Boose, Lark say legalizing pot could be big 2014 campaign issue

Potential candidates in state representative's race share thoughts on topic.
Scott Seitz2
Aug 29, 2013

Both current State Rep. Terry Boose (R-Norwalk Township) and his possible Democratic challenger Matt Lark feel the topic of legalizing marijuana could be a major player in the 2014 election season.

A story about their stances on the issue was published in Monday's Norwalk Reflector. To read the story, pick up a copy of that issue or subscribe to the e-paper for less than $1 per week and read it now.

Comments

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Make it legal, tax it, or at least decriminalize it. Get rid of the cartel violence. We have spent BILLIONS in a useless fight against pot. There are people serving ten-year prison terms for growing marijuana plants in their backyards and yet heroin dealers get a slap on the hand.

If every state ultimately legalizes pot, it would save millions in taxpayer money and reduce the demand for drug cartels.

BrendanandBryce

Wheres your source on decline of cartel violence and demand for drug cartels? Will these people become model citizens once pot is legal?

votelibertarian

safer than beer

cracked

Make it legal and forget about it.

TheGravyWhisperer

...if we make it legal and smoke it ---- we 'will' forget about it

dontcare

The biggest welfare system in the world is the United States prison system. Over half of the Federal inmates are non-violent drug abusers.

BrendanandBryce

They are there because they broke the law... violence isnt the criteria for jail time

TheGravyWhisperer

... ^ says Joe Friday and Officer Gannon

KURTje

Today I too broke the law. I went 70m.p.h in a 65 m.p.h zone.

TheGravyWhisperer

...difference is, kURTje, you "owned up" to it, and once the tears are dried and jaw is set firm, you can go forth, once again, with chin held high...

Cliff Cannon

" William F. Buckley, Jr. has been called the guru, the patron saint of American conservatives, which has made it particularly hard for some of us to identify him with the call for decriminalization or legalization of drugs. Supposedly, that’s a radical cause, better left than right. Yet Buckley is, astonishingly enough, joined with Milton Friedman, George Schultz, and other leaders of his conservative establishment in calling for drug legalization. Indeed, Mr. Buckley has devoted column after column in his National Review to this crusade, particularly the now-famous February 12, 1996 issue titled “The War on Drugs is Lost.” Now, in May, a Mr. Glen H. Early wrote me from Oxford, Wisconsin about this National Review offering. He wrote, “I pray you will find this topic interesting, and possibly express your opinions.” But the fact is that I haven’t made up my own mind on this topic, and would instead ask my guest once again to précis for us his case for drug legalization, his response to A.M. Rosenthal’s insistence that “Those who would legalize drugs play the cruelest hoax,” and perhaps his response to my own gut feeling that the very last thing Americans need at the dawn of the 21st century is what may so easily be taken as a further sanction for mindlessness and escape from reality.

Mr. Buckley, convince me, please.

BUCKLEY: Well, you began by saying you wouldn’t easily embrace my position. I don’t mind if you embrace my position after some effort.

HEFFNER: Okay.

BUCKLEY: So you want the effort.

HEFFNER: Correct.

BUCKLEY: First of all, please don’t mistake my position for that of people who are indifferent to drugs. I’m not indifferent to drugs. I think I’ve been quoted as saying if I could turn a single latch which would make all the drugs disappear from the face of the earth, with the exception of here and there, a vineyard in Bordeaux, I would turn that latch. Now, you say is it inconsistent for a conservative to take my position? I don’t think it is, because a conservative seeks to be grounded in reality. That which works is quantifiable; that which simply does not work, isn’t. If you were to pass a law requiring people to go to church on Sunday, it wouldn’t work. Under the circumstances, you would eventually simply withdraw such a law. My position on drugs is that they are, the drug laws aren’t working, and that more damage net is being done by their continuation on the books than would be done by withdrawing them from the books. This, as I say, should not be confused as a sanction for drugs. Drugs are a form of escapism, and the damage in taking them is not by any means self-limited. It damages other people also. For that reason, the question is: How do you diminish the net harm done by drugs?

How are you coming on my campaign?

HEFFNER: I’m following you. I’m following you.

BUCKLEY: Well, suppose one were to ask the following question: How do you measure the net damage done by the existing situation? Well, you begin by people who take drugs, their damage. Then you add to that the number of people who are engaged in trying to prevent them from doing that. 5:00

BUCKLEY: That’s 400,000 policemen. Then you add whatever dollar measurement you wish to attach to derivative losses in liberty and security. Mr. and Mrs. Jones, who can’t safely cross the park at night because they would likely run into a drug marauder, have lost something tangible. Mr. and Mrs. Jones, who need to lock up at night, have lost something tangible. To the extent that you can talk about cities being imperiled, they are imperiled by what? By people who need either to sustain their own habit or who wish to profiteer from the weaknesses of others who have that habit, which means that they are robbing or stealing approximately 100 times the pharmaceutical cost of that drug. Now, I’ve seen varying estimates of what that cost figure is. I’ve never seen one that’s less than $500 billion. And we’re spending $125 or $130 billion in our war on drugs. I would infinitely prefer to reduce that net loss to the cost of looking after people who have the habit and who need care, which would take us down to $20-30 billion a year, and have the relative liberty that would flow from a situation which half of America isn’t constipated by worrying about drug-takers and by drug-sellers, and by people who rob and steal in order to profiteer from the situation.

HEFFNER: Well, now, in a recent issue of National Review, you summed up some of the responses from your readers, those who read the February issue. One of the questions that occurred — and it seemed to me it is a basic question — is to put to you whether this isn’t, in a very real sense, a moral question, the answer to which cannot then be given in terms of billions or hundreds of millions or trillions of dollars, and that you, yourself, would be the first person to indicate that.

BUCKLEY: No, because the moral stigma continues, in my judgment, to attach to it. Anybody who becomes an alcoholic, which is probably the primary curse of this country, in my judgment, is morally stigmatized by permitting himself to get into that condition. That is not an argument for prohibition. Adultery is widely practiced. So is fornication. You can simultaneously say it’s morally wrong, but we’re not going to tell the police to open the doors of every motel to find out whether the people inside have marriage licenses.

HEFFNER: But in this instance we have to say to our youngsters, “This was against public policy up until 1996.” You would have it that way. 1997. It is not. It’s a strange message.

BUCKLEY: Well, it’s a message that we undertook to say in 1933.

HEFFNER: With the end of prohibition.

BUCKLEY: That’s right. And it’s a message that, in my judgment, we are perfectly capable of taking when things didn’t work out. We pulled out of Vietnam, and we pulled away from prohibition. We pulled away from a number of compulsory blue laws, all of them in the last few years, by the way. This doesn’t mean that you encourage a defiance of the commandment that you shall keep holy the Sabbath. It simply means that it doesn’t become church business, state business.

HEFFNER: But it still seems so strange to me that…

BUCKLEY: I’m not saying it doesn’t seem strange to you.

HEFFNER: But you’re saying…

BUCKLEY: But I don’t mind developing a policy that seems strange to you if the result of it is going to make a society improved over how that society currently

operates. HEFFNER: Now, may I ask you a question?

BUCKLEY: Sure.

HEFFNER: What’s the downside, as Buckley sees it?

BUCKLEY: Well, the downside is that almost inevitably you will find X number of people — I don’t know how many they are, and there are disputes about this — X number of people who say, “Now that I can actually walk into a federal drug store and buy it, I’ll go ahead and do so.” Now, this is widely reflected on. How many people in that category are there?

BUCKLEY: The ACLU, at least Ira Glasser, who is the head of it, he doesn’t think there would necessarily be any increase in drug-taking. His point is that the fact that it is illegal adds a certain allure to it that will all of a sudden dissipate if it weren’t illegal. A second school of thought says, “okay, they will try it, but having tried it, having had their experience, they will withdraw from it.” Ninety-eight — I want to get the figures anyway — 98 billion people in the United States have experimented with illegal drugs.

HEFFNER: Million.

BUCKLEY: Million. Sorry. Three-and-a-half million are current addicts as defined by, “Did you take one in the last 30 days.” Now, if you say, well, 95 million can pull out of it, having done it in school, in college, or whenever, there’s no reason why you can’t project that experience in the future by the number of people who, “Okay, it’s legal, I’ll try it,” and then do it once. Now it’s very dangerous to do. I would certainly caution against it. But all that money that’s currently spent on constraint could be spent on education. And, by the way, there’s no reason not to encourage social sanctions against it, i.e., if you come to work for Mr. Heffner, you can’t take drugs. And if you don’t consent to have an occasional drug test, extemporaneously scheduled, then don’t apply for a job. I’m all in favor of social sanctions for use; it’s the legal sanction that I think is killing us.

HEFFNER: Now, as a prime debater, would you say that that was a very good summary of the downside? Seriously.

BUCKLEY: Well, I don’t think what other downside there is.

HEFFNER: Well, let’s ask the question about saying to our young people, “Yes, this is tough. We haven’t been able to make it, as yet. And it’s so tough and it’s so costly, let’s abandon the effort.” For some reason, I see that as a quite incredible downside. Because you’re not embracing drugs, as you’ve said. You wanted to make that perfectly clear. You’re saying it’s too damned tough to achieve.

BUCKLEY: Well, I would offhand guess that the majority of young people would be encouraged by a finding of that character, because it would tell them they’re adults living in the real world. Let me remind you, Mr. Heffner, that the opposition, the illegality of drugs, does not actually affect the quantity of their consumption. As one person put it to me only last Fall, it’s easier to buy marijuana in Cambridge than it is beer. Why? Because if somebody sells you illegal beer, he forfeits his license, and his license might have cost $200,000, his whole plot. Whereas people who peddle marijuana can do so furtively with no overhead. I don’t think anybody would maintain that if you want drugs you can’t find them. The very fact that they’re imported and consumed in such quantities. "


Of course,the debate over something as long debated as marijuana legalization has been, will never end.I think the starting point should be existing laws do not work;what next ? Mr.Buckley, I believe takes emotion out of the debate and injects hard to argue with facts


If he were still with us, no doubt the Mexican civil war, a war, fought in large part by drug cartels, eager to feed American drug habits, would appall him. Then one has to wonder, what the wholesale drug related destruction of many American cities would do for him


Personally, I find his arguments persuasive. ( and there are many more---go figure, Buckley arguments available on line for reading) I particularly like his arguments for cutting funding to drug cartels by giving them a major competitor---The U.S. government.


That in fact would also give the our country another source of badly needed tax income.


Of course, we are all whistling into the wind on this topic.Because the powers that be in Washington for reasons known only to them. Will not change American drug laws to actually solve the problem. So the destructive power of drugs will continue to ruin not only Mexico, but us as well.

Kottage Kat

Why not just give us the link.

Thank you

Cliff Cannon

@ Kottage Kat : " Why not just give us the link ? " A few reasons, my friend. First & foremost, I am a computer moron. So I know how to copy & paste,yet, can't make links go where I want them.

Then, I ask how many do you think read 'links ' ?

Finally, if you read Mr.Buckley's interview. You read a world class debater, answering ,pert near every question in this on going debate,didn't you ? So why not use his skills ?


Personally, I had only remembered he was for being for making pot legal. I for one had no idea, his idea's on this topic ranged so far. So that's another reason, I put as much of his interview in as I did.


Bottom lines : The 'average' person will not change their minds on such an emotional topic,no matter how skillfully new ideas are proposed. (Still, using a genius, like William Buckley is worth the try ) Then, THE one thing ---- all can agree on----- what we have for laws now, do not work and our country is in grave peril because of that.

Kottage Kat

Love Buckley
Yes, I did read it. If you took the time to post that and felt it would be benificial to read, so read it. Good article with valid points.

Kat

Cliff Cannon

@ Kottage Kat : As always,my friend, I value your opinion highly.So thank-you for reading this. Glad, Buckley's point had meaning to you.


Here's praying, hoping & wishing for a solution to America's drug problem. A problem which threatens no less, ( promises ? ) than to engulf us all