Emmett Tyrrell

Teddy's devotion to immigration relaxation is a variation of one of my prized discoveries regarding the left. I used to call them liberals, but with the advent of President Barack Obama liberalism is dead, having been replaced by what we call the left. Both defunct liberalism and the left have always been devoted to only one unchanging principle, disturbing one's neighbor. They are not for freedom. They are not for order. The left is for disturbing the peace, and Teddy did a lot of hell-raising in his day. Sometimes it involved "reform." Sometimes, it entailed just hell-raising. I shall not elaborate. This is a family-friendly organ of opinion.

Perhaps you have wondered of late about the national movement to legalize marijuana. It comes on the heels of a vast national movement to eliminate from daily life an addiction that was widely practiced, though it endangered no one other than occasional smokers, namely tobacco. Incidentally, the legalization of marijuana also comes amid a prohibition movement that has gone mostly unnoticed, the modern-day prohibition of alcohol. The legal limit of blood-alcohol allowed while driving is usually 0.08 percent in the states. Now the National Transportation Safety Board recommends that the states cut it by more than a third, to 0.05 percent. Can total prohibition be far behind?

At any rate the government's war against tobacco continues even as the left and a few libertarians make great gains for legalizing marijuana. This, despite the fact that marijuana bears the same peril as tobacco -- lung problems, cancer, immunological problems -- and other problems of which marijuana has never been accused. I have in mind psychosis and other psychological problems, impaired learning and the interference with memory, perceptions and judgment. For that matter, the perils of marijuana are not unlike alcohol: car accidents and workplace incidents.

Why then are we in a mad dash to legalize marijuana and to proscribe tobacco and booze. If only the Lion of the Senate were alive we could ask him. Maybe it has to do with some mythical little Irish boy who never had a chance to stink up a room with "weed."

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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