Isn’t the ‘War on Drugs’ just a waste of resources when it comes to marijuana use? And shouldn’t marijuana be a choice left up to the individual? As Glenn has become more and more libertarian over the years, he’s found himself thinking about the legalization issue. That’s why he invited Jacob Sullum, senior editor for Reason Magazine, onto the show in Hour 2 to make the case for why marijuana should be legal.
"I'm a recovering alcoholic," Glenn said. And people all the time will say, are you cool with us drinking around you? I don't care. I don't care. I have a problem with alcohol. You don't have a problem with alcohol. I do. However, I did smoke pot every day of my life for probably about 15 years. And I think -- I could be wrong. Maybe this is just wishful thinking. I think I would be a better broadcaster. I would process a lot better if I hadn't done all the years of damage. But that's my mistake. I'm now on the fence on whether or not it should be legalized or not. I am growing much more -- much less tolerant of the United States government or anyone telling me what I can and cannot do when I'm not harming others."
Jacob offered many counter-arguments to those who think pot should remain illegal.
"You have to make the distinction between the harm that people might do to themselves through bad choices and the harm that people do to other people and the particular harm that violates other people's rights. So if you're impaired on the highway, whether it's from alcohol or marijuana or some other drug or maybe you didn't get enough sleep the other night and you're driving carelessly and you kill somebody, well, you should be culpable for that," Jacob explained. "So the argument I make in my book about drugs is that we should make the same kinds of moral and legal distinctions with respect to marijuana and other illegal drugs that we do with alcohol. So, in other words, there's a difference between responsible use and irresponsible use that hurts the user himself, use that hurts other people, use that violates other people's rights, or use that just affects their interests in just some way, that's not really within the realm of the law."
What about taxpayers having to pick up the bill for the bad choices a person may make while under the influence?
"You're stoned and you cut off your arm with a chain saw, let's say, and now I as the taxpayer have to pick up the tab for that. The same is true for any other reckless thing that people do. So then the government and therefore your neighbor has an interest in stopping you from working too hard, making sure you get enough sleep every night, making sure you exercise enough, make sure you don't overeat. Eat a balanced diet. These are all affect your health and the likelihood that you'll get sick and have to be treated at taxpayers' expense. So ultimately with that argument, you end up with a sort of totalitarian rationale, you're interfering in everybody's personal life because now it's my business." Jacob said.
And then there's always the argument that it would be easier for teenagers to get it if adults can get it legally.
"If you legalize a drug it becomes harder to buy directly for teenagers. Right? If you ask a teenager, how easy is it to get pot? Most of them say it's pretty easy to get it. They can get it easier from a black market dealer directly," Jacob said. "Whereas, in a legal market, it's harder to get it directly from the retailer. But you have more people buying it who are 21 or older sharing it with their younger brothers. That sort of thing. That happens with alcohol. There's no question that sort of thing will happen with marijuana. I think people who favor legalization try to deny that; they're being unrealistic. There will be a certain amount of leakage from the adult market -- is that a justification? Do we want to say that we'll deny adults the right to control their own bodies and minds because we're afraid some of this ends up [with teens]."
Jacob admitted not only is he in favor of legalizing marijuana, he opposes any ban on drugs.
Watch some of his argument below: