creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Deb Saunders
Debra J. Saunders
25 Nov 2014
Hagel's Out, but Inner Circle Remains

When President Barack Obama chose former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to serve as his third secretary of defense,… Read More.

23 Nov 2014
Tuition Hikes at the University of Compensation

University of California Regent Richard Blum confessed that he was "apoplectic" at the Board of Regents … Read More.

20 Nov 2014
Uber Forgot Charm in 'Charm Offensive'

When Uber hired onetime Obama whisperer David Plouffe, CEO Travis Kalanick wrote: "We are in the middle of a … Read More.

Smoke Gets in Your Smoke

Comment

California's marijuana advocates need to inhale a breath of fresh air and take a long look at their judgment — or lack thereof.

On Monday, I attended the "International Summit on Cannabis" news conference at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco to hear why Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, supports legalizing marijuana as a means of curbing drug cartel corruption and violence. Also onstage were Oakland medical marijuana biggie Steve DeAngelo, a Washington state lawmaker, a budding marijuana venture capitalist, an attorney — and Oaksterdam University Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones and her 2 1/2-year-old son.

What, I wondered, is a little kid doing sitting next to a world leader at a news conference about legalizing marijuana (unlike, say, an event for juvenile diabetes, early childhood education or a policy matter that really is about kids)? And the answer was: pretty much whatever he wanted, wherever he wanted.

Like any toddler asked to sit quietly for an hour while a bunch of adults do nothing but talk, he got tired of sitting still. He fidgeted, ran behind the speakers, scooted off the riser, lunged toward the stage and generally tried to amuse himself. He wasn't having a tantrum, but he was highly distracting.

I am not faulting the boy. He's still in diapers. No, I wondered: Did anyone at the pot summit realize that it's sort of disrespectful to have a kid fidgeting and running around while a former leader on the world stage is talking policy?

Everyone has seen parents who treat their children like accessories and drag them where children do not belong.

But seeing a kid at a presser while the former president of Mexico discussed drug violence in his country? For me, that broke ground.

When Jones spoke, she told reporters that legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use is "about the children." And: "This little one is a constant reminder to all of us why we're really here."

Not one participant — not Fox, not DeAngelo, not the state pol, not the money guy — bothered to say that legalizing marijuana would not be a boon for tots. Would-be marijuana mogul Jamen Shively stressed that he supports "adult, responsible use" of cannabis. So didn't any of these guys ask: Why was a toddler onstage?

Jones told me that she had not expected to participate in the press event, so she didn't arrange for a sitter. She also said that as a working mom, she frequently brings her son to pro-marijuana events.

"Officially, I am kind of stunned," she said. "You're the first person to make me feel ashamed for being a mom in public." Most people, she added, think it's great that she advocates legalizing marijuana as a mom with her young son at her side.

Not I, and I voted for the 2010 California ballot measure to legalize marijuana. I went to the news conference expecting to write about drug violence in Mexico, as I have done before and will do again. But I walked out wondering what these advocates, who want to convince the public that legalizing marijuana would improve civil society, were thinking. But I don't think they were thinking at all.

Email Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com. To find out more about Debra J. Saunders and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Debra J. Saunders
Nov. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Authorís Podcast
Betsy McCaughey
Betsy McCaugheyUpdated 26 Nov 2014
Michelle Malkin
Michelle MalkinUpdated 26 Nov 2014
Brent Bozell

1 Jan 2012 Not a Ringing Endorsement

6 Mar 2007 Do As I Say, Not As I Spew

11 May 2010 Bennett Feels Brunt of Club for Growth