Archive for September 18th, 2009

Secretly Liberal?

This week’s New York magazine has, amidst an interesting profile of Neil Patrick Harris and some disappointing hesitancy from David Cross about the Arrested Development movie, an odd article about marijuana: It seems to vacillate between “Pot is practically mainstream now” and “Pot is still pretty taboo.” Nevertheless, it offers a revealing analysis of current marijuana laws.

Maybe the most interesting thing about this article, though, is how tired the debate seems to be at this point: Most people who bring up the topic of legalizing marijuana are staunchly in favor of it, and their arguments are fairly reasonable, but there seems to be little to no chance of it actually happening.

What’s most disconcerting for me isn’t that marijuana will probably not be legalized in my lifetime—I’m white, I don’t have to worry about pot laws—but what this says about the political status quo.

The conventional political wisdom in this country is that the general public is slightly right of center, meaning that liberal measures are tougher to pass. As such, legalizing marijuana would cost more political capital than it’s worth. Continue reading