Jan 292013
 January 29, 2013

paul chadot marijuana child porn pornographyCannabis prohibitionists are apparently feeling very desperate these days as legalizing marijuana has become a mainstream issue now supported by a majority of Americans and a super majority wants states to be free from federal interference when implementing their own laws.  There have been many wild claims about marijuana from Harry Anslinger to William Bennett to Newt Gingrich to Kevin Sabet, but I had hoped that we had gotten to a point in our national discourse where we could have rational discussions about the best way to regulate cannabis.  Enter Paul Chadot, former Drug Czar advisor under both the Clinton and  George W. Bush Administrations, and any hope of a rational discussion gets thrown out the window.

The Huffington Post’s recently published piece, “Obama’s Drug War: After Medical Marijuana Mess, Feds Face Big Decisions on Pot,” triggered a discussion on HuffPost Live that featured Paul Chadot.

From “Obama’s Drug War:”

As president, Obama did his best to laugh off questions about marijuana. His own experience with weed had been positive, having spent his high school years hanging out with the “Choom Gang,” a bunch of his stoner buddies in Hawaii. A young Obama coined the term “roof hits” to describe the act of sucking in pot smoke floating near a car roof, and was known to hog extra hits from a joint by jumping around a circle of smokers, snatching the weed and saying, “Intercepted!”

The Drug Enforcement Administration and federal prosecutors, however, found nothing funny about it. “I believe there’s this notion out there that the marijuana industry is just full of organic farmers who are peacefully growing an organic natural plant and that there’s no harm associated with that,” U.S. Attorney Melinda Haagtold San Francisco public radio station KQED last March. ”And what I hear from people in the community is that there is harm.” Marijuana, Haag said, could stunt brain development in children and act as a gateway drug to other substances. It may also, she warned, lead to armed robberies at dispensaries and grow operations, putting innocent bystanders at risk.

***

Whatever the Justice Department ends up deciding might matter less than whether the prosecutors choose to follow instructions. Regardless of memos emanating from Washington, it appears that the prosecutors are the ones truly calling the shots.

The HuffPost Live segment then brought out this exchange:

When asked by HuffPost Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim why we keep marijuana illegal, Chabot responded: “Why do we keep heroin, LSD, prostitution, child pornography illegal?”

“Drugs destroy lives,” Chabot continued. “We have more addicts in this country today than we have had in a long time. It’s a shame, when there are so many issues in the community that we could be working on, there’s organizations of people who are not just trying to legalize marijuana but all drugs across the board.”

Reefer Madness fear-mongering is alive and well, apparently.  The cannabis law reform movement has battled racist propaganda, a proposal to call for the death penalty for marijuana providers, a call to force cannabis consumers into rehab and now a comparison of marijuana to child pornography.  I actually think that such rhetoric actually helps the ongoing movement to end cannabis prohibition.  Scare tactics and fear mongering seem to be much less effective now that everyday Americans have more experience with marijuana, or have friends and family with positive experiences.  With medical marijuana, decriminalization and legalization measures being debated (and often passing) across the country, Reefer Madness rhetoric simply isn’t going to work anymore.  The more nonsense that prohibitionists like Paul Chabot spout, the closer we are to ending cannabis prohibition as our policy proposals to license and regulate cannabis, similar to tobacco and alcohol, can only seem more reasonable to mainstream voters in comparison.

Republished with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition

About Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson is the executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Industry Association and director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC working to end cannabis regulation for all adults in Oregon. In addition to helping organize the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri.As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties.You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.
  • esotericknowledge

    Anthony Johnson, since you have a position relating to law and the ACLU I will give you this gift:
    Drug testing is a violation of the 4th Amendment, as it has the same effect as police searching your home.
    Drug testing also has nothing to do with safety, as American society is perfectly fine with people having a drink after work. Drug testing is about bigotry and socially accepted discrimination against a class of people, and the federal government and many business are trying to murder a class of people by not allowing them jobs, and therefore food.
    Marijuana prohibition is a violation of the freedom of speech, as thought is necessary before speech…and if the mind is controlled by the government, speech is as well.
    Marijuana prohibition is a violation of freedom of religion, as drug using shamanism is the oldest religion on earth.
    No man has domain over the species of the planet…If governments decide what species are not allowed then they claim the position of God.
    To a human being, their body and the world they where born on is their property, what we have on the other side are people who want to trespass and claim property for themselves and deny others their natural state of being.

  • incogneatow

    Anyone that attempts to blame drugs for the discontent of society is an ignorant, dense, foolish, dull-witted, slow, simpleminded,vacuous, vapid, idiotic, imbecilic, imbecile, obtuse, doltish; informal thick, dim, dimwitted, dumb,dopey, dozy, moronic, cretinous, pea-brained, halfwitted, soft in the head, brain-dead,boneheaded, thickheaded, wooden-headed, muttonheaded, daft cretin. Lest I digress…

    Happy shinny smiling content people don’t feel the need to inebriate (nor do they become mass murderers). Our lawmaking, congressional, judicial and local government public servants need to focus on improving life for the members of society, not policing. The role of government is to provide for the people and to craft a social construct that is amiable and free from stress and fear.

    The current state of our human condition is poor at best and that is a direct symptom of poor government. We live in a society which praises the growth of our health care industry. A booming healthcare industry requires having a sick republic and that is not something we should be proud of.

    Mr. Chabot, and people like him, are the problem. Yet, they believe that they are helping when they spout out archaic sentiment based upon lies and false propaganda. But, we are going to change that and time will disperse the fog of ignorance as it preys upon a generation who’s time has come to pass.

    There has been a slow and steady decline of the human condition since the prohibition of psychedelics. The expansion of consciousness should be our primary goal. If we survive this backward stage in our evolution, it will be blamed upon the stagnation of consciousness. The expansion of consciousness is our salvation.

    There have been times when I experienced complete bliss. During those times I never thought about altering my state of mind, just focused on sustaining that blissful period (I am an experienced psychonaut). As a matter of fact, I usually don’t need to inebriate for some time after. What we seek cannot be found here, wherever here is. Transcendence is crucial to our survival.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.obrien.73307 Dave O’Brien

    What a complete muppet. Weed is good and the Human body has been built so as to be able to soak up thc. So let us.

    • http://www.facebook.com/watersimages Bridget Waters

      That’s an insult to muppets.

  • nygratefulfred

    What do you expect from this guy.All he could do is lie and try to spread confusion and obscure the facts.Morons like this in our government is another crime…..the prohibition of reason!

  • Sean

    What kind of pervert compares a harmless plant to child porn?

    • moldy

      Someone who has child porn on their own computer like that douche bag Chabot?