NORML Deputy Director Speaks About The Failure Of Prohibition On Fox News’ Freedom Watch

Below is the video from my most recent appearance (yesterday) on the Fox broadcast Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano.

Judge Napolitano has long been one of the mainstream media’s most vocal and consistent critics against the so-called ‘war on drugs.’ In recent broadcasts, he has profiled how U.S. marijuana prohibition is fueling violence and murder in Mexico, and has called for the arrest and prosecution of several police officers involved in a violent SWAT raid in Columbia, Missouri.

In this segment, Judge Napolitano questions the White House’s recent call to expand so-called ‘drugged driving’ laws to punish non-impaired, former cannabis consumers (and he is no doubt the first national commentator to do so), and asks whether the war on marijuana consumers is less about pot, and more about expanding budgets and job opportunities for law enforcement. (Answer: Absolutely!)

You can watch our full conversation below.

66 thoughts

  1. Paul Armentano mentioned both major political parties handling the drug war in the same failed ways. As I sip my morning coffee, I think of how we have seen nothing but a long line of presidents continuing to take the same hypocrite stance on marijuana. While comparing apples to oranges when talking about “DRUGS”, seems to be the norm these days, I wonder if 30 days after my morning coffee might be the onset of hypertension and a heart attack at the wheel. Should we prohibit coffee next? I also think of what goes on in the minds of presidents and politicians, along with their environments filled with lobbyists and people demanding funding and justice for countless issues. I think often times politicians seek the path of least resistance for fear of not getting re-elected. They should make presidential, senator, and representative terms as a one term like 6 years and they are out no matter how good or poorly they are thought of by the public. I think a NEW definition of “addiction” needs to be amended along with a NEW definition of schedule I narcotics, in which marijuana wrongfully remains a part of, in my opinion.

  2. WOW!! what in God’s name are our families fighting for over there if not for freedom? Where is our freedom? You go to a dr. and they give you every pill available, And then more pills to counter the effects of the first pills!! OMG just give me a bag of pot and let me go home for God’s sake! not a big fan of fox news, But Coodos to you guys and normal

  3. Thanks Paul for this dialog between the Honorable Judge Napolitano and yourself.

    Shame, shame, shame on you President Barack Hussein Obama.

  4. They say – “Idle hands is the devil’s workshop.”
    I think – “Idle minds is the devils workshop.”

    Anyone who seriously believes that cannabis does not provide the best effacay as a medicine, has an idle mind or a gun held to their head.

  5. correct me if im wrong dept

    “the passage of laws is what matters” spoken like true d.c. lawyers too long.

    we see the results of forty years of the csa today.

    forty friggin years – how many more – of the mad travesty of politicized and corrupt justice, and you folks still think that changing the law promotes freedom? sure maybe in theory but look around.

    how many years has fed justice spit in the faces of the med mj community? sick sicker and perverse

    the feds will never relinquish power/money until forced. they understand fear.

    we agree that cannabis is about a culture in pursuit of (constitutional) happiness and nothing about aggressive demonizing of those we don’t like.

    freedom is a larger concept than the passage of yet another lame law. paradoxically one often discovers freedom in tight spots, if u catch the drift.

    [Editor’s note: You’re incorrect regarding that the federal government ‘never’ will relinquish power on medical cannabis. In the case of the executive branch, via the October 19, 2009 ‘Ogden’ memo from the DOJ, has clearly given states the power to implement medical cannabis laws–including allowing its taxation, like in CO, NJ, ME, NM and DC.

    For Congress to amend the CSA any time soon will take many more politically active cannabis consumers and NORML supporters educating and lobbying members of the House and Senate. The US Sup. Court may not be in favor of medical access, but, thankfully, more and more states keep passing medical cannabis laws that break from the feds.]

  6. dear ed

    thanks for your response.

    your answer is education and lobbying in the face of WILLFULLY ignorant lawmakers and a completely corrupt lobbying model !? after forty years they have no credibility. sheesh and sheesh

    let me re-phrase that which you claim is “incorrect”.

    the feds who ride the gravy train know that cannabis use is illegal. they selectively harass any state or community with that big trump card. they have been very successful at slamming the state movements overtly and deviously.

    the feds have successfully STONEWALLED the mmj movement for the last fourteen years and the legalization movement since 1970. they will never relinquish that power unless forced to do so. the corruption is too needy and systemic. why doncha get that?

    yes i understand that maybe some progress – shallow tokenism – has been made. cannabis remains illegal.

    say cali gets legal in nov …. the feds will bring in the big hammer and double talkin fed judges and things will get worse. what’s changed since 1970? The demonizing and harassment continues. I’ve lived all my adult life with this thing.

    optimism and intelligent hard work have their glorious place to be sure. but why don’t we get really real?

    a little civil disobedience well placed, planned and righteous is the time honored way. hello dea.


    thanks for your efforts. keep those cannabinoid receptors firing.


    [Editor’s note: There is a jaded, and then there is jaded. You apparently fit in both categories….]

  7. Interesting debate to watch in this thread. To be sure there absolutely IS something to be said for “civil disobedience” in cannabis use.

    I have often wondered what would happen if someone were to have a pipe or bong that was covered with the words of a declaration of intent (painted on glass or carved in wood etc) stating that the use of such & such pipe for the purpose of smoking marijuana is done, actively and every time, as a formal protest of the intolerable draconian drug laws.

    As for your earlier commentary on freedom– Freedom must be by definition the liberty to do that which others disagree with (so long as it does not HARM them), otherwise why would we even NEED freedom? We’d all just agree.

  8. hell, ill bet the second hand smoke from us inhalers (and, the more, the better) will repair our witherin O-zone…..heh…wow… fixix to write more letters to the guys in the high chairs…thanks to norml fer what they do..they’re doin the extra shit that we dont do or cant do..and, i know i appreciate that. we all gotta at least write the opposing bastards to try in a reasonable manner,to explain as best as we can from a consumers perspective that cannabis and hemp is not a bad thing.but, i have personal doubt that,i will be able to vaporize cannabis legally before i die.maybe medically but not freedom of recreational use… real discusted with our government at this point for this but, many other reasons as well.they’re a sly bunch and will do whatever it takes to keep cannabis a schedule 1 for selfish know what is a shame people…that many of us are willing to vote for someone who is pro-herb but, may be a real bad choice on many other subjects or beliefs. people have said that to me. who the hell in their right mind would let hillery sit in the high chair if she was pro-herb…eewww.hey…peace to all and get a big deep breath of the ganja for me?

  9. Back on May 15, I wrote an open letter to President Obama pointing out the hypocrisy of saying one year that we need to decriminalize marijuana, and then after being elected President, choose not only to continue but to escalate aspects of the drug war. As a self-described former “frequent” smoker, he knows better than to demonize weed, and it’s hypocritical of him to sit in the Oval Office and allow others’ lives to continue to be destroyed for partaking of the same simple pleasure he enjoyed in his younger days. Read the letter at my blog (linked to my name). Feel free to link to it, quote it, borrow or steal it. Keep the pressure on the President to do what he knows is right.

  10. OK I was just watching a show about Methamphetamine and there was a raid on a huge coke dealers house. There was a dog BARKING THE WHOLE TIME!!! The cops then controlled the dog and had the rest of the team take down the dealer.

    I am confused I thought they would immidiatly shoot the dog because he was just as much, if not more a threat to the officers.


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