We missed this over the weekend, but it’s definitely worth a listen.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg reacted to the New York state legislature’s action to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana by calling medicinal marijuana “one of the greatest hoaxes of all time,” and insisted that marijuana legalization would do nothing to reduce crime and violence.  Why?  Because “drug dealers have families to feed”:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week dismissed medical marijuana as a “hoax,” and called the push to legalize cannabis “wrong-headed.”

“Medical, my… come on. There’s no medical,” Bloomberg said on WOR radio Friday. “This is one of the great hoaxes of all time.” …

“But the bottom line is I’m told marijuana is much stronger today than it was 20 or 30 years ago. I don’t have any personal experience in terms of today. So that’s one problem,” he said.

Bloomberg added that legalizing marijuana does not mean eliminating the black market for drugs, and claimed that marijuana does, in fact, cause dependency.

“And number two, drug dealers have families to feed. If they can’t sell marijuana, they’ll sell something else, and the something else is going to be worse, and the push to legalize this is just wrong-headed. But they say: ‘Oh, well, it’s not going to hurt anybody. It doesn’t lead to dependency.’ Of course it does,” he said. “And you can argue about recreational things, but it’s a very slippery path.”

Maybe drug dealers will push those 32-ounce sodas that Bloomberg wants to stamp out, too. Here’s the entire interview with WOR’s John Gambling. Gambling presses Hizzoner on the sugary-drink diktat, too, which Bloomberg defends:

On medicinal marijuana, one New York physicians group says that Bloomberg is all wrong:

In response to Bloomberg’s comments, New York Physicians for Compassionate Care vice chairman Dr. Sunil Aggarwal said medical marijuana does, in fact, help people who are in pain or suffering from serious illness.

“Mayor Bloomberg’s statement that medical marijuana is a hoax is tantamount to saying that the moon landing was faked,” Aggarwal said in a news release. “Marijuana, given in oral and inhaled forms, has been shown in large, gold-standard, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trials conducted at major medical centers to relieve pain and muscle spasm, and stimulate appetite and weight gain in patients with wasting syndromes. The data is published for all to see and has been backed up by biochemistry.”

The slippery-slope argument seems rather ironic coming from Bloomberg, who’s busy pushing gun-control legislation while sneering at gun-rights advocates making the slippery-slope case against him.  Either way, I’d tend to be more concerned about the slippery slope of increasing government power, rather than the slippery slope of increasing personal choice with individual consequences.