Pot makes you dumb

Taibbi let his readers know that unlike David Brooks and myself, he is one with America’s urban poor and the disadvantaged black kids who get caught up in the racist web of drug laws routinely enforced by the Man. This working-class hero righteously lamented the fact that too many poor people’s lives will be “derailed forever by a pointless and intrinsically hypocritical marijuana arrest. But Scarborough wouldn’t know anything about that, apparently.”

God, I’m such an isolated, ignorant spoiled prick. If only I could have been raised in the kind of misery and squalor as Taibbi, perhaps I could connect to the mean streets of inner-city America like him. But how could I ever be as empathetic on such realities as a disadvantaged soul like Taibbi, who was forced to grow up in the affluent suburbs of Boston, attend prep school at Concord Academy, and then go on to Bard College?

Friends, this is apparently how the other half lives. The injustice of it is almost too much to bear…

Thank the good Lord there was gracious plenty in the form of online outrage to humble me. I learned from Twitter and other online commentary that anyone making the statement “Pot makes you dumb” is racist, a supporter of America’s failed drug wars, and a mindless puritanical dweeb. All of this might come as news to countless public defenders who have approached me over the years in airports, on book tours, and in other public venues thanking me for talking about the injustice poor defendants of all colors face because too many jurisdictions give prosecutors all the resources they need while underfunding offices that provide the poorest and most disadvantaged Americans the attorney they are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps, it also doesn’t matter that I have long believed that our justice system is far more likely to convict our most disadvantaged citizens regardless of race. If I am wrong, then tell me the last millionaire who got the death penalty.