Republican Presidential Candidate Dr. Ben Carson States To Glenn Beck That He Is Still Against Marijuana Legalization
If you have read my little bio blurb at the bottom of my articles, then you are aware that I have a degree in public policy. I have always been interested in politics, and Presidential election year cycles are like the poly sci nerd Olympics to me. There is something about the campaign battle that gets me excited. Admittedly, I look at campaigns differently than most people because I don't get as attached to candidates as easily as most people it seems.
On the Republican side, businessman Donald Trump has led in the polls for quite sometime. That make some people shocked, some people sad, and regardless of how I feel about Donald Trump as a person, I found it fascinating that he could hold the top position in GOP Presidential candidate polls for so long without throwing out too many actual policy positions. Those days may be numbered though, because all the recent polls I've seen shows retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson in the lead.
Dr. Carson has never been elected to public office. Whenever there is someone new atop the polls, I think it's very natural for cannabis consumers, reformers, and industry members to ask the obvious question, 'How does the candidate feel about marijuana policy?' That could also just as easily be the question of, 'How does the candidate feel about the war on drugs?' So how does Ben Carson feel about marijuana policy, and the larger war on drugs? To answer that question, I give you an excerpt from an interview that Dr. Carson did recently with conservative media member Glenn Beck, via The Atlantic:
Glenn Beck: Do you continue the War on Drugs?
Ben Carson: Absolutely.
Beck: You do?
Carson: I intensify it.
Beck: Let me ask you a question. I mean, it doesn't seem to be working now.
Carson: Yeah, well, go down to the border in Arizona like I was a few weeks ago. I mean, it's an open highway. And the federal government isn't doing anything to stop it.
Beck: Okay. Legalize marijuana?
Carson: I disagree with it.
Poll after poll shows that a growing number of Americans want the drug war to be replaced with a public policy that isn't such a failure. Americans feel that the war on drugs has been an absolute failure, and it doesn't take much research to hammer home that point. The math is clear, the war on drugs has failed. The money that has been spent on the war on drugs has grown exponentially over time, yet consumption rates have remained the same. So why does Dr. Carson want to 'intensify' it?
Ben Carson has made many comments in the past about marijuana policy. The always hardworking activist Tom Angell wrote an article on Marijuana.Com that lists many of them, in addition to marijuana policy positions taken by the other candidates (some of which have dropped out since the article was published in April). Below are a couple of quotes pulled from that article. I strongly urge you to check out the whole article though, it's the most comprehensive article on the internet in regards to the candidates and how they feel about marijuana:
Similarly, he told Fox News that, "I think medical use of marijuana in compassionate cases certainly has been proven to be useful." But he went on to say that "marijuana is what's known as a gateway drug. It tends to be a starter drug for people who move onto heavier duty drugs -- sometimes legal, sometimes illegal -- and I don't think this is something that we really want for our society. You know, we're gradually just removing all the barriers to hedonistic activity."
Carson has also argued that marijuana use has long-term consequences. "We have known for a long time that people who engage in such activities can have flashbacks months and years after usage, that a lot of their abilities can be impaired at the time of use," he told NewsMax TV. "So why would we throw into the mix something else that can impair people? We have enough impaired people already."
Carson doesn't think the federal government should let states implement legalization without interference. "Regular exposure to marijuana in the developing brain has been demonstrated definitively to result in decreased IQ. And the last thing we need is a bunch of people running around with decreased IQ," he said at a press conference in Denver.
On the off chance that Dr. Carson ever reads this article, I'd like to point out that even the person that coined the term 'gateway drug' doesn't believe that marijuana is truly a gateway drug anymore. Her research says that nicotine, and not marijuana, is more of a gateway drug for youth. Also, on that whole 'marijuana flashback thing,' I have been consuming marijuana for a long time (over two decades), and I've posted well over 10,000 articles about marijuana on this blog in the last six years, and fielded who knows how many e-mails, and I've never heard of someone having a marijuana flashback. I would LOVE to see some evidence to back up what Dr. Carson is talking about. And finally, marijuana does not hurt people's brains like Dr. Carson claims. For a GREAT article on that, click this link here.