February 11, 2019

"A presidential candidate admitting to marijuana use is nothing new. That happened in 2004, 2008, and 2016."

"But I've never seen any presidential candidate other than Kamala Harris follow up that admission with this kind of argument for legalizing marijuana: 'I think that it gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy.'"

Writes my son John, on his blog, linking to "Kamala Harris says she smoked marijuana in college, calls for legalization" (ABC News).

This reminds me of why I changed my mind about legalization in March 2015 as a result of reading something written by Paul Johnson about Henrik Ibsen:
There was one aspect of Ibsen’s vanity which verged on the ludicrous... He had a lifelong passion for medals and orders. In fact, he went to embarrassing lengths to get them...

[T]here is ample evidence for Ibsen’s passion since he insisted on displaying his growing galaxy of stars on every possible occasion. As early as 1878 he is reported to have worn all of them, including one like a dog-collar round his neck, at a club dinner. The Swedish painter Georg Pauli came across Ibsen sporting his medals (not the ribbons alone but the actual stars) in a Rome street. At times he seems to have put them on virtually every evening. He defended his practice by saying that, in the presence of ‘younger friends’, it ‘reminds me that I need to keep within certain limits.’ All the same, people who had invited him to dinner were always relieved when he arrived without them, as they attracted smiles and even open laughter as the wine circulated....
That's about alcohol, but it jogged my thinking. As I elaborated later:
I'm not a big marijuana legalization advocate, though I did change my position on the subject fairly recently, because I think substance-boosted disinhibition is important, though overdone.
When people didn't understand the connection to the passage about Ibsen, I said,
Here's a clue: freedom and democracy depend on our disinhibition; we need to be able to laugh at authority. 
Without the disinhibiting substance, Ibsen would have got away with his stupid pomposity.

I'm talking about something a bit different from "joy." I like joy too, but there's something with more edge that I'm interested in.

And speaking of edge, here's something else I found searching my blog archive for Ibsen and marijuana. From April 2016, "The perfect problem — when everything big and small and up-to-date and retrospective and cool and puritanical collides in one crowded intersection":
"Snapchat's new Bob Marley lens sparks 'blackface' outrage."
To acknowledge 4/20, known as "Weed Day," Snapchat created a special "lens" that morphed people's faces into Bob Marley, the late reggae icon. The lens added dreadlocks, a crochet slouch cap, changed the shape of eyes and noses, and darkened skin color.

People flooded Twitter with accusations that Snapchat had created a blackface filter....
And this is why we need marijuana.
But that was April 2016, and now it's the Era of That's Not Funny! And it's been the week of hammering it into everyone's head that blackface is always always offensive and never ever funny. Ibsen didn't think his medals were funny. Kamala Harris imagines marijuana bringing joy — just some nice elevated feelings. But what if we get started laughing and we can't stop? It's a slippery slope out of the Era of That's Not Funny.

76 comments:

Dave Begley said...

Bread and circuses.

And a doped up population that watches CNN will be all in favor of the Green New Deal because, like, wow man, we, like, only have, like, 12 years to save the Earth.

If KKH wants more joy in people's lives, I'd recommend sex. For her, it can be sex with married men who are 30 years her senior provided, however, there is something in it for her.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Without the disinhibiting substance, Ibsen would have got away with his stupid pomposity.

Maybe this explains some of Trump's popularity too. Substance-free disinhibition.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

eh. Pot does not bring the joy. Fake joy. escapism. But I am all for it in terms of personal liberty and personal choice.

Nonapod said...

But what if we get started laughing and we can't stop. It's a slippery slope out of the Era of That's Not Funny.

I don't know. Does weed make people less likely to be rightously offended? I've seen plenty of stoners who also protest stuff. I've known plenty of pot enthusiasts who also get angry and upset at what they view as great wrongs in the world. I've seen a few violent Rastafarians. But to be fair, they might not have been stoned at the time.

Tommy Duncan said...

Blogger Dave Begley said...

"If KKH wants more joy in people's lives, I'd recommend sex. For her, it can be sex with married men who are 30 years her senior provided, however, there is something in it for her."

Interesting take on this, Dave. We know she inhaled. Did she swallow?

Dave Begley said...

Tommy Duncan:

I'll ask her when I see her in Iowa! Why the hell not? She asked Justice Kavanaugh crazy questions.

Amadeus 48 said...

Alex Berenson's book surveying the medical literature om marijuana usage, "Tell Your Children," indicates that marijuana brings psychosis, paranoia, and violence to some people.
But it's probably nothing. He's probably misreading the literature. Think of the tax revenue.

Hagar said...

So, how do you know Ibsen did not think his medals were funny?
From Paul Johnson?

And marijuana is not "legal" anywhere within the unites States or its possessions.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

How many people did Harris prosecute for smoking marijuana? How many people she was prosecuting did she use or threaten to use an additional charge of drug use against to get a guilty plea, etc?

She's a cop, or at least was. Having a cop say "yeah I smoked that sweet weed and I did it 'cause it's cool and gives joy" isn't a cause for celebration. It's a good time to ask questions about the morality of punishing others for things you think are actually OK.

But hey, laws are for the little people, I guess.

Hagar said...

And you, a law professor!

anti-de Sitter space said...

"however, there is something in it for her."

Probably the best benefit is cred re black folks. Doin' that guy may help smooth over the 'black enough' question that some identity politicos fuss about. White husband counterbalance.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Another pro-drug message for the most drugged nation in history. I'm for decriminalization of marijuana although not for any reason most would be familiar with. At this point it could reasonably be regarded as no worse on a scale of any other quite literally prescription narcotics, anti-psychotics, and depression medications etc. etc.

It is sad that the new question for most people isn't to ask what they're taking...it's to ask them what they're not.

Put me down - yet again - in the "accelerationist" camp.

Jersey Fled said...

Every stoner that I've known has been a shallow, self-centered jerk.

Achilles said...

This is a smart move by Harris.

I believe Trump is going to push for legalization before 2020.

She got out in front and now Trump has to look like he is agreeing with her.

Achilles said...

anti-de Sitter space said...
"however, there is something in it for her."

Probably the best benefit is cred re black folks. Doin' that guy may help smooth over the 'black enough' question that some identity politicos fuss about. White husband counterbalance.

So it wasn't about the two 6 figure make work government he created for her or the 2 positions he got her elected to.

It was about cred with black people.

...

Bay Area Guy said...

"Kamala Harris says she smoked marijuana in college..."

It might have been a gateway drug, because after college, she smoked Willie Brown's pole.

bagoh20 said...

I don't know. Does it help if the thief robbing you is laughing when they do it? I'm still gonna be without what I earned, and someone who didn't earn it will have it, and probably laughing about it as they plan to take more from me.

bagoh20 said...

Gateway drugs? I think the addiction we need to worry about starts with city council, prosecutor, or local government positions.

Limited blogger said...

So Kamala was in the Choom gang?

FullMoon said...

Everybody who smokes MJ is not a lazy loser.
Everybody who drinks alcohol is not a staggering drunk
Everybody who does meth is not a toothless thief
Everybody who does heroin is not a passed out homeless junkie.

Doing any drug, including alcohol, in excess creates some kind of problem.
Moderation is key.

mockturtle said...

Of course I smoked MJ back in college and a little later on but I don't do it today. It is certainly not conducive to getting things done. A stoned population is an unproductive and easily manipulated one. But MJ should be at least decriminalized, as should possession of other drugs for personal use. We spend far too much time and money on prosecuting drug cases.

tcrosse said...

Look for big under-the-table donations from Frito-Lay.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Exactly. The entry level government whore is where it all starts. The evil Boulder City Council.

Government whores get a taste of the power, and they cannot quit.

Or- How to damage and end small business with punitive taxation and force everyone to abide by mind-numbing anti-freedom suffocation and silly rules that keep people in a state of squish. Except Google.

traditionalguy said...

Drug addiction has been sponsored by every Government on earth, other than ours, in order to weaken and enslave the masses while making insane profits for the Kings.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

William Chadwick said...

If only Ms. Harris were pro-freedom in other spheres as well.

You either own your own life (including your own body), or you don't.

Mike Sylwester said...

A few months ago the TCM cable channel showed the 1978 movie An Enemy of the People. The movie starred Steve McQueen, but he was barely recognizable, because he wore a big beard. The movie was his own vanity project.

The movie was made in 1976, but was not released until 1978. The movie was shown only briefly in a few university towns and then was withdrawn. Then the movie did not become available for viewing, only on DVDs, until 2009.

As I remember, the recent TCM showing of the movie was the first-ever TCM showing.

I thought the movie was excellent. McQueen played his role well.

When I was a university graduate student, I took a seminar in Germanic drama, and I read the play then. (That seminar was the best class I took during my entire university attendance.)

The only problem with the movie is that very few people now want to watch a feature movie based on an 1882 Norwegian play.

Shouting Thomas said...

OK, so she was a conscientious prosecutor and she likes Mary Jane because it makes us happy.

Two points in her favor.

Fen said...

Joy can only be acquired indirectly. If you pursue it for its own sake, your life will go out of balance.

Shouting Thomas said...

I found Mary Jane quite useful in the days when I sat at a computer coding for 16 hours.

Without pot my mind would grind to a halt, locked up in the struggle to remember the references for a dozen functions and several dozen variables.

With pot, I could relax and forget about the struggle to remember. Then, miraculously, I could remember.

Pot clarified my mind by taking away all of the stress.

I was fortunate in that I worked at home for most of the last 10 years of my career. I could smoke a doobie while I worked. Helped a lot.

My bet is that every talented game developer smokes pot.

Amadeus 48 said...

Trump's teetotalism is an interesting counterpoint.

In negotiations staying sober is a great tactic. I have seen slightly relaxed principals, who started celebrating early, throw in things at the end that we never thought we would get. Trump's public rationale for not drinking is the tragic story of his brother. I think he also likes the advantage of a clear head.

Now, Donald Trump's clear head looks a lot different than most people's does.

Char Char Binks said...

There's something to be said in favor of keeping within certain limits, and reminders to do so.

gg6 said...

ALTHOUSE: "...freedom and democracy depend on our disinhibition.... Without the disinhibiting substance, Ibsen would have got away with his stupid pomposity." ...........What a nonsensical 'conclusion'.Pure humbug. Maybe Ibsen was on something himself!?And/Or maybe it was Ibsen who was actually demonstrating 'DISINHIIBITION' and his party friends the boring ones who were enforcing the conventionally accepted inhibitions.
"......this is why we need marijuana." Yeah, yeah, yeah, yada yadda yadda. In reality, there's ALWAYS a 'disinhibiting' NEED for weed - the WHY is simply whatever any individual dreams up at the moment.

Mike Sylwester said...

I'm skeptical that the story about Ibsen wearing his medals is true.

Ibsen left Norway in 1864 and lived abroad -- in Italy and Germany -- for practically the entire remainder of his life.

How would he have accumulated a lot of medals by 1878? For writing plays while living abroad?

Trumpit said...

"It might have been a gateway drug, because after college, she smoked Willie Brown's pole."

You don't seem to mind Schlump's lurid sex life. He "grabbed 'em by the ..." That is why I believe in mandatory martial arts training in public school. If he grabbed me by the ..., he'd be blooded and battered.

bagoh20 said...

I'm no fan of pot, but it doesn't waste as much time as TV, and without TV, pot would waste a lot less time. The combo is deadly.

Tommy Duncan said...

There is a difference between "joy" and "feeling good". It's a distinction my 18 year old son does not understand. My stoner friends in college were feeling good, but it brought little joy. The good feeling was increasingly empty of meaning.

Michael McNeil said...

I agree with Shouting Thomas.

Phidippus said...

Sound sense from mockturtle @2:44 PM. As is usually the case, I've noticed.

henge2243 said...

I will vote for the first Presidential candidate who admits to speed-balling. Until then, no one gets my vote.

Bay Area Guy said...

You don't seem to mind Schlump's lurid sex life. He "grabbed 'em by the ..." That is why I believe in mandatory martial arts training in public school. If he grabbed me by the ..., he'd be blooded and battered.

Well, his "lurid sex life" during his presidency has GARNERED no allegations or evidence of anything.....lurid.

As for decades old allegations, I take them with a grain of salt. I assume rich powerful men sleep with a lot of women. So, no, consensual shagging of Stormy Daniels or the other lady, doesn't bother me either.

Kamala Harris, on the other hand, shagged Willie Brown in order to leapfrog over many qualified women into government and politics --that's the part, I don't like. The shagging ain't so bad (quid), but the quo she got was not so hot.

Arashi said...

But was the sex any good? Or was it just perfunctory - something that must be done to get the job?

Was it better than self-abuse?

Sebastian said...

"Here's a clue: freedom and democracy depend on our disinhibition." Then again, they also depend on proper inhibitions. So there goes that "argument."

Anyway, Americans have already elected a rapist and a coke-snorter, so the moral requirements for the job are pretty much as low as they can be.

tcrosse said...

"Here's a clue: freedom and democracy depend on our disinhibition."

Democracy dies in inhibition.

Leland said...

So far, her platform and campaign reminds me of the Wendy Davis gubernatorial contest. She carefully says what her base wants to hear, but she hasn't given any reason why she is uniquely qualified to deliver where others are not. And then she has a history of using men to achieve some professional goals.

Mrs. X said...

I was always for legalization, but having seen a family member nearly destroy his life hanging out in his apartment stoned, flunking out of college, not getting a job, parents ultimately sent him to rehab and spent thousands to try to remedy the problem (results still uncertain), I'm no longer sure what legalization will do except make it easier for more young people to follow a similar path. On the other hand, prison? That seems too harsh. It's a difficult issue--and a more difficult one than I realized prior to this personal experience. That being said, what good is disinhibition if it means you're disinhibited regarding the shame you might otherwise feel about not pursuing a productive life?

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Marijuana-- It Sparks Joy !

Opium is the Religion of the Masses

AZ Bob said...

Opium is the Religion of the Masses

Brilliant.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

@AZ Bob
Hey!Iit's always 4:20 somewhere!
How's the weather out there??

Hagar said...

Everybody gave Ibsen medals. He was very famous in his time.

Fen said...

"That is why I believe in mandatory martial arts training in public school. If he grabbed me by the ..., he'd be blooded and battered."

You misunderstood. Trump was referring to the certain type of woman who will LET YOU do whatever you want with her body in exchange for a chance to marry your bank account.

Most of us who grew up wealthy knew exactly the kind of gold-digging celebrity groupie whores he was talking about.

For instance, I grew up dating women WAY out of my league - we're talking SI Swimsuit Model babes - and it had nothing to do with my looks or "winning" personslity. And yes, they surrendered their bodies to whatever perversion I could imagine.

But you want to clutch your pearls and pretend you've never heard a girl remark that her ideal man is "6 foot and 6 figures" ?

You aren't fooling anyone. It's simply more fake outrage from someone who's principles are situational.






Known Unknown said...

I support the legalization of all drugs.

pacwest said...

"Here's a clue: freedom and democracy depend on our disinhibition."

That's an idiotic statement. Our social fabric depends on our inhibitions. Shaping them is the purpose and basis of religion and government.


BJM said...

These are truly stupid times.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

wait-- are we still on this whole "blackface" thing??

Lighten up, people !

Dave Begley said...

Question: We have stick DUI laws in America. Do we have Driving While Stoned laws?

rcocean said...

How much longer before the SCOTUS finds we have a constitutional right to smoke weed?

And if MJ makes us happy. what about Heroin, LSD,Opiates and Cocaine?

There's a whole of lot of happiness in those drugs too.

rcocean said...

Corporations are putting pressure on legislatures to legalize MJ. There's a lot of $$$ to be made. A lot of rich guys know the suckers out there will empty their pockets for a little drug happiness.

Big Business wants you to smoke Marijuana. Pretty soon will have studies showing it helps reduce your cholesterol.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

ok so wait-- blackface is ok if you're stoned?

mockturtle said...

Rcocean asks: And if MJ makes us happy. what about Heroin, LSD,Opiates and Cocaine?

There's a whole of lot of happiness in those drugs too.


Not meth, though. I've never seen a happy tweeker.

BJM said...

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...
ok so wait-- blackface is ok if you're stoned?

No, blackface is okay if you are a Democrat Pol or official, to wit: the VA clown show.

Known Unknown said...

Do we have Driving While Stoned laws?

Aren't they the same as DUI laws?

Known Unknown said...

" was always for legalization, but having seen a family member nearly destroy his life hanging out in his apartment stoned, flunking out of college, not getting a job, parents ultimately sent him to rehab and spent thousands to try to remedy the problem (results still uncertain)"

All of this happened while the drug was illegal? So the law was completely ineffective?

Gk1 said...

I dunno, the preachiest, most intolerant people in the bay area are huge pot heads. They would be the first ones to key your car if it had a trump sticker on it. I chalk up pot users as having poor self control and emotional stunting that lock them into being perpetual teenagers. I'm glad pot convictions no longer mar people's lives but there are also trade offs.

BJM said...

Amadeus 48 said...
Think of the tax revenue.

Welp that hasn't panned out in California where the tax revenues are far lower and coming in slower than expected/planned. You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh at another of Moonbeam's boondoggles.

Apparently, formly illegal growers haven't raced to become legit businessmen declaring their income. More bad luck I assume?

*Snert*

Ken B said...

These things are not blackface. Blackface is much more specific. Coal miners getting dirty isn’t blackface. Mary Poppins isn’t blackface. I don’t think wearing makeup to look like Michael Jackson at a costume party is blackface either. Olivier in make up for Othello is not blackface. Al Jolson is blackface. THIS https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface#/media/File%3AMinstrel_PosterBillyVanWare_edit.jpg is blackface. Blackface is about derision.

There is an attempt to say white people are not worthy of a temporarily dark color, not worthy of even being seen through a darkened lens. That is why the thing about Mary Poppins and coal miners and this.

Ken B said...

Recently I saw a woman attacked for blackface for her own skin! She had a tan. But she was not *entitled* to that tan!

rcocean said...

Dumbos never look ahead. MJ Dumbo's can't even look past tomorrow.

Once MJ becomes legalized, it will become Big Business.- just like Beer and Cigarettes.

Look for Pot commercials during the Superbowl in 5 years.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Ibsen wore the medals to remind himself of his obligation, because of his reputation and influence, to maintain his dignity and decorum in public, particularly among younger wild kids who need to be shown what dignity and decorum are, and why they are important to keeping a civil society.

Gk1 said...

In Norcal over christmas I had visited a new legal weed store and they look like modern, Apple stores. Very clean, nice lighting and display case layouts. They offer many exotic blends and hybrids. My friends who smoke, complain the prices are high and they would much prefer to still buy from their original dealers as it's cheaper. One advantage legal weed does have is you can have it delivered to your home 24/7. I bet there are a lot of new users who will pay the marked up prices for that.

Tom said...

Since our bodies have receptors built in for THC and CBD, I’d say that Marijuana is part of our ancestral diet and it should be immoral refuse people to grow their proper diet.

Btw, Trump will come out for legalization prior to the 2020 election, neutralizing it as a campaign issue.

Gahrie said...

Welp that hasn't panned out in California where the tax revenues are far lower and coming in slower than expected/planned. You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh at another of Moonbeam's boondoggles.

Apparently, formly illegal growers haven't raced to become legit businessmen declaring their income. More bad luck I assume?


Many local communities are making it as difficult as possible to open store front dispensaries, and only allow delivery services. Banks are also refusing to do business with them. many are convinced that the local pols are busy setting up pay to play deals and want to keep the field clear.

Mrs. X said...

“All of this happened while the drug was illegal? So the law was completely ineffective?”

Yes, but I don’t see how legalizing it would help this, or similar, situations. Legalization would make getting weed easier/less stigmatized, which, for those with addictive personalities, isn’t a good thing. Illegality might be a deterrent for some, though clearly not for the family member I described. As I said I don’t think it’s a problem with a simple solution.

stlcdr said...

Maybe the dispensaries should track who buys what and how much. Just like cold medicine.

Alcohol is also all joy. Until it isn’t.

Smoking is all about joy. Until it isn’t.

MayBee said...

bagoh20 said...
Gateway drugs? I think the addiction we need to worry about starts with city council, prosecutor, or local government positions.


Ha!

MayBee said...

I do think if we legalize pot- and even if we don't- we need to get plans to help people who are addicted.
And then we need to stop making it impossible for people who had some addiction related sentence to get work again.

We need to stop being this society that is both sending out the social message "be free/anything goes", and then being so incredibly punitive.
(I just finished listening to Jon Ronson's The Butterfly Effect and I am once again riled up about things like the Sex Offender Registry).

Char Char Binks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.