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Last Friday, I tagged along with a friend to a community center/Methodist Church in Hollywood for a documentary screening and panel discussion about California’s marijuana legalization movement. The film was a continuous stream of talking heads—interviews with aging hippies, baby-boomer marijuana patients suffering from cancer, former drug addicts, inmates, a few policy wonks, mystical Ibogaine practitioners and a bunch of assorted lefties and new agers involved in the marijuana legalization movement. All in all, it was a predictable set of people, and people in the audience seemed to be of the same activist demographic. But when the lights were turned on and people started talking, a cold chill ran down my spine: it was as if everyone around me had suddenly turned into a libertarian.There were a bunch of them in the audience, including a quiet, mousy intern from Antiwar.com and her hippy bohemian writer chick friend who had been recently been converted to libertarianism, who admitted that she thought libertarianism was “really cool,” as people stood outside on the stairs and passed around a joint. The panel of experts was also stacked with libertarians, including a retired libertarian judge from rightwing Orange County who shared the stage with pot activists spewing new age gibberish about a “spiritual evolution” putting an end to the War on Drugs. New age stoners, crusty lefties and wonky progressives getting along with free-market extremists? Yes, sir. They were on the same team—and proud of it. They had risen above “mere” politics and put aside “petty” ideological differences to engage in a nonpartisan effort for the greater good of Gaia…or something like that.I knew that libertarians have come to dominate the drug legalization movement, but I had never seen the spectacle up close and personal. And what I saw was deeply disturbing. Because from where I sat, it didn’t look like bipartisanship in action: it looked like a straight up con and a perfect example of how America’s oligarchy infiltrate the gullible leftie ranks and bootstrap liberal/progressive issues to the freemarket/anti-regulation cause.
Glittersnatch would be a rather unfortunate condition, if a halfway decent troll name.
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Essentially, the "libertarian" position on the drug war, as talked about by the self-identified libertarians (read: former Republicans) in the article was not that "people shouldn't be thrown in jail for smoking pot" but "the states should have control of the drug war".However, the presentation of their opposition takes the former form, because that is more politically expedient for drawing lefties and liberals into the ranks - and then hitting them with a good dose of "free-market" propaganda while they are there.