Rep. Barney Frank Educates George Will and Paul Ryan on Marijuana Legalization

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the primary sponsor of HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, appeared on ‘This Week with Christiane Amanpour’ on ABC with fellow guests George Will of the Washington Post and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
The conversation found its way to marijuana legalization which led to Barney Frank calling out the hypocrisy of most of his conservative colleagues.
“It’s a great embarrassment to the conservatives,” said Frank, “They want to tell people who they can have sex with. Come on, all this is big government! Who can I have sex with? Who can I marry? What can I read? What can I smoke? You guys, on the whole — not all of you — but the conservatives are the ones who intrude on personal liberty there.”
The debate got heated between Frank and George Will. “I mean, personal liberty, if someone wants to smoke marijuana who’s an adult, why do you want to make them go to jail?” Frank questioned.
“I need to know more about whether it’s a gateway drug to other drugs, I need to know how you’re going to regulate it,” George Will replied.
“Anything is a gateway to anything,” Representative Frank shot back, “That’s the slippery slope argument which is a very anti-libertarian argument. The fact that if somebody is doing something that’s not in itself wrong, that it might lead later on to something else then stop the something else. Don’t lock them up for smoking marijuana.”
Will defended himself claiming, “What you’re calling a cop-out, I’m calling a quest for information.”
“How long’s it going to last, George?” Frank asked, “We’ve been doing this for decades.”
Watch the clip below:

You can read more coverage of this story here and here.

81 thoughts

  1. Notice Ryan’s attitude on the conversation, and then It’s easy to understand why these debates go nowhere. Let’s change the subject!? This subject is obviously meaningless to those guys. It should be obvious they don’t give any serious thought to this issue.

  2. Will can’t defend his hypocrisy. He’s the first one to whine about govt intrusion, then turns around and defends govt intrusion. Gateway? How about booze and cigarettes? I have no doubt whatever that Will would scream about govt intrusion if someone proposed outlawing either of those drugs.

  3. I understand that the vast majority of heroin junkies started out taking aspirin. Perhaps we should ban that gateway drug as well.
    Or, perhaps it’s the fact that in order to get illegal marijuana, you have to go to a dealer of illegal drugs that causes marijuana to “lead to” exposure to hard drugs. Ending the prohibition on marijuana would break that cycle.

  4. Gateway theory? How the hell is that still being pushed? How many times does something have to be disproved before politicians stop foaming at the mouth about it? You want a gateway? How about caffeine? That drug is so pervasive in our society that it’s difficult for me to order drinks when I go out to eat! I have a health problem that caffeine irritates. Almost everyone in the US consumes caffeine multiple times a day, and it’s certainly everyone’s first step into the world of recreational drug use. These people just make me so mad!

  5. I saw that because I’ve always watch Sunday morning political news. ABC political news starts off in the first hour, then it’s Fox’s political news during the second hour, and then it’s NBC political news. Take an hour break and then it’s time for NFL football and beer.
    That’s my Sunday morning.
    That was awesome seeing Rep. Barney Frank got pissed when George Will mindlessly giving out prohibition rhetoric the same way he does on all of his paid political spin. It really embarrassed George Will’s lack of credibility until Christiane saved his ass.
    From now on when I watch George Will give out his political expertise, I would always remember that Sunday morning fall-out he had with Rep. Barney Frank.

  6. Just remember, it isn’t all Republicans. I’ve always been a Republican and nobody at a better time could come along with who I greatly align with politically; Ron Paul. If you want states to control this type of activity, you need to register Republican and vote for Dr. Paul during your primary.

  7. They refuse to allow us to choose for ourselves. It is all about them making our choices for us. It’s about control.

  8. I thought George Will was a conservative with a brain, but it seems that if he talks about anything but politics he can’t really run with the big dogs. Science in particular seems beyond him.
    @7 Evening Bud: Yes, this seems to be true of conservatives in general. This is why I have yet to seriously think about becoming a conservative. There’s also the obnoxious behavior like Limbaugh making fun of Parkinson’s disease sufferer Micheal J. Fox and calling then 13 year old Chelsea Clinton the White House dog.

  9. Bravo! Bravo!
    Well done!
    Thank you, Barney!
    I hope you will enjoy your retirement, but also continue to advocate for cannabis legalization.

  10. After 40 years of fighting the “war on marijuana” we find ourselves with nearly one fourth of our population in prison. A Marijuana related arrest is made in this country every 37 seconds. Our brightest young students are being turned into hardened criminals for a Marijuana “crime” while our Judges, Congressmen, Senators and even Presidents us Pot, Cocaine and Oxy’s, nore often than you might think, without penilty. Another 40 years of fighting this “war”, I fear, will result in half our populatin in prison (that should make Geo. Will happy) and you and I will be required to police each other, I suppose.

  11. All of you that are pushing for Ron Paul. Have you taken time to look at everything else? It appears to me that people are only interested in the pot issue. Take the time to look into he’s postion on other credical issues before you start pushing Mr Paul. You may find that there are lots of other issues with Mr.Paul. I do not beleive he would make a good pres.

  12. This topic is something I have never agreed with the marijuana vs. alcohol. It’s ignorant! We as American citizen can drink a substance that clearly affects our brain, body vision and motor skills for the worst but we are not aloud to smoke a plant that helps with cancer and other disease . I personally do not use drugs by no means but in all reality smoking marijuana is better for the human body than drinking alcohol. The way I see it is beer is a gateway to harder liquor like whiskey which when consumed in large amounts can clearly hurt someone or even worse kill them. I have heard story after story of drunks killing harmless people and not remembering what happene the next day as for marijuana it’s impossible to over dose on it’s only gonna make you fall asleep if the government would just get over themselves an legalize the stuff and possibly smoke it themselves there would be a lot less fighting and hostility in my opinion it’s not a drug nor should it ever be! You don’t see people who are stoned out of their minds doing a lot of anything bc it’s a relaxer it calmes the nerves and makes people hungry !

  13. I have to give Barney Frank a lot of credit for speaking out on a subject that not many people in congress have the balls to speak about,let alone care about.
    The only substance today that can make people feel better,create jobs, and is excellent for the environment.No wonder it’s so difficult for politicians to understand.

  14. The true Gateway drugs- Alcohol & Tobacco! How many people remember when they we’re young & a uncle or… would be like its ok let him have a sip? hot toties to sweat the cold out of you? Shit Cigarettes we’re everywhere Marlboro man, the camel, shoot i was wearing Tobacco shirts way b4 i was 18 yrs old!

  15. Cannabis is not a “gateway drug”. This fallacy has been refuted by studies, most recently by State Universities….in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.
    Want IRONY? New Hampshire sold $534 million via its State alcohol monopoly. Alcohol is the 2nd leading cause of death when the substance itself is considered.
    Gateway theory? What a bunch of horse shit!

  16. Anyone know if there has ever been a study done about how many car accidents r caused by a weed smoker to the ratio of car accidents caused by alcohol??? why don’t they do MORE research b-4 they tell us just WHAT we can and can’t do??

  17. Funny the can that’s being kicked down the road has been their own, a republi – can. The American will never take getting kicked period!

  18. Nixon classified marijuana in the most dangerous category, so if it’s a gateway to meth or coke or speed or opiates, which are classified in the less dangerous category, then it’s a gateway to safer drugs!
    Hurrah for the gateway to safer drugs! Right?

  19. It has nothing to do with the rhetoric being spouted by any of these idiots. Follow the money. Cannabis is being kept illegal because BigPharma and Big Alcohol feel threatened by it, and they have VERYdeep pockets to fund lobbyists and kickbacks. Not to mention the kickbacks from the private “for profit” prison industry in this country.
    As has been said many times before, when trying to figure out why the government does things that seem irrational, just follow the money and you’ll see why.

  20. Sure will miss Barney’s advocacy on this when he is out of the house. Hope someone will pick up where he leaves off!

  21. It is amazing how uncomfortable most pundits are with discussion of marijuana. They fear it. They are terrified that they might be accused of using it if they support it’s legalization. That a non-toxic plant could become so feared is one of the most fascinating and bizarre chapters of human history.

  22. At last we have some politicians who have some common sense, and are bravely standing up for the people. I think now there will be more politicians supporting our cause. Because, they are looking at the prohibition of Marijuana to end. Ron Paul and Barney Frank have opened the door. Now lets see how many other politicians are going to come out of the closet, about our stupid laws prohibiting the use of Marijuana.
    I feel they are not only thinking about preserving our human rights.they are also thinking about the revenue and jobs the legalization marijuana will create . Furthermore, this includes the production of hemp products which will also create more revenue and jobs.
    As far as marijuana being a gateway drug, There are many people who used marijuana to help get off hard drugs, like heroin, Meth-amphetamines,cocaine,crack, prescription pain medicine and the worst alcohol.

  23. The biggest Gateway drug? The prohibitionist conservative (republican or democrat) who opens the gate into the world of non-sense, the disfunctions of the brain.

  24. I find it funny that when the establishments arguments begin to break down, they all of a sudden want to shift away from talking about marijuana. Like it’s beneath them to acknowledge an issues that is rising quite rapidly amongst those they supposedly represent.

  25. Barney is retiring this term but has always stood up for legalization. It just sounds like he’s sick of dealing with the right so he attacks them knowing he won’t have to work with the assholes anymore. Kinda like your last day on the job and you had a prick for a boss…
    Paul leading in IA…. hmmmm… It’d be nice to have a “choice” when I vote next fall. It would be a good way to kill Fox News too as all their heads would explode at the same time. haha

  26. Gateway theory is nothing but a buncha stony-bologna. People need to hit ’em with this comeback: “…well, aren’t guns a gateway to violence?” Or how ’bout ” politics are a gateway to corruption?” Then, maybe say “and booze seems to be a gateway to date-rape.” Punishing and/or taking rights away from all because of the actions of a few is a Bass-akwards way of dealing with things… least, to my way of thinking.?

  27. The government needs to Let Mother Mari do her work!
    And we need to vote for Dr. Ronaldo Pablo!
    Merry Mari Christmas to all!

  28. When Ronald Reagan was president, it was discovered that the CIA was bringing cocaine into the U.S. More recently, it was discovered that our government is and has been laundering drug money for the Mexican cartels. Are there any more questions ?

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