Ron Paul and Barney Frank -- Partners For Pot
The bill, introduced by Democratic Rep. Barney Frank from Massachusetts, would abolish penalties for anyone carrying fewer than 100 grams of weed (3.75 ounces, or just slightly less than five viewings of the Sean Penn-Naomi Watts drama 21 Grams).
As they are wont to do, the crusaders at NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) pounced on the opportunity to hold this proposed legislation up as a sort of Holy Grail. Or Holy Bong. The organization interviewed Paul, in a two-part audio-only file on YouTube: and (Hint: it doesn’t exactly sync perfectly with The Wizard of Oz; it works much better with The Wiz, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as Scarecrow).
Unintentionally demonstrating the brain cell-eroding properties of THC, NORML’s interviewer kicks off one question with “If you’re in the White House, what changes could be in store…” and then barrels through the standard pro-legalization arguments typically put forth by Rasta-hat-wearing white dudes: pot prohibition means no hemp industry; pot has wonderful medicinal purposes; minorities are over-represented among those convicted of possession.
“I’ve always been very clear that the drug war is a lot worse than the drugs themselves,” Paul says, adding later, “I don’t like drugs – I don’t like illegal drugs. I don’t even like most legal drugs,” which probably bummed the NORML dude out a little.
All in all, a reasonably intelligent exchange. It just would’ve been better if the NORML dude asked if the bill was written on hemp.
-- Craig Malisow