Liberty Commentary

The Statist Media

The Agitator

A couple years ago, I wrote a column arguing that the legacy media isn’t liberal so much as statist. Case in point, yesterday’s lead editorial in USA Today, which denounces the various state ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana.

It isn’t a very convincing or well-argued editorial. (They aren’t necessarily the same.) This part in particular jumped out at me:

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Those who can grow or sell pot legally under state law can be, and have been, busted by the feds. Although the Obama administration ordered a hands-off policy in 2009 for medical marijuana operations in compliance with state laws, there’s no sign that federal drug enforcers would wink at full-blown legalization.

Emphasis mine. The bold passage is of course utter crap. It is factually, provably untrue.  The fact that the USA Today editorial board reiterates the lie tells us two things. First, they’re simply taking the Obama administration at its word, despite abundant evidence that not only has the administration not taken a “hands-off” approach, but it has been more aggressive at shutting down pot dispensaries than President Bush. (Up to four times worse.)

That means they’re either unaware of said abundant evidence, or they are aware of it and have chosen to ignore it. In either case, what does that say about how much credibility we ought to put into what the USA Today editorial board thinks about marijuana?