The Other McCain

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Lenient Drug Policy Yields Bad Result

Posted on | January 3, 2014 | 20 Comments

David Brooks confessed in a New York Times column that he was a high-school stoner, by way of arguing against the legalization of marijuana. One of his erstwhile dope buddies replied with a column recalling how they got away with it in Radnor, Illinois:

[H]ere all along I thought he quit because of that time we got pulled over by the Radnor cops in senior year right after we’d clambaked his Mom’s Vista Cruiser, and first thing the cop does after the smoke clears is look him right in his red, red eyes, and said, “I don’t suppose it would go over so good if I went over to 632 Haverford Road and told Mr and Mrs Brooks their boy was out here with his clique smoking pot.” I was so impressed with the way Dave pulled himself together then. He didn’t beg for mercy or fight with the cop. Somehow he knew exactly how to go all bar mitzvah boy, how to talk to authority, how to flatter and impress and toady, even stoned to the gills, like his inner Eddie Haskell was deeper down than the pot could get. And it worked. The cop let us go, told us we were lucky he knew Dave and that we were white kids from Radnor, and later on, at the pizza house taking care of our munchies, chattering and cackling over our good luck and trying to figure out how Dave and the cop knew each other, busting on him for being a narc, Dave was quiet and pale and barely touched his hoagie, and I think that was the last time he smoked pot, at least with us.

Brooks’s ex-buddy Gary Greenberg is pro-legalization, whereas I think his anecdote proves quite the opposite point: We need a drastic crackdown on teenage dopeheads because if we don’t put these freaks in prison, they might grow up to be David Brooks.



20 Responses to “Lenient Drug Policy Yields Bad Result”

  1. ThomasD
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

    “… they might grow up to be David Brooks.”

    Somehow he knew exactly… …how to talk to authority, how to flatter and impress and toady…

    Clearly, he was born David Brooks.

  2. Dana
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

    My wife is an RN on a pediatric wing, and she has told me, more than once, that she has never seen a case of child abuse — and the cases have to be hospital bad before she sees them — in which drugs and/or alcohol were not involved.

    The vast majority of adults wind up having to care for children at some point in their lives, and a stoned father is no father at all.

  3. Dana
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

    Or, more simply, if you have to f(ornicate) up your brain to have a good time, there’s something really wrong with you.

  4. Finrod Felagund
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

    Precisely. David Brooks was born a toady, he’s spent his entire life as a toady (drugs or no), and when he dies someone will scribble “toady” on his tombstone.

  5. binkless
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

    Radnor Illinois? I think you mean Radnor Pennsylvania – the Main Line is much more David Brooks territory than a suburb of Peoria could ever be.

  6. Zohydro
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

    I look at drug laws rather like the disaster what was Prohibition…

    First, I wonder if drugs were decriminalised, would drug abuse necessarily increase or become more of a problem? And secondly, are drug laws really effective?

    I say let the abusers abuse — Brother Darwin knows his own!

  7. Zohydro
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

    True that!

  8. Rob Crawford
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

    Except the productive would still be expected to support them.

  9. Rob Crawford
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

    Except the productive would still be expected to support them.

  10. Zohydro
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

    Therein lies the real problem…

    Those on the Left promoting legalisation are also staunchly opposed to drug-testing the recipients of the public’s beneficence merely to mitigate the effectiveness of Natural Selection!

  11. richard mcenroe
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

    Much-deserved mockery of David Brooks aside, this actually demonstrates an important point.
    Substance abuse, particularly pot, tends to freeze the emotional and psychological development of the abuser at the age the abuse occurs.
    So Brooks’ uncritical adulation of Barack Obama is perfectly understandable as the reaction of an arrested-development adolescent thrilling to the fact that the coolest person in the room deigned to talk to him.
    The scary part of the growing trend towards pot legalization is that it will lock a sizeable part of this generation into exactly that level of uncritical, impulsive adolescence.

  12. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 2:26 pm

    Hey, I bet RSM did as much dope in his uoooth as young David Brooks did and you do not see him obsessing over Barack Obama’s creases.

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  14. slp
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

    Gary Greenberg now says we are all fools not to recognize his essay as Juvenalian satire.

    Think Progress buys the satire angle.

  15. Quartermaster
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

    The welfare state is why I oppose legalization. If we didn’t have it, or made those with self inflicted problems ineligible, I’d let ’em go at it.

  16. Zohydro
    January 3rd, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

    I was thinking of that old adage about not legislating what one cannot enforce — and I believe drug laws fall into this category…

    To all the waste in supporting and enabling the undeserving with the welfare state, criminalising dope only adds crime to the mix and solves nothing! If feeding a crack whore’s innocent kids also means feeding mum’s bad habit, then maybe the welfare state is a necessary evil…

  17. Steve Skubinna
    January 4th, 2014 @ 1:07 am

    So does Brooks think himself the preppy Hunter S. Thompson then?

  18. NeoWayland
    January 4th, 2014 @ 7:01 am

    Considering that more violent crimes are committed by people under the influence of alcohol, I’d say that the focus is just a wee bit misplaced.

    If the law doesn’t go after someone for having a six pack of beer in the fridge, I can’t really see the justification for using a nearly microscopic flake of cannibas as an excuse to seize someone’s car.

  19. richard mcenroe
    January 4th, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

    The gummint gets more money reselling a car than a 6-pack, but that’s a different crime…

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