Read: The fraudulent populism of Tucker Carlson
Where the recreational use of marijuana is legal, odds are very high that it got that way via ballot initiative. Voters in Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012. Voters in Oregon and Alaska (which has a long, complicated marijuana policy backstory) legalized marijuana in 2014. Voters in California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts legalized marijuana in 2016. And Michigan voters did it in 2018.
“2018 began with Vermont legalizing marijuana possession and home cultivation for adults,” Kris Krane writes at Forbes. “This was the first time a state had ever legalized marijuana through the legislature.” No state legislature has ever legalized marijuana over the objection of its voters. The U.S. Congress is, in fact, going against the will of the majority by preserving the federal prohibition on marijuana.
Future marijuana legalization by legislatures is now likely in other states. But as Krane puts it, that is only because “in 2018 politicians seemed to finally realize that cannabis reform is more popular than they are, and that they need to support it if they want to keep winning elections.”
The truth is the opposite of what Carlson tells his viewers as he tries to seduce them with the false narrative that they are thwarted victims of elites “pushing” marijuana on us. On marijuana, for better or worse, “normal Americans” are slowly but surely getting their way—and while that might mean marginally more 19-year-olds are high at dinner, it also means marginally fewer 19-year-olds are getting arrested for pot possession, or seduced into selling pot, or shot in the violence that inevitably results, touching even non-pot-users, when black markets are the only way to get a product that lots of people will always buy.
Of course, I don’t need to tell the 62 percent of you who support marijuana legalization that you’re motivated by an earnest belief that it’s the better policy to advance the public good, not by greed or callousness. You should be angry that Carlson is misrepresenting you to his audience. Everyone should hate that he is dividing us based on falsehoods.
Five years ago, when the mayor of Washington, D.C., announced plans to push for legalization of marijuana, Carlson was asked about it on a radio show.
He told the host:
People feel under attack from their government. They have every reason to feel that way. And so I understand why they’re very suspicious of the war on drugs. Does D.C. need more high people? No. I’m not for the War on Drugs either, but the truth is, if you’re a middle-aged man like I am and you’re getting high all the time, it’s depressing! This is a country with a ton of lazy, entitled people. It’s been rich for 70 years. So inevitably you have people who just don’t work very hard or have a lot of ambition. I don’t think smoking more weed is going to fix that. Look, I’m against the drug war. I think we should let people do what they want to do. But these libertarians I run into think that legalizing weed is like the panacea, the answer, are stupid.
In other words, Carlson understands perfectly well that one can oppose the drug war and believe we should let people do what they want to do without being motivated by greed or callous indifference to one’s fellow Americans or thinking “getting high all the time” is a good idea.