Penn Jillette: Would Obama be president if he had been busted years ago under laws he now condones for doing drugs?

posted at 9:54 pm on May 21, 2012 by Allahpundit

Via HuffPo, something here for everyone. For the pro-legalization crowd, a righteous five-minute rant on how the war on weed is capable of squelching career possibilities for even the most promising young citizens. For the anti-legalization crowd, a five-minute rant on how Obama’s an unbelievable hypocrite. And for the anti-legalization yet pro-Obama crowd, … actually, do those people even exist? If so, proceed no further.

The profanity here is less than I expected but you’re not going to get away scot free when Penn Jillette’s on a tear, so please observe your official content warning. Exit question: Will this be the subject of O’s next “evolution”? No one believes he supports criminalizing marijuana for anything other than political reasons, just as no one believed he was opposed to gay marriage. Assuming he wins in November, expect this charade to drop circa early 2015.


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I keep re-reading the Constitution looking for the Drug Prohibition amendment granting the federal government exclusive authority to outlaw them in all states.

There is no better singular example of how far the concept of limited powers granted only in the Constitution than this one.

wildcat72 on May 22, 2012 at 6:46 AM

It is always the dope heads that scream the loudest about legalizing and taxing pot, as if they wouldn’t just grow it at home or continue to get from their dope dealers now to avoid the taxes.

Never touched the stuff and do not ever care to do so.

Nothing is more pathetic than seeing these fat, middle aged, old hippies with pony tails in dirty tee-shirts ranting on and on about how pot should be legalized and proclaiming to all that they have been smoking the stuff regularly since before high school and they have suffered no ill effects. Yeah, right!

Rebar on May 22, 2012 at 2:54 AM has it right:

We’d save a hell of a lot more money, if we expelled all the illegals, 17 percent of the federal prison population, more in state prisons.

And I see so many “liberaltarians” on here, demanding legalized pot. First, dismantle the welfare state so I don’t have to pay for your junky asses, remove the requirement that emergency rooms have to treat you for free, so I don’t have to pay for your ODs. Build a database and register as a drug user, so employers have the choice to avoid hiring you or no.

Then we can talk about legalization. Until then, you liberaltarians are simply asking for free handouts, like the rest of your buddies on the left.

I would add the requirement that you have stamped on your driver’s license “DOPE HEAD”.

Bubba Redneck on May 22, 2012 at 7:06 AM

I don’t like dealing with drunks . . . and I sure do not want to deal with potheads on top of it. No thanks.
I want a country of people who can control themselves. Please . . . let’s not turn into a nation of irresponsible idiots.
Voter from WA State on May 22, 2012 at 2:11 AM

THIS.

Too many of the legalization advocates conveniently forget to include its debilitating effects. Continual and repetitive use accumulates THC in the nervous system and impairs brain and cognitive function. It’s effects are different from alcohol’s but that doesn’t mean it’s any less desirable as a national recreational activity.

Teller’s more interested in pushing his lack of intellectual self-control more than he is for states’ rights or any other common sense political positions.

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 7:32 AM

Teller’s more interested in pushing his lack of intellectual and behavioral self-control more than he is for states’ rights or any other common sense political positions.

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Never touched the stuff and do not ever care to do so.

Bubba Redneck on May 22, 2012 at 7:06 AM

I have. Plenty of it. In my youth when I was still searching for an identity. Which is why most kids do it anyway. You don’t really know how it’s affecting you until you stop.

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Assuming he wins in November

Nooooooooooo!!

bridgetown on May 22, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Penn is a teetotaler. Which must be tough for a guy with no self-control. He’s drunk less and done fewer drugs than any of our last 3 presidents, in fact. Considering he’s never even had a sip of alcohol, you could probably take that back even further.

RightOFLeft on May 22, 2012 at 7:56 AM

RightOFLeft on May 22, 2012 at 7:56 AM

I stand corrected and should have stopped with lack of intellectual self-control.

There is a certain inconsistency with someone who himself recognizes the negative affects of certain behaviors neglecting to include those concerns in his rants, don’t you think?

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 8:07 AM

There is a certain inconsistency with someone who himself recognizes the negative affects of certain behaviors neglecting to include those concerns in his rants, don’t you think?

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 8:07 AM

He doesn’t believe that marijuana use has negative effects on society (he refers to it as a victimless crime). So, no, I don’t think he’s being inconsistent. He may be wrong, but he’s not inconsistent.

RightOFLeft on May 22, 2012 at 8:30 AM

He doesn’t believe that marijuana use has negative effects on society (he refers to it as a victimless crime). So, no, I don’t think he’s being inconsistent. He may be wrong, but he’s not inconsistent.
RightOFLeft on May 22, 2012 at 8:30 AM

How about on the individual?

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Penn is right as usual.

NORUK on May 22, 2012 at 8:36 AM

I have. Plenty of it. In my youth when I was still searching for an identity. Which is why most kids do it anyway. You don’t really know how it’s affecting you until you stop.

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 7:43 AM

I wasn’t searching for anything but childish thrills. I wish I could convince those who have never tried it how much they aren’t missing. Like me, there will always be those who have to see for themselves. We hope they grow up.

swinia sutki on May 22, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Penn is right as usual.
NORUK on May 22, 2012 at 8:36 AM

How would one know that?

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 8:38 AM

How about on the individual?

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 8:35 AM

His whole point is that we shouldn’t put people in jail for doing harm to themselves. He’s taking anti-nanny state sentiment to its logical conclusion. It’s weird to me that conservatives freak out over salt bans in NYC or Michelle Obama’s anti-fat crusade, but they don’t see the absurdity giving potheads hard time. Potheads would be costing the economy a lot less than over-eaters and under-exercisers if it weren’t for the insane war on drugs.

RightOFLeft on May 22, 2012 at 8:48 AM

I keep re-reading the Constitution looking for the Drug Prohibition amendment granting the federal government exclusive authority to outlaw them in all states.

There is no better singular example of how far the concept of limited powers granted only in the Constitution than this one.

wildcat72 on May 22, 2012 at 6:46 AM

Yeah, well I can’t find anything about phones or automobiles either…it is is so “obvious” to you, it should be a slam dunk for you to challenge it in court and win…I mean a guy without a law degree, you, even can see it. Surely a judge will roll over and say “I never knew that, thanks for pointing that out”, and you would be a hero, you won’t even need an attorney, you can file it yourself.
I wonder why no one else has ever thought of that….hmmmmmm,

right2bright on May 22, 2012 at 9:07 AM

RightOFLeft on May 22, 2012 at 8:48 AM

There’s a certain amount of logic that’s hard to argue with contained in Libertarian sentiments, but what I find difficult to ignore is the subliminal implication contained in their advocacy that the behavior they are defending is somehow harmless to the society which has to deal with it.

I’d probably have a little more empathy for guys like Teller and their positions if their whole shtick wasn’t, at it’s core, an assault on the notion that a society has an interest in protecting its core values, particularly when it comes to its young.

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 9:15 AM

I keep re-reading the Constitution looking for the Drug Prohibition amendment granting the federal government exclusive authority to outlaw them in all states.

There is no better singular example of how far the concept of limited powers granted only in the Constitution than this one.

wildcat72 on May 22, 2012 at 6:46 AM

Yeah, well I can’t find anything about phones or automobiles either…it is is so “obvious” to you, it should be a slam dunk for you to challenge it in court and win…I mean a guy without a law degree, you, even can see it. Surely a judge will roll over and say “I never knew that, thanks for pointing that out”, and you would be a hero, you won’t even need an attorney, you can file it yourself.
I wonder why no one else has ever thought of that….hmmmmmm,

right2bright on May 22, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I agree with wildcat72, actually. Though I am not a lawyer, either. Why did it take a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw liquor, but not drugs?

Why can’t states outlaw them, if they so choose?

cptacek on May 22, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Fair enough. Just a nitpick: it’s actually Penn (Teller is his literally silent partner).

RightOFLeft on May 22, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Potheads would be costing the economy a lot less than over-eaters and under-exercisers if it weren’t for the insane war on drugs.
RightOFLeft on May 22, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Take it for an experienced ex-pothead, Potheads don’t generally acquire either an impressive work ethic, ambitious economic discipline, or advanced technical or professional ambitions. You can’t begin to measure the negative effects on the economy even legal potsmoking would have.

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Fair enough. Just a nitpick: it’s actually Penn (Teller is his literally silent partner).
RightOFLeft on May 22, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Shows how much I pay attention to an act once I pick up its spirit.

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Obama will not lose any financial support nor votes because of his current stance on marijuana laws, so he isn’t going to change his policy. He changed his stance on Gay Marriage because he thought it would cost him a lot in campaign donations. I seriously doubt he gives a crap about Americans doing time for possession of marijuana.

Dork B. on May 22, 2012 at 9:56 AM

I’ve always like “Pen” better than Teller for the obvious reason.

Cherokee on May 22, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Wait a minute, I think I got those two in reverse. Oh well, I think you know what I mean.

Cherokee on May 22, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Suppose you have an assembly line running. Would you willingly hire a pot smoker to work on it? Or an alcoholic? I’ve worked with both types of afflicted, and could trust them to do the job ‘most of the time’. But if you can’t trust them to show up, or to do the job correctly, why should you hire them, or why should you keep them hired?

dahni on May 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Teller’s more interested in pushing his lack of intellectual self-control more than he is for states’ rights or any other common sense political positions.

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 7:32 AM

Have you seen much of their acts or shows? If you don’t know them, they started as a comedy magic act. Penn and Teller had a series on cable called Bullsh!t. They nailed a lot of BS PC issues like recycling, the wars against Walmart, the bottled water scams, and so on. Do a search on them – they’re worth watching – and IMHO they have a lot more common sense intelligence and logic than many people give them credit for.

dentarthurdent on May 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Suppose you have an assembly line running. Would you willingly hire a pot smoker to work on it? Or an alcoholic? I’ve worked with both types of afflicted, and could trust them to do the job ‘most of the time’. But if you can’t trust them to show up, or to do the job correctly, why should you hire them, or why should you keep them hired?

dahni on May 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Alcoholic or habitual pot-smoker – no. Someone who occasionally drinks or smokes pot – sure. I’ve had to deal with lazy and stupid people that did neither of them and they still couldn’t be trusted to get the job done – so I don’t consider “social” use of either as a deciding factor. I know recreational pot-smokers who are very succesful business people, and I have alcoholics and junkies in my (extended) family. But then I also work in the Defense industry where you lose your job for ANY illicit drug use.

dentarthurdent on May 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Obama a hypocrite on drugs?

Perhaps I missed it, but did anyone call Obama a hypocrite when he had glowing remarks for Rahm after Rahm called in his militarized police to protect the ‘O’ and his NATO buddies from the well organized Chicago community.

It was a beautiful sight to see the President being protected from the same community that he had taught how to organize.

Carnac on May 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM

dentarthurdent on May 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I’d imagine they would. I recognize an intellect when I see one, even if I disagree with it. Unfortunately, too many intellects in position of influence seem to confuse knowing what they can know with all that there is to know and, in this particular case, ignoring or forgetting to mention the negative effects on drug use both individually and societally is, in my opinion, a glaring omission and leaves the impression that the greater harm to society is found in its laws.

That’s just, to put it mildly, not helpful.

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Yes. This is the great irony of the day, isn’t it? Imagine the confusion of already biologically confused teenagers. The media, the Prez are cool and glamorize drug use. Kids listen and enthusiastically embrace the message. They end up dead or in jail and we wonder why.

It’s like children born out of wedlock…almost guaranteed they will be abused, poor and addicted, but Murphy Brown is a true hero of the left and feminism. Remember Calvin Klein and his old guy, underage guy sex commercial? Remember his all about sex girl jeans commercial (can’t remember the star’s name, but she’d already been established as a sex symbol by her mother when she was 13)? Hey, Hollywood. You send the message that sex as often as possible with whomever you wish, wherever you wish, while glorifying sodomy as merely an “alternate” lifestyle and now a civil right, should spend a weekend every month visiting those who followed your philosophy.
The athiest Democrat here is right.

Portia46 on May 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Set the people free!!

Pablo Snooze on May 22, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Yes, we get it, Pot bad.

Just think about all those deaths when gangs started shooting each other over distribution when it was made illegal in the 1920′s.

What? That was alcohol prohibition in the ’20′s?

What? Pot was legal in the States ’til the ’30′s?

The Temperance crowd cited very legitimate reasons for making alcohol illegal. Reasons that are very similar to those cited by the people who want to keep marijuana illegal. That didn’t keep Prohibition from being a great failure. (How great a failure? Let’s just say prohibition gave us organized crime as we know it today.)

What was the quote from Santayana about failing to learn from the mistakes of the past?

kenashimame on May 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Biggest argument for drug law enforcement has to be the fact that, if they had been applied more effectively we might not now be saddled with this sorry excuse for a President today.

;)

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Cleombrotus on May 22, 2012 at 7:43 AM

I am sincerely sorry to hear that.
I sincerely hope you are okay.
A brother-in-law is one of the types I mentioned in my post.

Bubba Redneck on May 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM

kenashimame on May 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

To be fair, the stated goal of prohibition was to reduce alcohol consumption.

They achieved this and, even after prohibition ended, the rate of alcohol consumption did not return to its previous level until the 1970s.

We can certainly discuss whether or not the tradeoffs were worth it, but, it doesn’t seem fair to characterize it as a failure since it achieved it’s goals.

JadeNYU on May 22, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Rasmussen: Poll, 47% favor legalizing pot and cocaine to reduced border violence.

If you are looking for conservative arguments against this costly pointless (does not cut drug use but marginally) immoral violent drug war, a good source, with over 500 comments, is the hotair post on the news that Shepard Smith said on air that “the drug war is lost.”

http://hotair.com/archives/2012/02/17/video-shep-smith-the-drug-war-is-lost

anotherJoe on May 22, 2012 at 4:32 PM

For so called believers in freedom and upholding the constitution, I am always amazed at how many conservatives are in favor of continued prohibition. Last time I checked, you don’t have to “legalize” something to make it lawful, the onus is on those who wish to prohibit to show that such prohibition is justified. No such case has ever been made for any drugs, and furthermore federal prohibition is unconstitutional.

And just to be clear, this applies to any and all substances one wishes to ingest, not just cannabis.

whoishe on May 22, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Why I can never be a Republican. Too many of them want to involve themselves in my business, in my household, in my life. I say, if a man wants to own a .357 magnum, smoke some pot, build on the wetlands on his own property and marry another man, then let he do so.

NorthernCross on May 22, 2012 at 8:40 PM

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