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Opening Arguments

No pot jokes today

I remember being surprised if not downright shocked when William F. Buckley, at the time the most prominent conservative thinker around, not only softened his stand on marijuana but even went out beyond the three-mile limit and actually tried the stuff. Now we have Michelle Malkin, no slouch when it comes to conservatism, rethinking the issue for personal reasons:

For the past three months, my mother-in-law, Carole, whom I love with all my heart, has battled metastatic melanoma. After a harrowing week of hospitalization and radiation, she’s at home now. A miraculous new combination of oral cancer drugs seems to have helped enormously with pain and possibly contained the disease’s spread. But Carole’s loss of appetite and nausea persist.

A month ago, with encouragement from all of her doctors here in Colorado, she applied for a state-issued medical marijuana card. It still hasn’t come through. As a clerk at Marisol Therapeutics told us, there’s a huge backlog.

But thanks to Amendment 64, the marijuana drug legalization act approved by voters in 2012, we were able to legally and safely circumvent the bureaucratic holdup. “A lot of people are in your same situation,” the pot shop staffer told us. “We see it all the time, and we’re glad we can help.”

Somebody she knows is affected, so she's changing her mind. How often have we heard that in other contexts? Gay marriage comes to mind, and abortion. My own bugaboo is profound mental illness. I can tell you who has had a relative or close friend with it and who hasn't just by the way they talk about it.

Whole post by Ed Morrissey recommended reading, as well as all the other stuff it links to, including Malkin's whole article. Won't change anybody's mind, I suspect, but lots of food for thought. As Morrissey writes:

I’m not a fan of marijuana, and I do worry about the moral signal that legalizing recreational use sends, but at least so far it hasn’t had any worse impact than alcohol. We should at least study the impact of marijuana so that we can have an informed debate.

State-by-state experiments so the rest of us can watch and decide if we want to try it here. What a concept! Somebody ought to give it a name.