after uh these state legal marijuana businesses uh he can’t make it legal you know congress has to do that but um they can uh you know hold back and not and not prosecute people so in that sense it’s it’s the same it’s pretty much the same yeah the other other ways in which uh biden indicated that he would be different he has not followed through on yet um one of the things he said was he wants to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession at the federal level which you know i guess is a nice gesture but i was going to say does that even matter no it i don’t want to say it doesn’t matter because you know there may be the occasional marijuana user who happens to get busted and charged under federal law for a tiny tiny share of federal cases so the practical significance of that is is infinitesimal yeah it’s yeah but as a you know you might say well as a symbolic gesture it’s nice and he also would expunge the records of people who have been charged with low-level marijuana possession under federal law which again is not very many people but he hasn’t even done that he hasn’t done that um the other thing he talked about was moving marijuana from schedule one which means there’s no accepted use at all no except for medical use this is such a dangerous drug that it’s not can’t even be safely used under medical supervision which as you point out is absurd because absurd it’s far less dangerous than many many prescription pharmaceuticals um and it has you know established medical uses i mean and um and we know this not just from crazy activists who are out there claiming that marijuana is a cure for everything but from rigorous research i mean some of which convinced the fda years ago to approve synthetic thc as a medicine that was based on on you know randomized clinical trials right um and so clearly it is medically useful so it doesn’t belong at schedule one for that reason and clearly it is not nearly as dangerous as many drugs and lower schedules it doesn’t belong at schedule one for that reason so he’s right about that but move it to schedule two it does not accomplish much of anything in practice it might make medical research research on the medical potential marijuana a little bit easier because there are certain regulatory hoops you have to jump through when it comes to a schedule one drug that don’t apply to schedule two drugs but it would not change the treatment of marijuana growers or distributors under federal law um it would not um do anything for people who are currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana offenses including some of them serving life sentences so it really wouldn’t accomplish very much and then the other thing he said was that he thinks medical use should be allowed and i’m not sure if he thinks that moving marijuana to schedule two would accomplish that but it wouldn’t you still would have to have you still have to have products that are approved by the fda by the fda which they won’t be because they’re illegal so it’s theoretically possible they did approve they have approved a cannabis-derived drug uh cb cbd extract right uh to treat um some rare forms of epilepsy so it’s not like it could never happen it can’t happen but that was not legal until they approved it as a medicine so it’s right something moving into schedule two won’t make it illegal medicine let alone a legal recreational intoxicant so i’m not sure what he imagines that that would accomplish and then the third thing he said was what you alluded to earlier which is that he was going to use broadly use his clemency powers he suggested it would be similar to what obama did which you know he pardoned pardoned or he commuted more sentences than not just any president ever before but then then i think his previous ten or dozen predecessors you know combined right right um uh so that was that was a big deal and he was very slow to start that he those are overwhelmingly consecrated toward the end of obama’s time in office but it but it did stand out compared to what other presidents had done especially in recent years so uh biden suggested he would he would do that for certain non-violent or and or drug offenses i’m not sure exactly how i put it but and then on at least one occasion during a debate in um before he got the nomination he said something to the effect of of anybody who who who’s you know in prison for marijuana should be released yeah now that’s striking because it’s not in other words not just low-level users the language he used suggested that nobody should be in prison for marijuana which implies that all these people serving long sentences in federal prison for importing marijuana for transporting marijuana for growing marijuana that they should be released you know so if you combine that with his promise to use his clemency powers very broadly it suggests that he should start doing that he should start letting marijuana prisoners out right but when uh his his press secretary was asked about this uh last month she first of all uh said well he wants to reschedule it which had absolutely nothing nothing to do with it yeah nothing to do with clemency at all but she suggested it did did she circle back did she say she was circling back the uh well she actually so the reporter asked this as a reporter for the the new york post uh stephen nelson and he wouldn’t let go of it he uh he said well that really isn’t going to help and you know yeah uh biden is largely responsible for these policies that put these people in prison and now now that he supposedly is a reformer shouldn’t he do something about it and she uh the first time around she uh used this bogus diversion about moving marijuana to schedule two which had nothing to do with the subject the next day he asked her again is he going to is is uh biden going to keep his promise to release uh people serving time for marijuana from federal prison and and and she did not deny that biden had made that promise you can imagine she could say he misspoke he didn’t really mean what he said something like that she didn’t say that yeah again brought up rescheduling which still was irrelevant and then she said well you know this is a complicated legal issue and you have to talk to the justice department it is not a complicated no it isn’t the president very clearly has this unilateral authority to release people from prison if he thinks it’s appropriate and based on on what biden has said he should think it’s appropriate to release people who are serving time for doing things that you can earn lots of money doing now legally in 17 states if you look just at recreational marijuana in 36 states if you include medical marijuana states it’s really outrageous i mean it’s i mean it’s like after alcohol prohibition if you left everybody who was serving time for volstead act violations to rot in prison um it’s the same sort of thing and all right so we know he he doesn’t support legalization uh his press secretary made that clear again last month because he was specifically asked there are a couple of bills one in the house one in the senate that are coming up and it would remove marijuana entirely from the schedules of controlled substances not move it from one to two but meaning it would repeal the federal ban on marijuana was this the move act uh the move act was one of them that’s supposed to be reintroduced that was passed by the by the house uh last year but it never was taken up by the senate um and then chuck schumer in the senate is promising that he’s going to introduce something similar soon so uh yeah i’m not sure if anything like that is is going to pass the current senate but imagine that imagine that it did was the question would biden sign it and she made it clear that he would not which is to be fair that is consistent with the position he has taken all along so he never said unlike almost everybody else who ran for the democratic presidential nomination including his running mate including his current vice president um he never supported uh repealing the federal ban he did say states should be allowed to legalize if they want to which again does not go any further than than what trump said and did in fact correct me if i’m wrong did trump not say i and maybe i’m making this up but did he not say at one point that if legislation went to his desk that uh made marijuana at least marijuana use legal at the federal level that he would sign that what he indicated a couple of times was that he would be open to signing a bill that would make an exception to federal law for state legal marijuana activity okay okay so if they legalize it then it’s okay right so if it’s legal and if what you’re doing is legal under under in the law of your state you won’t be prosecuted under federal law for that okay okay that was that was the the the the basic idea and that he seemed willing to support at least a couple of times he said that biden has not said anything like that as far as i know um and you simply you can’t resolve this current situation the conflict between state and federal law just by you know tinkering with the classification of marijuana you have to remove it from the schedules entirely um so man i mean it seems like this is a good opportunity for bipartisan agreement right you have all these republicans and conservatives who believe in federalism and states rights i mean according to the the quinnipiac university i’m not sure if i’m saying that right paul that was conducted last month um even most republicans now support legalization yeah a near super a super majority of republicans support it now too but even if even if you’re a republican who doesn’t support legalization if you’re a principal constitutional constitutionalist or principal federalist you should say all states this is something state level and of course there’s the whole business angle uh to it um uh being in favor of less regulation you know republicans are supposed to be in favor of less regulation there’s also there’s also the the uh fiscal conservative argument it’s costing a freaking fortune running this war on cannabis when instead tax revenue could be created for or at the very least not be spending money on the enforcement so it’s actually a fiscally conservative position and the war at least on cannabis if not the entire war on drugs as well because it’s been a proven failure it’s not helping anything and it’s just wasting uh well over a trillion dollars at this point and many trillions once you factor in inflation that’s been spent at the federal level so it there’s not really a good argument uh i can listen you want a cartel uh to to continue the this war on drugs and yet you know biden continues it unabated yeah so i mean i think well chris what i think should be appealing is not necessarily what members of congress actually find appealing but it seems to me that a very straightforward bill along the lines of what trump said he was willing to accept that simply said if if this conduct is legal under state law growing marijuana distributing marijuana uh possessing marijuana um it will it will not violate federal law so you carve that out of the controlled substances act and that’s all it did that would be a huge improvement over the current situation and it conceivably could attract at least a few republicans in both houses which is all you would need um the problem is judging from the more act and from i haven’t seen what what schumer has in mind but i assume that it is similar right uh democrats don’t want a a simple approach like that they want to have a bill that addresses equity issues that spends spends money on grants for uh victims of the drug war who would like to become you know marijuana entrepreneurs they want to tax it at the federal level they want to regulate it at the federal level and once you introduce all these elements many of which are going to be repellent even to republicans who are sympathetic to marijuana reform yep you’ve created needless division um and i think you’ve doomed the bill um and you know maybe that’s fine for democrats maybe they just want to be able to say we wanted to legalize marijuana and the republicans wouldn’t let us yeah but i think but i think a cleaner approach would have better odds of passing and biden might even sign it you know if it were you know if it had bipartisan support and it basically just said what he claims to want which is the state should be allowed to do this and the federal government should shouldn’t interfere well it is interfering right now even if it’s not actively prosecuting people or seizing the property just the threat of that is actively is interfering with with state decisions so if biden were true to his word and he did say this on the campaign trail he did say this on his campaign website that states should be free to legalize that that choice should be left up to him if he really believed that then he would want to eliminate uh this conflict between state and federal law yeah and instead he continues to enforce uh his laws that he championed uh he does have power to grant clemency he’s not doing that people continue to languish in prisons on life sentences on cannabis exclusive charges it’s not like it was cannabis plus other charges it was all related to the sale and distribution of cannabis they are in prison for the rest of their lives unless he he moves to act or or a future president does so far he’s not indicating that and he’s actually spending more time on apparently banning menthols uh which is a and under the same pretense as the rest of the war on drugs which is you know this is something that’s bad for your health and uh and therefore we’re going to uh you know ban it out right not allow you to have a choice to use it uh they’ve even mentioned it’s very interesting they’ve actually instead of shying away from the fact that this is wildly disproportionately going to affect uh black consumers more so than anyone else they’re actually leaning into it and saying that’s the reason that they’re doing it and they’re also leaning on the fact that the congressional black caucus and many other civil rights groups are uh championing this uh this approach even though those are the same people who championed when ronald reagan in fact it was actually the cbc who demanded that ronald reagan uh introduce the zero tolerance policies on crack cocaine which led to the wild differences in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine which led to the wildly disproportionate sentencing between black offenders and white offenders since crack cocaine was primarily used by black people thanks to the cia we now know but as as a result of all of this and and so you know this it seems like this is still moving forward we’re going to use government as a bludgeon to tell people what they can put in their bodies and if it disproportionately harms poor people and people of color oh well yeah i mean i i think the ban on uh menthol cigarettes which to be fair was something the fda was talking about during the trump administration yep and it’s an idea that’s been in circulation for many years right the premise behind it is really paternalistic i mean maybe that’s obvious but also really patronizing yeah because what it what it’s saying is that all these black people are buying menthol cigarettes they may think that’s what they want but they don’t really want that it’s not in their long-term interest right um and the theory with menthol is that um well there are a couple of arguments one is that it’s more appealing to uh underage smokers because it’s it’s easier to smoke it’s easier to inhale and keep in um and that it encourages uh people to hold smoke longer to breathe it more deeply and therefore that it might make cigarettes more dangerous that those are that’s those are the two basic ideas okay right um but but the whole premise is that black smokers don’t know what they’re doing we have to make decisions for them and so like you said on the face of it this looks like you’re targeting a product that is overwhelmingly favored by a by a minority group yeah it seems like you’re attacking that minority group that’s what it seems like to me you know and they’ve literally said they’ve literally said you know part of our reasoning behind this is that black people are using it more i mean they’re pretty they’re all but saying we we’re we’re creating another bludgeon for for the the state and it’s enforcement mechanism to use against but but the key thing is that they don’t see it that way at least they don’t describe it that way from their perspective they’re helping black people by removing this temptation yes and i think you know a lot of them honestly believe that right like this really patronizing attitude uh and uh it’s bound i mean it’s like they learned nothing nothing from what went before right yep if you say these products are really appealing to people that’s why we have to ban them and you’re right then it obviously means they’re gonna they’re gonna be black market substitutes right because if there weren’t much of a demand maybe the black market problem wouldn’t be that big but your whole premise is that there’s a big demand for these products they’re very appealing so that means there will be a black market supply exactly who and who is going to bear the brunt of efforts to stamp out that black market it’s going to be black people it’s going to be poor people the same people who tend to get screwed over by the war on drugs right um so this is just adding uh yet another target um in the name of public health in the name of helping the people who are actually going to be hurt by this policy but you see that across the board i mean this is really just importing rhetoric from the war on illegal drugs to a new area because the whole i mean look at what biden says about drug users now i used to say they have you have to come down harder than because without them you wouldn’t have a black market which is true by the way it was right in that observation you know yes which makes you wonder why did dealers get treated more severely than than users then the users it’s the demand exactly the users are the one who are committing the sin and it’s and the dealers are just helping them do it right yes so he used to say uh back when he was a really gung-ho drug warrior you have to crack down a user’s heart you got to punish them because without them we wouldn’t have this problem but now he portrays users as victims and so instead of putting them in prison he wants to lock them up in rehab centers now if you are a drug user and you get busted depending upon like the the uh setting of the the rehab center and the specific conditions of your confinement you might very well prefer that so i’m not going to deny that that might very well be better than going to prison for an individual drug user right but what is really objectionable about it is that you’re you’re trying to pretend that punishment is treatment it’s medical treatment right and it’s treatment that you’re going unlike most kinds of medical treatment you’re going to impose it on the so-called patient whether they want it or not whether they need it or not right because he still does not recognize a distinction between drug users in general the overwhelming majority of whom are not addicted the overwhelming majority of whom do not have serious problems as a result of their drug use unless they’re you know unlucky enough to be caught he doesn’t distinguish between them and people who really have serious drug problems and it’s the same mistake that people might make if they ever did make this mistake by saying all drinkers you know are are our problem we need to stop they’re alcoholic and they need right as opposed to talking about people for whom out you know drinking is a problem and asking well why is it a problem and would you like some help with that i mean usually people who have drinking problems are not forced into treatment unless there’s some kind of uh criminal justice angle like like driving while intoxicated or regular manslaughter right if if they mind their own business and they just drink in the privacy of their homes and they’re slowly drinking themselves to death nobody’s going to force them into treatment right but biden’s attitude is that with illegal drug users at least they should be forced into treatment and they should welcome that help because that’s what i think is appropriate right so it’s the same kind of uh you know paternalistic patronizing attitude that you now see when it comes to this this with the proposed ban on on menthol cigarettes um that it doesn’t even give drug users the dignity that comes with being told you know we don’t like the choice you made and we’re going to punish you for making that choice uh instead they’re saying it’s not even a choice right it’s a disease you don’t choose to do that that’s you can’t help yourself you’re the drug major right or you’re the dealer major right yeah you’re a victim and because you’re a victim we’re going to further victimize you by locking you up in a rehab center yes and making you uh meet all our demands as a condition for your freedom right so that’s really troubling in a way that straightforward punishment is not it like i said it’s not necessarily as bad for the individual drug user but the message it sends is more insidious and and potentially more damaging because it makes people less sensitive to what’s actually going on right which is that that the government is using force and violence against people who are doing nothing that justifies that yeah and and in addition it’s also it’s a it’s a type of treatment that no medical professional would recommend or treatment that no medical professional would recommend because there’s all sorts of data showing that voluntary treatment is really the only you have to have the treatment be voluntary in order for the long-term effect of it of someone being able to stay off of that particular drug to be able to to work most people that are are rehabbed or you know quote-unquote detoxed or rehabbed in a prison type setting almost always end up offending also because they’re not addressing the issues that often led to that in the first place they’re just putting them in a cage like an animal and treating them like you know like that’s going to fix it um i do want to ask you this and give you the the final word on this because i mean being clear the menthol ban is basically just an extension of the war on drugs we’re actually seeing an escalation of the war on drugs into a whole new front overall on on cannabis on drugs what do you think the next four years are going to look like do you think there’s going to be improvement do you think it’s going to be pretty much the status quo moving forward do you think it’s going to get worse i i kind of leave you with the with the final word on this uh jacob sullem the floor is yours uh well i would say first of all i was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly and may not seem quick but how quickly uh pot prohibition started to crumble and continued to crumble i didn’t expect it to happen this soon i thought probably by the time i died it would at least begin you know but the fact that i mean every time there are these ballot measures uh for voters to you know say yes or no to i’m always sure that that either none of them will win or that most of them will lose and i’m always wrong so that’s so that’s uh that’s encouraging i’m glad you’re wrong on that i’m glad we’re glad you’re wrong there but i mean look in this last election every single uh drug policy reform measure was successful including south dakota two initiatives south dakota two initiatives simultaneously legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana who would have predicted that right i certainly did not predict that that was astonishing now the recreational measure is now held up in the court because the governor doesn’t want to abide by uh uh the wishes of of the voters um so it may not actually take effect but the fact that voters in a red state like that were willing to approve both of these measures was very striking and and so and since then all the measures that passed in november well new jersey implemented their measure the new jersey legislature implemented but then separately new york state uh new mexico and virginia all approved legislation so what didn’t require a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana so now we’re at uh 17 states 18 if you count south dakota which is iffy and it’s just going to continue to grow now that you actually have uh legislative legislatures doing this it is not dependent on the ballot initiative process anymore so it doesn’t require that the state allow you know voters to to change the law in that way and so i think that’s just going to continue so that that is very encouraging and it’s really just a question of when the feds are going to finally throw in the towel because there’s no going back they will have to eventually so that part was good now my fear after this happened relates a bit to what you were saying earlier about how marijuana is so much less problematic problematic and dangerous than other drugs right which is which is true i mean you know by important measures it is less problematic or less dangerous than alcohol uh in terms of of uh the risk of overdose obviously much very easy to drink yourself to death basically impossible to take a fatal overdose of marijuana in terms of driving risks i wouldn’t say that there’s no concern about driving under the influence of marijuana but but the research very clearly shows that it has much less dramatic effects on driving ability than alcohol does um and in terms of long term you know forget about uh the immediate toxic effects but long-term effects of heavy drinking are far worse than long-term effects of heavy cannabis use right so by those measures it’s very very clearly less dangerous and so you say why does the government make this distinction it makes the sense and you’re right to say that but my fear was that marijuana was a relatively easy sell partly uh for those reasons but also because so many so many people have tried it and even if they didn’t like it that much they they just concluded it was not as big a deal as the government was saying with other drugs that are much less popular and potentially more dangerous look opioids are potentially dangerous like if you take too much of them they can kill you right so yeah shouldn’t want to deny that but we don’t want to be in a position of implying that it’s only the safer drugs that should be legalized right of course it’s precisely the most dangerous drugs that should be legalized because banning them only makes them even more dangerous makes it even harder to address those hazards and try to minimize them right so i was a little bit um again it’s true to form i was skept of a skeptical and i was pessimistic that the impulse to allow people to use marijuana then allow people to supply you know marijuana to cannabis consumers that that would be generalized and applied to other drugs as well because voters and politicians don’t think very systematically and they don’t really think in terms of principles they think when it comes to the war on drugs in a very drug specific way they were persuaded about you know most americans are now persuaded about marijuana that it should not be banned you cannot assume that that conclusion will carry over into any other area it’s like you have to start all over again with every single substance right right so i was concerned that basically we would hit a wall after after uh legalizing marijuana so i was encouraged to see a few things in the last election um there were a couple of initiatives dealing with psychedelics one of them in oregon will actually allow the use of psilocybin at state licensed centers you don’t need a specific medical or psychiatric diagnosis and you can use it for personal growth for psychological issues right you know it’s it’s pretty open of course you still have to use it this in this government licensed and approved setting but none of the people involved are going to get arrested or you know have the property seized uh so that’s a huge deal that’s never happened never happened before not not since it’s been banned is that and then if you like that happened now this is going to take a couple years to develop the regulation so it’s not happening immediately but that was a big deal and meanwhile in washington they passed an initiative that is broader in some ways because it applies not just silicibin but to several several other plant or fungus based uh psychedelics um and it does not you know license distributors but it it tells police and prosecutors should leave people alone if they’re using any of these substances it includes ayahuasca includes peyote psilocybin not lsd i guess because that’s synthetic so but uh but includes the you know natural psychedelics um and not only can people use them but they can produce them for non-commercial purposes share them with each other that’s a big deal because that goes further in some ways than the oregon measure but also further than these other local measures that have made uh psilocybin specifically a low law enforcement priority several cities starting with denver said you know basically you should leave these people alone don’t be going after psilocybin users but it’s still begged the question of where do you get it from you know and can people provide it and um and also it didn’t actually change the penalties it just said you should you should leave these people alone but i see the willingness to prove that in in a bunch of cities recently uh as a promising sign is that so the logic that was applied to marijuana can now be extended to these these drugs which are not nearly as scary to the general public as they used to be but are still i mean i’m still a minority taste it’s still something most people are not interested in using but nevertheless voters are willing to say if somebody wants to do that that’s fine let them let them do that even if it’s not for me so that’s kind of a big deal right that uh they’re not being necessarily self-interested about it but they’re just saying um this is not something that justifies you know being arrested um and then the next step after that as with marijuana will be well what about helping people do that why should if if the use itself is not a crime why should aiding and abetting that behavior be treated as a crime right and that you know it took a long time for people to take that step with marijuana because they were decriminalizing uh low-level possession back in the 70s and it was you know what is that 30 30 or 40 years before the first dispensaries uh you know serving recreational customers actually open um i’m hoping it’ll take will take us long with uh psychedelics and oregon’s example suggests that it may not take as long so that’s promising and then the third thing which again looked oregon they passed another ballot initiative that decriminalized low-level possession of all drugs not just marijuana not just psychedelics but people who are basically possessing any drug for personal use they’re not engaged in in you know manufacture distribution uh they won’t be arrested at most they have a a small fine i think it’s a hundred dollar fine um and the fine is waived if they agree to uh to consult with with some experts about their drug use but that’s that’s voluntary you can just pay the fine and be done with it um if you want to do a consultation they’re not going to force you into treatment but the idea is that people who do have drug problems um will be more likely to try to get help if they want help and it’s supposed to be you know driven by what users actually want which is really crucially important that this not be forced on anybody right right all right and again that that’s a big deal no jurisdiction in the united states has ever done that has ever decriminalized drug use across the board right so maybe that will catch on maybe people will see the logic that if using marijuana shouldn’t be treated as a crime if using psychedelics shouldn’t be treated as a crime maybe using these other drugs shouldn’t be treated as a crime either right um and i suspect even if they do agree to that that it’ll be a long time before prohibition is actually repealed and and you can actually legally obtain these drugs uh you know for non-medical purposes but those are some promising signs um and you know the marijuana thing itself um is huge and we shouldn’t underestimate how huge that is uh like the day the day that i woke up and picked up the new york times probably just picked up my phone and looked at the new york times and saw that they had an editorial saying marijuana should be legalized i thought maybe i’ve been wrong about this all these years you know if the new york times is saying it should be done then perhaps there’s something wrong with my reasoning it was really disconcerting and and and to this day i’m still it makes me uncomfortable to have a majority view um we’re not libertarians are not used to everyone agreeing with us like this that’s not a comfortable place for us it really makes me uncomfortable but of course it’s very encouraging that so many people finally come around um and like i said really the real trick is to try to get people think to think in a more systematic and consistent way about these issues it really shouldn’t be that much of a leap uh to go from talking about marijuana used to talking about other kinds of drug use where you can make the same points about how this should be something left to the individual if people do have drug problems it shouldn’t be you know treatment shouldn’t be forced on them but the option should be available that prohibition creates many more problems than it solves right um uh it makes drug use more dangerous like all of these insights apply across the board to every illegal drug so you know the challenge now is to try to make that case well i hope that your skepticism continues to be proven wrong and that you will live to see an end to the war on drugs and you’re right that the step is it’s not marijuana should be legal because it’s so so comparatively safe and beneficial it’s marijuana should be legal and it’s ridiculous that it’s illegal because of those things but it should be legal because government involvement and prohibition on what you can and can’t put in your body makes everything worse so i i hope that that continues to be the trend and uh jacob thank you so much for joining me tonight sure thank you that was a great great interview that guy is smart and he has been jacob has been following this since i think before i was born or shortly after i was born um so he’s uh he had a lot of really good insights there and unfortunately it’s it’s not a lot that we didn’t know in the at least in general uh the war on drugs is bad it’s bad because it should it violates our rights it leads to bad and harmful things as a result of it um anyone trying to claim that the war on drugs or any new things like wars on menthol or wars on any other new substances like vaping or anything like that um you know anyone who’s trying to claim that there isn’t just mountains of data showing that these types of prohibition prohibitive steps don’t work they’re arguing against all available data and yet they’re the ones who are winning or at least their policies and ideas have been winning up until recently those are two very positive that’s a positive thing that we’ve seen is that the people are kind of realizing you know not only should we be making weed legal not only should we be making some of these less harmful psychedelics illegal but i’m not sure government should be telling anyone what they can put in their body and it seems like it’s not really helping seems like it’s just costing a fortune and causing even more problems as a result of it so folks thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of my fellow americans um join me oh well first let me tell you tomorrow on the writer’s block uh matt wright will have who is his guest tomorrow you can pull this up on the writer’s block the next guest will uh joel getz uh who is running for uh mayor of east stroudsburg pennsylvania we actually had joel on the show a couple months back on his birthday actually um he was on to talk about it so he’s coming back on to talk about that he’s also the chair of the monroe county libertarian party he’s also the social media director for joe soloski who’s running for pennsylvania governor key to pennsylvania success joe soloski.com uh so tune in tomorrow at uh eight for the writer’s block with matt wright and his guest joel goetz and then this weekend come hang out with me in tennessee uh friday night i’m going to be in murphy’s murfreesboro murfreesboro i don’t know how to say that i’m going to be in enboro uh murph or i’m just saying murphy’s borough i hope i’m saying that right i’m gonna be in murfreesboro uh friday night uh for a candidate training by uh cell liberty um we’re gonna be or not canada outreach training so um brent derider who is one of the few people that i trust to message libertarianism even better than me um is uh uh man that sounded vain didn’t it even better than me uh but no he’s good um he’s doing an outreach training so i’ll be helping uh or i’ll be actually taking part in it i’m sure he has a few things he can teach me um so you can come to that and then on saturday morning and through saturday we will be doing uh feeding the homeless and also doing uh community outreach uh in murfreesboro uh all on saturday with the libertarian party of tennessee so i’ll be there for the whole thing so come out and join me there sunday we may be doing some additional stuff and saturday night we may be doing some additional stuff elsewhere in tennessee more on that coming soon so just follow my social media and i’ll be updating people on on what i’m doing in tennessee um so yeah come on out and join me this weekend and then come right back here next week uh next tuesday for the muddy waters of freedom on tuesdays we’re matt right night parts through the week’s events like the sweet little 20 20 wonder boys that we are and then uh join me back here uh next wednesday for my 100th episode of my fellow americans uh i would like to thank as always the folks who make it possible for us to be able to where is that here it is the people that are donating to us are monthly supporters uh on float or float on anchor uh who are making monthly donations to help uh pay for all this and help make it possible for us to be able to continue to bring you the quality muddy waters content that you’ve come to know and love go to anchor.fm anchor dot fm slash muddy waters and you can leave messages for us and you can also donate and become a member um i’d like to thank justin mickelson jack casey zachary martin tim pollin joshua mccoys uh kenneth ebel sean sparkman james lee damian faust jennifer morrison jeff depoy andrea o’donnell chris reynolds kenneth ebel again jack casey again meg jones and billy pierce for texas and uh folks thank you so much for everything that you do thank you for being a part of this we love you and uh patricia says make sure you make it home next week i i i will i’m uh oh you’re saying for two for muddy waters yeah well listen i tried i was stuck this time yesterday i was stuck in the charlotte airport i was supposed to get in at like 5 30 and instead i got home at midnight and they almost tried to make it where there were going to be no flights they got me in on the last literally the last minute they were doing final boarding for the last flight to myrtle beach and all the other flights for today were already booked so it would have been thursday i wouldn’t have waited that long we would have just driven there but yeah i know i was in the airport for a very very long time so hopefully that doesn’t happen again hopefully that doesn’t happen again i actually like that airport i just had something i needed to do so but i’ll be coming back on monday this time so uh even if i’m late i should not i shouldn’t be so late that i miss muddy waters but i probably shouldn’t say that probably shouldn’t say that yeah i know i messed up matt spent all this time doing a may the fourth special i felt absolutely terrible um so my guest next week is courtney cahill um she is a professor and we’re going to be talking about the uh the transgender and anti-transgender laws that are being passed we’re going to talk about it from a libertarian perspective and from a constitutional rights perspective so whether you are in favor of some of these laws that have been coming out or whether you’re against them tune in next week uh right here same spike place same spike time actually no regular spike place in time eight o’clock not 8 30 for my guest courtney cahill and we will be talking about uh all things related to lgbt and trans legislation from a libertarian perspective um so folks thanks again for tuning in um to this episode i will see you hopefully hopefully i will see you uh this weekend in tennessee if you live anywhere near murfreesboro um and uh and then i will see you right back here for my fellow americans thanks a lot guys have a great rest of your night i’m spike cohen and you are the power god bless guys [Music] yay [Music] [Music] [Applause] i [Music] [Music] if you slide in my kicks it might fit we might just unite and come together become hybrid at the least slightly like-minded indeed the life i’ve lived brings light to kindness all you need is a sign put a cease to the crimes put an ease of the minds like mine sometimes darkness is all i find you know what they say about an eye for a night in a time when the blood is the blood who am i to deny would cry when a loved one dies i recognize is [Music] tell me why [Music] [Music] will make a change [Music] you

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Jason Lyon
Jason Lyon
Jason Lyon - USN Submarine Vet -Minarchist/Constitutionalist - #Liberty advocate - Principles over party - Constitution over Idolatry
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