Reps. Ron Paul and Barney Frank introduced a bill yesterday that, for the first time, would end the federal ban on marijuana, leaving it to the states. CNN covered the news appropriately, by having a erudite debate between an old stoner actor and some asshole former g-man.
How "CNN" of CNN is this, to treat this serious policy debate by bringing into one corner Paul Chabot, trained former White House drug war flack, and into the other Tommy Chong, one of the two actors famous for smoking marijuana in old movies. A spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project must not have been available. What's next? Maybe a debate on Iraq oil field leasing between Paul Wolfowitz and some lapsed hippie/current barista whom the AP photographed once during the Summer of Love.
In any event, it's a thrilling exchange. Chong tells Chabot to "Shut up" because he's saying so many stupid things. And then we have this exchange:
CHONG: Listen, the kids die - more kids die from obesity, from alcohol use, from traffic accidents. How many people have died from marijuana? Tell me.
CHABOT: Tommy, look, two wrongs do not make a right.
CHONG: Where's the wrong here? No one died from marijuana.
CHABOT: Tommy, listen.
CHONG: Where is the wrong here?
CHABOT: First off, my heart goes out to you because you're an addict. You've got a marijuana addiction.
Intelligent debate on drug policy: check.