One of the problems any life-long politician faces is that sooner or later, old statements and political stances will come back to haunt them. When you’re in the professional ambiguity game, you eventually have to say something concrete enough that it can be viewed as a “stance” on something. Newt Gingrich, being a long time political pro, is in this situation.
Back in 1991, Newt was a Congressman and he introduced some pro-medical cannabis legislation. Today, eyeballing the “conservative cred” he’s going to need to make a serious run for the GOP presidential nomination, the Newter is saying the opposite.
Of course, he has justification for this. He says he’s spoken with a “number of parents” who say “they did not want their children to get the signal from the government that [marijuana smoking] was acceptable behavior.”
Ahh, the age-old appeal to parental instinct. One of the basic fallbacks of politicians everywhere. “It’s for the children!”
Then Newt says something that is.. well, you judge for yourself and see if you have the vocabulary to describe it for what it is:
“..better to send a clear signal on no drug use at the risk of inconveniencing some people, than it was to be compassionate towards a small group at the risk of telling a much larger group that it was okay to use the drug.”
So I guess having cancer and suffering under chemotherapy is an “inconvenience” and that going to war for our nation and then coming home with PTSD is just another “inconvenience” and that it appears that glaucoma, chronic pain, and all the other ailments cannabis is used for are just “inconveniences” that our “compassion” just isn’t worthy of in light of the risk we might have of corrupting our precious progeny.
Yep, Newt has said it. Your medical problems are an inconvenience. The “clear message” that drugs are bad is paramount or we might have a whole generation of kids who view drugs as “good” and therefore abuse them in record numbers..
Like most drug warriors, Newt is oblivious. While he rails against cannabis, he ignores the reality that is all around us: the most-abused drug amongst children is not marijuana, it’s prescription pills. In fact, prescription pain meds are the true “gateway drug” into other, harder dope.
Just turn on the television or take a drive and look at some billboards, Newt. The real drugs of choice for children are being advertised publicly, right out in the open. The TV is rife with Rx advertising and billboards and newspapers are stuffed with ads for alcohol.
By Newt’s logic, we should also outlaw all prescription meds because, obviously, they are corrupting our children and even if we have to inconvenience a few sick people, it will be worth it.
I mean, I’m no Ron Paul at destroying Gengrich’s hypocrisy, but even I can see he’s way out of whack here.