Rep. Barney Frank Educates George Will and Paul Ryan on Marijuana Legalization

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director December 19, 2011

    Barney FrankRep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the primary sponsor of HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, appeared on ‘This Week with Christiane Amanpour’ on ABC with fellow guests George Will of the Washington Post and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

    The conversation found its way to marijuana legalization which led to Barney Frank calling out the hypocrisy of most of his conservative colleagues.

    “It’s a great embarrassment to the conservatives,” said Frank, “They want to tell people who they can have sex with. Come on, all this is big government! Who can I have sex with? Who can I marry? What can I read? What can I smoke? You guys, on the whole — not all of you — but the conservatives are the ones who intrude on personal liberty there.”

    The debate got heated between Frank and George Will. “I mean, personal liberty, if someone wants to smoke marijuana who’s an adult, why do you want to make them go to jail?” Frank questioned.

    “I need to know more about whether it’s a gateway drug to other drugs, I need to know how you’re going to regulate it,” George Will replied.

    “Anything is a gateway to anything,” Representative Frank shot back, “That’s the slippery slope argument which is a very anti-libertarian argument. The fact that if somebody is doing something that’s not in itself wrong, that it might lead later on to something else then stop the something else. Don’t lock them up for smoking marijuana.”

    Will defended himself claiming, “What you’re calling a cop-out, I’m calling a quest for information.”

    “How long’s it going to last, George?” Frank asked, “We’ve been doing this for decades.”

    Watch the clip below:

    You can read more coverage of this story here and here.

    81 responses to “Rep. Barney Frank Educates George Will and Paul Ryan on Marijuana Legalization”

    1. Bhonze says:

      Paul Ryan is whats wrong with the Republicans! They want too much govt. control!

    2. […] NORML Blog, Marijuana Law ReformDid you like this? Share it:TweetBe Sociable, Share! Tweet […]

    3. It’s refreshing to say the least !

    4. Talk while you still can, Barney . Free speech as we know it is ending .Coming will be the end of a lot of things .


    5. bw says:

      Notice Ryan’s attitude on the conversation, and then It’s easy to understand why these debates go nowhere. Let’s change the subject!? This subject is obviously meaningless to those guys. It should be obvious they don’t give any serious thought to this issue.

    6. Evening Bud says:

      Will can’t defend his hypocrisy. He’s the first one to whine about govt intrusion, then turns around and defends govt intrusion. Gateway? How about booze and cigarettes? I have no doubt whatever that Will would scream about govt intrusion if someone proposed outlawing either of those drugs.

    7. E says:

      The subject of marijuana is a joke to these people. Only problem is it’s a huge issue.

    8. Matt says:

      I understand that the vast majority of heroin junkies started out taking aspirin. Perhaps we should ban that gateway drug as well.

      Or, perhaps it’s the fact that in order to get illegal marijuana, you have to go to a dealer of illegal drugs that causes marijuana to “lead to” exposure to hard drugs. Ending the prohibition on marijuana would break that cycle.

    9. G says:

      Well put Matt!