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Is America Going to Pot?


Smoking Marlboros is now forbidden in Irish bars in New York City. But buying, selling, and smoking marijuana is legal in Colorado.

It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing.

But where are we going?

One certain result of the legalization of marijuana is that there are going to be more potheads, more dropouts, and more deaths on highways from those high or stoned — and more rehab centers.

Scores of thousands of Coloradans may relish the freedom they have voted for themselves. But the costs will be borne by society and the families of future victims of potheads behind the wheel.

So it has been with alcohol. All of us can recall classmates injured and dead in auto accidents, jobs lost by friends, lives destroyed, and families smashed because of booze.

Just as beer opens the door for the young to bourbon, scotch, gin and vodka, marijuana is the gateway drug, the escalator drug, to cocaine and heroin.

And if marijuana sales bring in the revenue Colorado envisions, other states will follow suit, and some state will become the first to decriminalize cocaine.

Undeniably, the cultural revolution is gaining converts and picking up speed. The haste with which some Republicans are deep-sixing the social issues to focus on tax cuts testifies to this.

It was half a century ago that pot first began to replace alcohol as the drug of choice for baby boomers arriving on campuses in 1964. Yet not until the boomers began moving onto Social Security rolls did the first state legalize marijuana for personal enjoyment.

Yet, as with same-sex marriage, now legal in 16 or 17 states, the legalization of marijuana appears to be an idea whose time has come.

What does this tell us about our country?

America is not only diversifying racially, ethnically and religiously as a result of continuous mass immigration, legal and illegal. We are diversifying, and disuniting morally, culturally, and politically.

Not so very long ago, the U.S. government enforced Prohibition, pronounced smoking a menace to the national health, punished gambling as organized crime, and declared a war on drugs.

Now the government has shouldered aside organized crime to take over, tax, and regulate the rackets. At federal, state and local levels, the government rakes off vast revenues from taxes on booze, bars, cigarettes, casinos and, coming soon, online poker.

Government lotteries have crowded out the old numbers racket.

As the poet Alexander Pope wrote three centuries ago:

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,

As to be hated needs but to be seen;

Yet, seen too oft, familiar with her face,

We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

In the 1965 decision Griswold v.

Connecticut, the Warren Court discovered a constitutional right to privacy and overturned a state law prohibiting the sale of contraceptives.

Contraceptives are now handed out to high schoolers and a right to contraception has been written into Obamacare.

Abortion and homosexuality used to be scandalous. Now they are constitutional rights and popular social causes, and same-sex marriage is the civil rights cause of the 21st century.

As Justice Antonin Scalia noted, if tradition, religious beliefs, or a community animus against conduct is insufficient to restrict private behavior, upon what legal ground do we stand upon to outlaw polygamy, adult incest, or prostitution?

Yet traditional America is not rolling over and playing dead.

"Abortion rights" face new restrictions in state after state, as a new generation appears more pro-life than its parents.

And as the A&E network discovered when it sought to suspend "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson for his biblical reflections, the silent majority remains faithful to the traditional morality.

And while a libertarianism of the left appears ascendant, there is also a rising and militant libertarianism of the right.

We have seen it manifest in the explosion of "stand your ground" and concealed-carry laws, opposition to federal background checks for gun owners, and ferocious resistance to the outlawing of assault rifles and 30-round magazines.

In that Colorado where pot is now legal, state senators have been recalled for insufficient devotion to Second Amendment rights. And there are bubbling secessionist movements in states like Colorado, of folks who would like to separate themselves from places like Denver.

The triumph of the sexual revolution has not been without its casualties, e.g., an endless supply of new HIV/AIDS and STD cases and a national illegitimacy rate of over 40 percent of all births.

And the correlation between that illegitimacy rate and the dropout rate, drug use rate, delinquency rate, crime rate, and incarceration rate is absolute.

Undeniably, the claims of the individual to maximum autonomy and freedom appear triumphant over the claims of community. The clamor of me is prevailing over the claims of us.

But in yielding, America has not only tossed overboard the moral compass that guided us for two centuries. We no longer even agree on what is "True North" anymore.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at



64 Comments | Post Comment
A beautiful example of the slattern thought process of this washed out hasbeen. Beer is a a gateway to other alcoholic beverages, but apparently Buchanan thinks it is not a gateway to other drugs.

So how does that prove marijuana is a gateway to other drugs? Maybe it is a gateway to stronger marijuana or hashish, but good marijuana is about as strong as it gets anyway.

He's just stuck in the past. Way in the past, and doesn't want to give it up. Neither do I, but time marches on, whether we approve of that or not, doesn't it? So sad.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Masako
Mon Jan 6, 2014 7:03 PM
Re: Masako this is not progressive, this is going back to what was a harvest-able sustainable product for centuries prior to the wilsonian pattern of dictating the lives of its citizens.
a true conservative does not rebuke pot as it is from God not man as are our rights. God gave us the choice to choose the light or the dark and ultimately deal with our decision.
increased personal liberty and dimensioned government intervention into our personal at home decisions is to be celebrated.
Comment: #2
Posted by: ricruss
Tue Jan 7, 2014 7:49 AM
Sorry Mr. Buchannan, Americans are no longer being sold on the lies of the tyrants that would spend trillions of dollars locking up their fellow Americans because they decide that they want to smoke pot, rather than consume cigarettes or beer.

I've voted republican all my life, and when I quit smoking cigarettes and quit drinking beer, I became a much friendlier person to my friends, and more importantly to my wife.

Needless to say, I woke up to the antics of the republican dinosaurs that I associated with.

YOU sir, would invade my privacy and lock me in a prison for doing nothing but staying in my own home smoking a joint.

I simply can not think of anything more left wing and tyrannical than that! YOU aren't representative of America, YOU are representative of the folks that ran Germany back in the 30's.

Good day to you sir.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Matt Brown
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:11 AM
Comment: #4
Posted by: Mickey Grace
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:15 AM
Buchanan is a good example of the old guard republican who have abandoned actual conservatism to espouse rightwing progressive statism.
A federalist would understand, even if he didnt agree, with colorados right to legalize pot. His holier than thou moralizing discredits everything that conservatives stand for.
How about you shut the hell up patty about subjects you are clearly not qualified to comment law and politics.
Comment: #5
Posted by: ian higgins
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:16 AM
Pat, I am a conservative. Most of my friends are conservatives. The only people I know who are opposed to legalization are a handful of yellow dog democrats and old guard republicans. As a person who attends a great many mid-west conservative functions I can tell you that you're on the wrong side of this issue and using "morality" as your guide is incorrect. This is not a morality issue, although I do agree that we as a culture have forgotten that honesty, integrity and hard work are the values we are losing. It isn't moral to imprison millions of people for using a plant that our lord God put on this earth. The only moral thing to do is reverse the course we're on. For those of you who want to believe "conservatives" are opposing this I would like to point out that propaganda is a powerful tool.
Comment: #6
Posted by: ed duval
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:16 AM
Re: Matt Brown I'm an old hippie from the 60's and I agree with your point BUT you have to understand Pat's view..I believe you do not.. you see Pat is a Christian which means he's commanded to love..Mark love warns love cannot remain silent when his neighbor is about to commit suicide..Now I'm not sayin it's the Gov's job to police our individual life choices...but it is community's job to protect itself from what is "perceived" as a threat..give Pat some slack his view will die with sir need to realize that this is love to at the least warn a person they are hurting and peace
Comment: #7
Posted by: Mickey Grace
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:23 AM
Pat Buchanan is one of the few with the moral courage to tell the truth. When we disappear as a nation, those who study our history will wonder why we did not listen to him.

Comment: #8
Posted by: Harry Palmer
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:26 AM
It is interesting how the government has pushed organized crime out and taken over their previous business ventures. It makes you wonder what the government wouldn't do for more money. They are just like the mob only they have legislatures and judges who make their doings "legal".
Comment: #9
Posted by: tigerrue
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:33 AM
It is called being a conservative vs a social conservative. A conservative does not deem it is the government's business (or yours) what he does in the privacy of his own home. It means neither the government nor governmental busy-bodies have the authority to interfere in people's private lives, especially in the supposed 'victim-less' crimes. It means having true freedom to live your life without government interference when you are not hurting anyone else. It means having laws that are based on facts and science instead of some bureaucrat's whims, hypocritical 'morals', or for use in their corruption schemes (ie private prisons, drug testing lab friends, etc).

You know, all the things that Republicans like to say they believe in, but utterly fail at when they actually govern. We are anti-authoritarian, whether it comes from the left or the right. We are tired of the lies, the hypocrisy, the double standards, the cherry picking of facts, all of it. We want a government that advises us of the facts, real facts backed by evidence, so that we can decide and dictate how we want government to act.

I think I read somewhere 'government of the people, for the people, by the people.' Most elites and the political class seem to like to forget this part.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Jason Prate
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:34 AM
According to research, 100 percent of alcoholics and junkies started on milk. I guess Lint-for-Brains Buchanan believes that "gateway" should be illegal, too...What a moron!
Comment: #11
Posted by: T.B. Darini
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:37 AM
Marijuana is not a gateway drug to cocaine. white privilege is the gateway drug to cocaine. that's why the punishments for cocaine are different than for crack.
News flash: marijuana IS available to everyone already there won't be any uptick in use. There WILL be reduced fatalities because one will be able to get it without it being laced with god knows what by the cartels.
News flash you can't grow cocaine in your backyard and cocaine is overdosable. it will never be legalized.
gov't should indeed regulate and tax the sins it cannot stamp out.
you CANNOT stamp out gambling, alcohol and drug use or prostitution. It cannot be done, might as well regulate and tax it for the safety of it's practitioners.
You cannot stamp out sex either, of any kind by the way. or at pretty much any age. so let's give people the tools to minimize risk.
Abortion: let's just agree to disagree and see each other in court every couple decades.
Illegitimate children: howabout we take all the money we use punishing people for behaviors we cannot stamp out and pay teachers well and raise a generation of capable intelligent people of all creeds and colors who will, married or not, care for and nurture their children.
people drop out of high school because where THEY GO it is a lot like prison, over crowded, underfunded, and often dangerous. I don't blame them.
maybe f the drugs were legal and regulated they wouldn't drop out of school to sell them on the black market. you seem to want o legislate behavior and you simply can't. You can legislate carrots and sticks but not choices. the sooner you realize that the more effective you will be at actually doing some good.
Comment: #12
Posted by: khiron1416
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:38 AM
Re: Mickey Grace

Do not, for 1 second, kid yourself that his stance, nor those like him, come from a place of love. If they did they would take the time to determine if you even had a problem with drugs (yes you can use drugs without having a problem with them) and offer treatment as a first course of action. However, their first choice is to imprison you, take away your rights and property and then use the profits from your property to imprison others for the same reason.

They will claim it is their divine right to do so, completely ignoring the fact that God put that plant on this Earth and made it have the effect on people that it does.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Jason Prate
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:41 AM
Re: khiron1416
PS and let's give Felons back the right to vote after release
Comment: #14
Posted by: khiron1416
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:47 AM
Sorry, Pat, I usually agree with you. But in this case, you make some assumptions, and predictions, that I do not believe to be accurate, And I say the following as someone who does not use anything stronger than morning coffee. First, I attended college in the 1970's, and have contemporaries who have used marijuana all of their professional lives. I do not know of a single one who used it as a "gateway" drug, although I am sure it happens. But it must happen in very limited numbers. Second, the carnage on the highways you predict is occurring anyway - marijuana is readily available to risk-takers who are willing to violate existing laws to get it, and I suspect more willing to violate traffic laws as well. I predict that new users will be occasional users who are normally law abiding, and will not operate vehicles under the influence with any greater frequency that they already do. And the damage to society - please review the statistics for our current penal system, and consider the effects of incarceration on young lives. The number of young people permanently scarred by felony convictions is staggering. The cost for operating a system to imprison people charged with crimes associated with marijuana use, such as financial crimes, tax evasion, transportation, is astronomical. Our per capita incarceration rate is the highest in the world - this, plus the revelations about NSA surveillance, must give anyone taking a longer view of history the belief that we are becoming a society with few liberties left. And finally, the Constitution has been shredded to reach "criminals," most of whom would be happy to be left alone by the federal government. The irony of the drug war cannot be escaped. Consider that there are people in prison today who did nothing more that what the President did when he was young, according to his autobiography. They spend their days in prison cells while he sits in the Oval Office. Random and capricious enforcement threatens the legitimacy of the system.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Robert Garner
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:51 AM
Re: Matt Brown
Bravo! Well said.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Michael Taylor
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:51 AM
The move to legalization has little to do with freedom, no it's all about money, tax revenues, and states like Colorado that find it increasingly difficult to hide their financial plight. Here in CO the taxes collected from the sale of pot will (in part, supposedly) be used to fund the construction of schools, schools with signs that proclaim they are "drug free" zones! I'm going to get stoned to see if I can make any sense of this foolishness.
Comment: #17
Posted by: DeltaTed
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:52 AM
Wow... still fighting the fight Bucky? Any stoned high school student would pose such strong arguments to contradict you that you would have to resort to discrediting them by attacking their characters and calling them stupid stoners. You, Sir, need to grow up. Nobody want's your police state. The national discussion is done being had. Your stance is hated, your taste for authoritarianism is despised, and your relevance is over.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Laughin hard
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:54 AM
While I use to have respect for something Pat Buchanan would say, this article has made him look to be an ignorant fool. It just shows how hypocritical and out of touch the Republican Party is. To say that we want smaller government and then condemn pot users to prisons, spend billions on keeping it away from kids and for what? The current path has been so unseccesful it's easier for high schoolers to get a gram than it is to get a case of beer. It's the same argument that republicans use wth guns "if guns are illegal only criminals will have guns." Pot works the same way, although I know many more doctors, lawyers, and other professionals who smoke a good bit of Mary and I don't think they're criminals.
We need this conversation in America. It's safer and has more benefits than alcohol. We can make money for the country. Lastly, we can use the money to teach young kids why it's bad not just that it's illegal.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Ian2499
Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:58 AM
Re: Laughin hard

Don't be so hard on Mr. Buchanan. He's not a hipster like you, but who knows, maybe he can learn to start sentences with "wow" or "dude" and avoid the shame of being old and wise.
Comment: #20
Posted by: DeltaTed
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:05 AM
Anything you put in your body that alters the way you think is harmful to you. I drank for 20 years and smoked pot for 10 so I am not talking from lack of personal experience. I have been clean for almost 30 years. Does everyone who drinks become an alcoholic or everyone who smokes pot go on to harder drugs? No, they don't but plenty of people have the quality of their lives reduced and their families disrupted or destroyed but alcohol and drugs. You're better off without them.
Comment: #21
Posted by: frank3108
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:09 AM
that moment when you realize George Washington(not to mention our last to presidents) have on record stated that they smoked the Weed
Comment: #22
Posted by: zzz
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:21 AM
We don't buy it any more. Show me ONE report that proves legalization causes ANY adverse societal affects. Most reports show that use actually drops (its not cool for some people if its not illegal) and harder drug use drops as well (why risk getting caught with coke when you can buy an OZ of great weed)

Dinos like this need to retire, if you are so scared of Pot, go live somewhere in the middle of no where and keep an eye out for those SCARY stoners. Moronic rambling at its finest.
Comment: #23
Posted by: Any
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:27 AM
Re: Mickey Grace
If Pat is such a Christian perhaps he's never read the first book of the Bible.
Genesis 1:23 - Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.
People get too caught up in Politics, have been for a long time. Conservative, Liberal, Progressive, etc. Not enough people talk about issues one by one but have to show allegiance to SOME party, and remember we only have two that will ever win a U.S. Presidential election, that is a shame in my book. I'm glad all of the old cooks are dying off and the baby boomers along with open minded young Americans have some common sense. I'm 32 and I've smoked marijuana for 10 years. I graduated HS, I went to College, and I've always held down a well paying job. I've never gotten in a vehicle and killed somebody as a result of smoking marijuana unlike all of the news stories I read all of the time about people that drink and get behind the wheel. WAKE UP AMERICA
Comment: #24
Posted by: JimmyJohn
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:32 AM
@ ian higgins "...the old guard republican who have abandoned actual conservatism to espouse rightwing progressive statism." Well said!
Comment: #25
Posted by: BobStrebs
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:34 AM
Pat is right on the mark with this article. It's sad that ignorant deniers have to come rushing to pot's side to justify their desires to legalize yet another chemical they can depend upon to take them away from real life. And that's what drugs do - take people away from real life. You all know darn well that the ONLY reason people drink or get high is so they can "relax", which is just a euphemism for escaping reality. Boozers and druggies can't handle life on their own. They need a crutch and don't give a rat's rear who gets negatively affected when they are escaping reality.
Last summer, in my own town, a mother smoked so much weed, she forgot her baby in a car seat on top of her car. The baby was okay and the mother didn't even know what she did until 12 miles later at her destination. Last week, some stoner dropped a cookie near an apartment building and a 2 year old ate it. She ended up in the hospital, so high she couldn't even stand up. That stoner obviously didn't even know they dropped that cookie. THESE are the people that get people like Pat and I upset. Irresponsible to the core. They inadvertently affect other people's lives, and not in a good way.
I've personally given up the fight to stop drugs from being legalized, but one thing is for sure. I refuse to spend a dime to help out some loser that messed their own life up, or the lives of others, all because they were too gutless to deal with their own life. Pot smokers are losers. They always will be.
Comment: #26
Posted by: CharlesKaye
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:45 AM
How are you certain that the accident rate will go up? I highly doubt it, and if this guy cared about traffic safety, then we should have speed limiters on cars. They already have government chips in them, and we already troll the highways handing out tickets. So let's do the right thing, these democrats and republicans are crooks.
Comment: #27
Posted by: tony2323
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:47 AM
You are absolutely right mr.buchanan let's keep pot illegal and allow the cartels to continue to operate large scale operations in our country and lose billions of dollars to these drug lords who I'm sure are upright tax paying citizens. Not to mention we can continue to dump billions of dollars of taxpayers money into the wonderful war on drugs which has turned out to be a HUGE success! Just as long as we can keep these deranged pot heads off the streets and locked up in order to keep a civil society then we will all be in a better place as a country because I'm sure our jails aren't over populated and housing an inmate couldn't cost that much money... You my friend are a complete babbling idiot just like the rest of the dingos on the hill.
Comment: #28
Posted by: RealAmerican
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:48 AM
The left always reminds us that the past is a bad place to be when they try to justify decadence and immorality.
Progress to them means that the past is bad and the present is good. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I have witnessed in my long life the graduated and accelerated decay of our culture. What was accepted as traditional
And valuable in God, family, country is seen by the left today as part of a radical culture. Some Americans would rather be chained to doctrines that push radical equality and consciously forfeit some of there freedoms to do so.
It is pathetic that this great country is in such state of decay. The solution is to destroy the left politically and to preserve the fruits of freedom.
Comment: #29
Posted by: Billyfisc
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:49 AM
You lost me with your apples to oranges comparison in the first sentence Pat.

"Smoking Marlboros is now forbidden in Irish bars in New York City. But buying, selling, and smoking marijuana is legal in Colorado."

Yes you can buy marijuana in Colorado, but just like New York, you can not smoke a tobacco cigarette or a marijuana cigarette in an Irish bar in Colorado.

At that point I assumed that if the first line was full of it the rest of the article must be as well.

Keep on keeping on Pat
Comment: #30
Posted by: nunydang
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:51 AM
Re: CharlesKaye

You are absolutely right! Which is why we need to ban alcohol, glue, all aerosol sprays, narcotic pain killers because those crazy stoners will get there hands on those items as well and start forgetting babies on top of cars. CharlesKaye, now that you mention it, the government should just eliminate all of our rights and simply tell us how to live it so that we have no choice but to do what we are told because as you and I know the government has our best interest in mind... Grow up and think before you write so asinine comment.
Comment: #31
Posted by: RealAmerican
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:54 AM
Lots of mary jane worshipers on this thread. Just another vehicle used to escape reality. It is unequivocally a gateway drug to other more additictive ones.
Comment: #32
Posted by: Billyfisc
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:55 AM
You are still a young punk that knows little.
Comment: #33
Posted by: Billyfisc
Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:57 AM
First, you all know Americans have been shot dead by Drug Warriors for being associated with marijuana...and some not associated but just there during the 'bust', home invasion, etc. Shot dead over a plant. Amazing, but true and not a peep from the masses. I just assume if you're against legalizing it, you're 'for' killing users. Second, read this book 'Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in our Free country" By Peter McWilliams. Its free to read on the WEB by his authority. He's dead now. Read the book and see why.
Comment: #34
Posted by: JoeMash
Tue Jan 7, 2014 10:23 AM
Re: Billyfisc
Its always expected to have comments like yours to stories like this. And its always a good laugh when you people point out that its the "liberal" agenda thats causing the decay.
But its equally as funny that all of you guys blindly follow the great "conservatives"... Regan..and a couple of Bush's as they steered this country closer and closer into the festering police state that its become, no questions asked.
(The War on Drugs & the NSA..yeah I feel safer and more sober now...)
All one needs to say is "God is great" America is great"..blah blah.. Hook line and sinker everytime...
Comment: #35
Posted by: Huff955
Tue Jan 7, 2014 10:30 AM
Hard to believe some of these thoughtless comments?
Is there any disagreement about the contention that the 'Cultural Norms of Society', which have existed for centuries, have been torn apart in an extraordinarily aggressive way over the short time span of 50 years or so?
These would include most or all of those mentioned by Buchannon in this article.....
The institution of marriage (becoming increasingly irrelevant)
Two-parent families (closing in on minority status)
The old fashioned values of hard work, responsible behavior and self-sufficiency (where have they gone?)
Open and often promiscuous sexual behavior (at younger and younger ages)
The reverence and respect given to 'unborn babies' (a casualty of Roe v Wade)
The rampant growth of 'materialism' as a way of life! (at the expense of the deeper values of humanity)
....and so on and so forth.
The link between many of these NEW NORMS and new, higher levels of POVERTY, even among working people is a very well documented fact of 21st century life!
There is a growing 'inequality', between those who are raised in an atmosphere MORE in keeping with the
'old-fashioned values' (suburban families) and the those who are NOT (inner-city families, black, brown and white)
City kids versus suburban kids!
GOOD VALUES MATTER, and communities of people who discard the old values and take up the newer values, without understanding the long-term consequences of CHOICES POORLY MADE will pay an awful price!
Comment: #36
Posted by: Tennisman
Tue Jan 7, 2014 10:48 AM
Re: DeltaTed

I'm hardly a hipster. I'm a pissed off government contractor/disabled military vet of 2 foreign wars with 11 years of honorable service that use to smoke weed in high-school. There is no shame in being old and wise, I'd like to claim as much myself one day. However, there is shame in being stuck in your ways at an old age, unwilling to be pliable when real time dictates that your views suffer from obsolescence. There is even more shame in preaching dribble as your feet slip from the path of relevance.
If you have something about the content of my posts you like to discuss, please do. If your only goal is to make sure everyone is sitting with their backs straight with their noses in the air as they type, crossing their tees and dotting their eyes, and maintaining respect for the Grand Old Party... then GFY, Grammar Nazi.
Comment: #37
Posted by: laughing hard
Tue Jan 7, 2014 10:48 AM
I agree with what a lot of what Pat says but to equate driving under the influence of alcohol with driving on pot is just plain ignorance. Alcohol makes people overconfident and sloppy and a definite danger on the road. Pot has the opposite effect. On pot people tend to be less confident and more aware that they need to be careful
Before DUI laws are enforced on stoned drivers, they should conduct driving tests on simulators and see exactly what effect pot has on driving. I contend that the driving skills of regular users of marijuana are not impaired when they are high. Alcohol impairs the mind/body coordination and it is that specific effect of alcohol that makes it uniquely dangerous for driving.
Comment: #38
Posted by: Ray Charon
Tue Jan 7, 2014 11:00 AM
The OG "gateway drug" was and still is alcohol. The fact is millions of Americans have grown up and seen the devastation alcohol can bring to lives, all the while legal. Not too many have seen 1% of the same from marijuana use.
I don't use it and have not in over 30 years but the FACT remains alcohol has and will continue to kills millions every years if not in auto accidents it will be in hospital beds from failed livers and hearts.
In fact, I will never use marijuana but would not mind seeing alcohol make illegal. (dumb idea of course). How many more have to die in "no knock" warrants for a plant that grows everywhere.
Comment: #39
Posted by: The Rifleman
Tue Jan 7, 2014 11:35 AM
One practical, yet MAJOR, point in the discussion of Leaglization of Pot (LP) is DRUG TESTING for employment!!! Most companies require a drug test for ANY kind of hire, professional, or hourly. Also, many jobs require periodic RANDOM DRUG TESTING for safety purposes. Promoters of LP are completely ignoring DRUG TESTING requirements by employers. This is a HUGE issue! One Fortune 50 manufacturer greatest hurdle in finding new factory help is FINDING APPLICANTS WHO CAN PASS A DRUG TEST - More than 60% of their applicants are rejected for a positive DRUG TEST. You want to have LP, fine. You want a decent job or you want to keep your decent job, then you may want to not smoke dope.
Comment: #40
Posted by: Jack Bolly
Tue Jan 7, 2014 11:40 AM
One last point. In Colorado this "plant" is legal, a few hundred miles south in TX a man accused of having the same plant by an anonymous informant had a no-knock warrant served on his home in the middle of the night and a police officer was killed when he thought his house was being robbed.

I want to ask the wife/family of that officer if that stupid plant that NOT ONE single life has been taken via overdose was worth his life.

I don't think so.
Comment: #41
Posted by: The Rifleman
Tue Jan 7, 2014 11:41 AM
Re: Jack Bolly

No one has stopped them in Colorado. You can still be fired. Very simple.
Comment: #42
Posted by: The Rifleman
Tue Jan 7, 2014 11:42 AM
Buchanan should stick to anti-Semitic screeds, his traditional venue. Drivers on marijuana tend to be overly cautious. If really stoned they tend to get paranoid and pull over to gather their wits. The beer to whiskey is the same as marijuana to heroin comparison is as hackneyed as his prose.
Comment: #43
Posted by: Chris Gait
Tue Jan 7, 2014 11:49 AM
It is true. Pot is a gateway drug. I passed through the gateway of not being on Alcohol, or anti-depressents, or valium. I take a hit or two of pot at night. I can sleep. I wake up refreshed, not groggy from alcohol or sleeping pills. I feel myself because I am not on anti-depressents. I purchased it legally like an adult. I feel no more compunction to be on other drugs than I do when I am drinking alcohol. Most importantly my money went to a medical collective. That money went to AMERICAN workers from the people at the counter right down to the growers. Some of my tax money went to California, and NONE of it went to Mexican Drug Cartels. However, I bet all of it gets pumped back into the economy. OUR economy. Is america going to pot Pat Buchanan. I sure hope so. Responsible adults who want to enjoy pot either recreationally or medically should be allowed to do so.
Comment: #44
Posted by: KFelasco
Tue Jan 7, 2014 12:05 PM
I have a lot of respect for Mr. Buchanan's ability to think, having observed his willingness to take unpopular but principled stands over the years. However, I am 61 years old and I have been following and researching the cannabis prohibition issue for 40 years. On this issue the author could not be more wrong, and dangerously so. My grandparents used cannabis tinctures their entire lives, as did their parents for most of theirs. Their rates of mental illness, cancer and a host of other maladies were far lower than the rates posted since federal pot prohibition took hold in 1937. That's just the tip of the iceberg. For a man who supposedly believes in individual freedom, it's sad to see Mr. Buchanan advocate locking me up or fining me for possession of a non-toxic plant. It's not only sad; those are fightin' words. If you want to lock me up for using weed to ease my arthritis and to relax my troubled mind, Mr. Buchanan, COME AND TAKE IT if you've got the guts. My family and I will be waiting.
Comment: #45
Posted by: Ray Cushing
Tue Jan 7, 2014 12:13 PM
ha! Patty's paraphrasing (nearly quoting, but not quite) Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and I bet he doesn't even know it. And in an anti-pot rant ta boot, what gorgeous irony! I love it....
Comment: #46
Posted by: Alessandro di Cagliostro
Tue Jan 7, 2014 12:28 PM
Re: khiron1416 I know this will strike you as unbelievable, and will fly in the face of what you believe, but consider this possibility: Once upon a time, in the wake of the Crack Revolution, which devastated so many working-class communities, community leaders suggested that if the Revolution destroyed affluent white neighborhoods that white people would not stand for it! They demanded harsher penalties for crack cocaine, and suggested that indifference to the devastating impact of crack was racist. Fast forward a few years, and the same leaders claimed that the harsh penalties for crack was racist. That's how it happened. Carry on, pay no attention to history, and assume that I made this up!
Comment: #47
Posted by: TL Thompson
Tue Jan 7, 2014 12:43 PM
Wow, one of the dumbest things Pat has written in a long time. More deaths on the highway from weed? Lol. Stop it, stop, haha, you're killing me.
Comment: #48
Posted by: haaggus
Tue Jan 7, 2014 12:44 PM
It all boils down to freedom of choice. Any adult should be free to make any choice affecting their own life as long as doing so does not impair another person's freedom to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I agree with Phil Robertson's sentiment: It is not for any one of us to judge another. Let freedom reign.
Comment: #49
Posted by: DZnDef
Tue Jan 7, 2014 12:50 PM
Re: Ray Charon You can contend whatever you want. Newsflash: The impact of marijuana on driving has been studied at length. This is not a matter of opinion. Get stoned, then drive? That's negligent. Get in an accident? That's criminally negligent. You can't expose others to risk because you're an idiot. An awful lot of people smoke grass every day, for years and years. But let's not call it addictive. I don't believe in incarceration for drug offenders, but policies that make marijuana readily available (and, where I live, there are more "medical marijuana" dispensaries than Wendy's restaurants, and they advertise 'free samples' for first-timers) is not in the best interest of anybody, with the notable exception of growers, sellers, syndicates, and addicts. People facing despair turn to drugs. It's a tragedy.
Comment: #50
Posted by: TL Thompson
Tue Jan 7, 2014 12:54 PM
With due respect, Mr. Buchanan, you are dead wrong on marijuana.
As someone who is 50+, and a staunch Conservative, let me also say that I have LOTS of experience with marijuana, and your words strike me as laughable neo-Refer Madness talk. (For the record, I also am a degreed professional and the owner of my own company.)
Someone who is addicted to marijuana alone, and not other drugs or alcohol, rarely turns into the drooling, effete, dangerous pothead you describe.
In fact, I don't personally know of a single case where someone whose drug of choice was marijuana lost their home or family because of it, or committed a violent crime to procure funds for it. Pot users are not the ones committing crimes in furtherance of a drug-addled habit -- that would be the heroin, meth and crack addicts.
Twenty-five-odd years ago, a close friend of mine put it thusly to his worried parents: "About the most dangerous thing I've ever seen someone do (while stoned) is order a large pizza."
The so-called "gateway" effect only exists because marijuana must be purchased in the shadows of a robust black market instead of, for example, a state-sanctioned store. I firmly believe that marijuana is FAR less addictive -- and less dangerous when someone is addicted -- than alcohol.
The Prohibition crowd (yourself included) is losing this one, and rightly so. Thousands of lives have been tainted with needless marijuana-related convictions by a government that allowed itself to be duped into believing that marijuana was a "hard" drug. It is not.
Federal and state governments should be decriminalizing marijuana and taxing it the same as any other commodity or intoxicant. They also should be allowing entrepreneurs -- who have perfected unbelievable strains of marijuana -- to ply their craft in the same way that microbreweries and distilleries have changed the face of American alcohol production.
Do I smoke weed now? No. Haven't for 25 years. Will I smoke it again when it becomes legal in my state? I don't know. But it might be interesting to find out how a good southeast Ohio sinsemilla tastes with a fine riesling!
Get over yourself, Mr. Buchanan. You're completely off base on this issue.
Comment: #51
Posted by: TheOneTrueWordguy
Tue Jan 7, 2014 1:16 PM
Mr Buchanan, firm lack of understand of the cannabis plant is on display.
I am a 60+ man who knows damned well buchanan doesn't know squat. He screwed the pooch in 2000 when he ran for president.
Neo-cons like Buchanan want to play nanny state just like the rest of the libs.
I am a classical Jeffersonian, including the use of Hemp, cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes. the racist components that lead to the original prohibition still are perpetuated by neo-cons's and liberals alike.
End the Prohibition. legalize it like booze.
Comment: #52
Posted by: deepdoodoo
Tue Jan 7, 2014 1:35 PM
Pot is a gateway drug only because harder drugs are available the same sources. You make it legal and young people won't be exposed to the same black market as the harder drug are available from. Think about it why would you want to expose young people to the black market gateway. The drug war in Mexico is about 80% or more about pot which should reduce the violence at the border.
Pat I've voted for every time he ran and would vote for him again, but on is you show a lack of understanding repeating the same old propaganda as fact.
Comment: #53
Posted by: domack
Tue Jan 7, 2014 1:40 PM
Pat, you are a hasbeen and definitely do not represent this conservative. Get lost. Why not you and John McCain go off yourselves somewhere and leave us alone.
Comment: #54
Posted by: Ronjamin
Tue Jan 7, 2014 1:41 PM
During the Nixon Administration a non-partisan team of experts were assigned the task of traveling the country, get a real look at the harm that marijuana was causing our society, and report back with their findings and conclusions. After six months the panel reported that the effect of laws prohibiting marijuana usage did more damage to society than the usage of marijuana itself. A similar study was done during the Carter Administration with the same results. Buchanan predicts a rise in rehab-centers to accommodate a growing population of pot smokers. Usually, pot users who are in rehab centers were ordered there by a judge as part of their plea bargain. Also, if you review the last fifty years of the war on drugs, any 'softening' of drug penalties usually come from conservatives who look at the cost vs. benefit factor. When Clinton admitted smoking pot, users all over the US expected decriminalization with his election. Of course, just the opposite happened, arrest rates skyrocketed because Slick Willy had to prove that he was not soft on crime.
Comment: #55
Posted by: Shep 12
Tue Jan 7, 2014 2:54 PM
The truth has every liar for an enemy!
Comment: #56
Posted by: George Beatty
Tue Jan 7, 2014 4:38 PM
Everything is blurred on what's right and what's wrong... Sin becomes fine, Start with smoking marijuana and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious. Pot smoking, is number one on the list. How many ways can we sin sexually? My goodness. You open up that can of worms and people will be mad at you over it.

Jesus will take sins away, if you're a pot smoker he'll take it away, if you're an adulterer, if you're a liar, what's the difference? If you break one sin you may as well break them all.

However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.

If we lose our morality, we will lose our country. It will happen.
Comment: #57
Posted by: Slave to Christ
Tue Jan 7, 2014 4:39 PM
Re: Masako, it is sad to me that all my life I was taught a lie about pot because I have a son that is autistic and only cannabis calms him without harming his body or causing the problems prescription drugs in the past have. He doesn't have to take it everyday, he doesn't have to be weaned off. No person has ever died of a pot overdose. My son will not be moving on to harder drugs, in fact learning pot helps him safely got him off dangerous drugs.
Comment: #58
Posted by: elda
Tue Jan 7, 2014 6:14 PM
I like much of what you have to say in other articles, but you're just embarrassing yourself at this point. Many of your recent articles have increasingly taken on the tone of a depressed, old, phony nostalgic, rambling idiot. This is why I, and many other generally conservative people, cannot and will not support the Republicans anymore. You just cannot resist the urge to stick your fat, D-bag noses into other people's personal business. You try to rewrite history to fit some fake nostalgic view of things which never existed. The America where everyone attended a Christian church every Sunday, never had sex before marriage, never ever ingested drugs or alcohol, never engaged in homosexual acts, never did anything deviant from your view of the world DOES NOT AND NEVER DID EXIST. This is all a bunch of BS progressive statists came up with at the turn of the last Century. Yet you incessantly pull the proverbial sack cloth and ashes routine as you cry and moan for the "good ol' days" which only exist in your own deluded old minds. There are many things wrong with the direction of our Nation, but I truly believe we will all be better off when you and your ilk reach your natural expiration dates. Maybe more people will shrug off the yolk of government oppression and seek the Libertarian ideals of our TRUE Founding Fathers - not Wilson and the Roosevelts.
Comment: #59
Posted by: Sick of People LIke You
Tue Jan 7, 2014 7:02 PM
Look... People that smoke pot should be left alone as long as they "don't drive, hurt their kids, family or come into work buzzed etc... Just like alcohol and tobacco. Trust Americans to use common since we are not children. The Republican party is losing millions of votes. The Republican party is suppose to be for freedom and people making choices for their own life not the government telling people what they think is good for them and putting them in jail. Life itself is dangerous no one lives forever a little pleasure now and again from an herb or drink is not wrong. Smoking pot now and again is no worse then alcohol or cigarettes. For gosh sakes our last few presidents have smoked pot. I notice most of the people that are against it are from the 50's generation not putting you guys down but its true. Lets move our party into the modern age with common since and freedom of choice for our lives we will get so many more votes. The far left liberals are trying to control our lives from what we eat, to what we heat with, to what we make electric with we must put a stop to this before its too late. Freedom of choice and personal responsibility is the heart of this country from the beginning not government control and jail for a simple plant a person can grow in the garden. The truth is our founding fathers grew the same plant.
Comment: #60
Posted by: ted martin
Tue Jan 7, 2014 10:53 PM
Re: Matt Brown
So basically you were an alcoholic a**hole who smoked and made everyone around him miserable, and now you want to tell us how great you are because you stopped beating your wife. Sounds like Republicanism isn't your problem, sounds like you need an AA meeting.
Comment: #61
Wed Jan 8, 2014 1:17 AM
So when my Doctor told me that I really need to quit smoking my response was, sure I'll do that and I will start smoking Pot. That seems to be an acceptable alternative now. Smoking may be an instrument to kill me but Pot is definitely an instrument to kill myself and others as well such as driving high - and of course I will gain weight with the munchies. This is all so crazy and political - don't smoke cigarettes (politicians obvisously have something against the tobacco farmers) but you can smoke Pot - a mind altering drug. Where is the sanity in this. I am at a point that I don't believe anyone and anything anymore.
Comment: #62
Posted by: Really?
Wed Jan 8, 2014 4:36 AM
Re: Ray Charon No matter how you look at it you are driving while under the influence of a controlled substance, the equivalent of driving while under the influence of alcohol. If you have enough marijuana it is the equivalent of driving while intoxicated. When this happens you are a menace to others as well as yourself and have no right to drive. If I were a police officer you would be arrested for either of those statutes and taken to jail. For the record, you WOULD NOT be charged with possession since it is now legal to indulge in Colorado. With using this substance and alcohol is a substance as well, there are responsibilities. You must bear the responsibility of using this properly. By the way, you can still be fired from a job for testing positive in a urinalysis for having marijuana in your system, alcohol or other controlled substances in your blood. Even though state law allows you to indulge in marijuana the US Supreme Court has upheld the employer's right to fire anyone who tests positive for any of these controlled substances as a condition of employment. Reference TREASURY EMPLOYEES v. VON RAAB, 489 U.S. 656 (1989). It is not an invasion of privacy if they tell all those individuals with Social Security numbers ending in certain numbers to report to medical for testing. This ia a random test and fair. This the way it was done when I was in the Marine Corps and it is fair. Marijuana is a controlled substance, you are not an expert on the effects of marijuana and how it impairs people and neither am I. I don't want any of these people on the roads period, alcohol, marijuana, medication, whatever. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege. Drive coherent or get off the road.
Comment: #63
Posted by: Vic Karras
Wed Jan 8, 2014 8:16 AM
Sh*t oozes out of this guy's head.
Comment: #64
Posted by: Diana
Wed Jan 8, 2014 2:44 PM
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