As the Daily Caller (who originally posted the video) reports:
Buchanan discussed legalization with John McLaughlin during Saturday’s “The McLaughlin Group,” with McLaughlin asking whether “the era of pot prohibition is coming to an end.”
“I think it is, to a degree, coming to an end, which means there will be more potheads, and more high school dropouts and more automobile accidents involving marijuana, John,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that there’s a real trend in this country, a deeply libertarian trend,” he said. “On the left, it favors same-sex marriage, gambling, even prostitution legalization — all of these things which used to be considered vices, and because of the revenue involved and the beliefs that individuals should have autonomy.”
“And on the right there’s a libertarianism as well,” he continued, “where everybody has to have his AR-15 rifle and its 30-round clip. But this is the sentiment in the country, i think, sort of a decline of community and the rise of the idea of the autonomous and privileged self. This is a trend and its going to continue.”
As much as I hate to disagree with Pat Buchanan, whom I genuinely respect, he doesn’t seem to have a coherent social philosophy.
Didn’t pot use grow under “the era of pot prohibition”? So isn’t Buchanan’s cause-and-effect scenario exactly the reverse? We don’t know the future. We don’t know whether or not pot use will increase. But we do know that “more potheads” led to “the end of pot prohibition”—at least in Colorado and Washington State.
And if people are too stupid to avoid using a vehicle while high, why would they be smart enough to be deterred by laws and punishments?
It is telling that Buchanan thinks that the rights enshrined in the Second Amendment are just as “libertarian” and “self”-ish as the decriminalization of marijuana. Those gun rights are as old as the Republic, so how can their exercise mean “the decline of community”?
In the Bible, while I don’t see any justification for substance prohibition, I see plenty for the prohibition of sex between to consenting adults who are not married to one another. That Biblical wisdom has been rejected by our political order for many years. Sad but true. Does that mean that Christians assume that sexual immorality will only increase?
No. They don’t assume that at all. They assume people are responsible for their actions and try to explain to them the sin and risks involved in sexual immorality. I have never in my life heard a Christian say, “well, since sex outside of marriage is not going to be criminalized next year, therefore we can be certain that there will be an increase in sex outside of marriage next year.
Just because something is not officially criminal (even when it should be) does not mean people will do it. If we can trust people to run their own lives with dangerous items such as cars and gasoline, with minimal training and no background check, then we can expect them to be rational about the risks of marijuana. Even if it should be illegal, we don’t need to act as if its legality inevitably means some kind of drug-use meltdown.
One comment about the high school dropout rate, which Buchanan predicted will rise. Is Buchanan steering us away from the real problem? In Soviet Russia vodka abuse was notoriously wide-spread. Did that prove the danger of vodka or the nightmare nature of the communist regime? I think a similar question needs to be asked about our so-called education system in many areas of the country.
If anything, I think drug laws are causing are causing a decline of community. Is resistance to molestation and humiliation by police and doctors really some unhealthy obsession with the “privileged self”? Obviously it is possible to oppose marijuana prohibition and still oppose these horrific police state tactics. But it is just as likely that many Colorado voters are not themselves potheads, but don’t want to see an expansion of that police state.