Ten Miles Square


March 21, 2013 9:01 AM The Wrong Question People Always Ask about Marijuana Legalization

By Mark Kleiman

You won’t see the lead-in with the Cheech & Chong references, but I think – without being excessively grim – I managed to convert what was supposed to be ha-ha-meet-the-pot-czar segment into a little bit of a teaching opportunity.

The question about my own use or non-use of pot always comes up, and I always answer the same way, with a polite (I hope) “None of your business.” I don’t think there’s any ill will involved in asking the question: journalists simply want to “place” their sources culturally on the hippie-to-jock spectrum. But I want to resist the whole idea that drug policy should be a clash of cultural identities rather than a serious discussion of harms and benefits.

[Originally posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the University of California Los Angeles.


  • publius bolonius on March 22, 2013 11:30 AM:

    It is also helpful if proper names are used instead of street slang. So pot, weed, dank, grass, even marijuana, are out - cannabis is in. Lose the hippie talk.

  • lou on March 22, 2013 2:38 PM:

    publius, yo bro, yur dating yurself dude, its seensay, comprende? Lose the non sense.

  • jhm on March 22, 2013 3:38 PM:

    Especially annoying in the states (like the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where I live), which have approved medical use only, is the complete lack of acknowledgement of the existence of vaporizers. There is the ubiquitous footage of mondo tokage, which definitely seems ill placed vis-a-vis medical topics, but no showing the more clinical vaporizer use among actual patients.

  • Neildsmith on March 22, 2013 10:20 PM:

    Smoking tobacco or anything is a dirty, nasty, disgusting habit. You stink and are repulsive when you smoke.