By Erik Altieri
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the primary sponsor of HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, appeared on ‘This Week with Christiane Amanpour’ on ABC with fellow guests George Will of the Washington Post and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
The conversation found its way to marijuana legalization which led to Barney Frank calling out the hypocrisy of most of his conservative colleagues.
“It’s a great embarrassment to the conservatives,” said Frank, “They want to tell people who they can have sex with. Come on, all this is big government! Who can I have sex with? Who can I marry? What can I read? What can I smoke? You guys, on the whole – not all of you – but the conservatives are the ones who intrude on personal liberty there.”
The debate got heated between Frank and George Will. “I mean, personal liberty, if someone wants to smoke marijuana who’s an adult, why do you want to make them go to jail?” Frank questioned.
“I need to know more about whether it’s a gateway drug to other drugs, I need to know how you’re going to regulate it,” George Will replied.
“Anything is a gateway to anything,” Representative Frank shot back, “That’s the slippery slope argument which is a very anti-libertarian argument. The fact that if somebody is doing something that’s not in itself wrong, that it might lead later on to something else then stop the something else. Don’t lock them up for smoking marijuana.”
Will defended himself claiming, “What you’re calling a cop-out, I’m calling a quest for information.”
“How long’s it going to last, George?” Frank asked, “We’ve been doing this for decades.”
Watch the clip below:
From The NORML Blog