The Democrats’ last drug warrior and America’s leading anti-vaper makes insincere paeans to dispassionate analysis while defending his nanny-state illiberalism during the presidential debate
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during Tuesday night’s presidential debate in South Carolina twice stressed the importance of basing policy on good “science,” while defending his idiosyncratically intrusive approach to public health. It is lamentable, though not at this late stage surprising, that the 78-year-old billionaire continues to not let facts get in the way of his passion for limiting Americans’ choices.
Bloomberg, who bragged during his first campaign that he “enjoyed” smoking pot then promptly turned Gotham into the marijuana arrest capital of the world, was asked by CBS News anchor Gayle King about his now-atypical prohibitionist stance, particularly since he has previously (in King’s paraphrasing) “called marijuana another addictive drug that we’ve never done research on.”
“Look, the first thing you do is we should not make this a criminal thing if you have a small amount. For dealers, yes, but for the average person, no, and you should expunge the records of those that got caught up in this before,” Bloomberg said. Then: “We’re not going to take it away from states that have already done it.”
As Jacob Sullum has noted in these pages, this position, while better than the one Bloomberg staked out during his three mayoral terms, is fundamentally incoherent, since “as long as producing and distributing cannabis remain illegal, of course, the government will still be ‘putting people in jail for marijuana’….If people should not be arrested for marijuana use, as Bloomberg now claims to believe, it is hard to see why people should be arrested merely for facilitating marijuana use.”
Matt Welch – Reason – 2020-02-26.