William F. Buckley, Jr. Quote

“Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”

~ William F. Buckley, Jr.

Ratings and Comments

Dr S Bowskill, Newcastle Australia

Hydroponic dope great cause of schitzophrenia. it might not kick you door in but those who have graduated on fromit may well do so

Joe, Rochester, MI

It causes schitzophrenia? People "graduate" to other drugs? Nonesense! Statistics do NOT show that. Fact: the anti-drug program DARE has increased drug use among our teens. This government propoganda is emotionally driven to create fear, control people, and remove their freedom of choice. Fact: marijuana is less harmful than cigarettes or alcohol, and is proven to control pain in cancer patients.

E Archer, NYC

More people die from prescription drugs than all illegal drugs combined. The Columbine shootings were done by kids on government-mandated ADD drugs. More rights have been lost due to the drug war than any other cause. There is not a single documented case of death due to marijuana use -- find one, if you do not believe it. Prohibition does not work -- except for the politicians, the police, and the lawyers. You cannot seize a murderer's house, car and bank account, but you can seize them from a guy smoking a joint in his own home. Talk about a perversion of justice -- it is a witch hunt with huge payoffs. The sovereignty of the States is also compromised as the federal government extends its reach beyond inter-state commerce and into every one's homes, bank accounts, phone calls, emails, web sites visited, products purchased, cars searched, pockets emptied, and on and on -- and don't forget the 2 million plus Americans behind bars -- most of whom are non-white or poor. The US now imprisons more people per capita than any other country in the world including China. 75% of inmates are non-violent drug offenders. If drugs were decriminalized, the drug war would be over, thousands of policemen would be out of work, and the drug companies would lose billions in lost revenue to plants that people can grow themselves. It is no secret that the Bush family has been running cocaine for decades through Central America (they got rid of Noriega when he got too greedy). SO get off your high horse and let your fellows smoke, drink, or eat what they want. This is a war about money not morals. The honorable thing is to let people make their own choices and take responsibility for those choices -- this is not a privilege but a right!

Mike, Norwalk

The quote attempts to legitimize marijuana by ultimately making it the lesser of two evils. That still makes marijuana evil. I have good friends that I have grown up with who have used marijuana regularly from their youth; their speech and physical mobility are slurred and lethargic because of it. In the case of my friends, marijuana retarted great talents. The founders new of substance abuse (alcohol) and chose to keep it away from federal jurisdiction (see 9th & 10th Amendments) Marijuana is a State issue, for good or evil.

Robert, Sarasota

Well done Archer...

E Archer, NYC

Mike, there are millions of marijuana smokers in America. They include doctors, lawyers, judges, presidents, writers of all kinds, philosophers, ministers, ... all walks of life. Yes, there are a few burn outs like some alcoholics I know. My guess is that the guys you refer to probably have taken other drugs too that have made them lethargic. Never-the-less, the majority of marijuana smokers are contributing members of society that thumb their noses to political hypocrisy. And we punish them severely for that honor.

Mike, Norwalk
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Mike, Norwalk E Archer, NYC 10/17/18

Archer, my comment here sounds more negative on the subject than I really am. I also have close friends that have not only used it recreationally but medically (to great success I might add). Marijuana, like anything else has good and bad effects on different persons  flippantly, I might even say like broccoli has. I didn't do a good job of describing my full meaning. Marijuana is first an individual sovereign's issue  like anything else, then has a place in de jure representative forms of representation at a State level (age appropriate?, if causes harm to innocent third party while under the influence?, etc.). It is not licitly a federal issue on any level. 

Elizabeth, Los Angeles

An important point here is who is making this observation--Buckley! It is one area in which he applies his thinking broadly and departs from the established conservative stance that his consituency subscribes to.

A HREF="http://www.myegotimes.com/" title="  " target="_tab", Vancouver, GVRD(Paine Cnty), Coastal Lwr Mainland BC(State of Neo Sumer), U.S. of Eh!

He's wrong and it shows a great amount of ignorance in regards to how it forces someone else's habit on those who chose not to have it. I should not be fumed by some antisocial twit because he thinks freedom means stomping on mine to get it.

David L. Rosenthal

If you want to smoke, drink, and eat whatever you want, move to a country where people do not care what you smoke, drink, or eat. Or otherwise, change the laws of this country. To accomplish this with such a majority as you must enjoy, being in the right, as you claim, should be easy and simple. Or you could find a religion that teaches to use marijuana and become a member. Then you could practice that religion and destroy yourself. Oh, you already have? Nevermind.

E Archer, NYC

Yes, David, just expel those who do not share your puritanical views. You ignore the real issue -- the usurpation of government. One by one States are decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana, but Washington, D.C. does not respect the will of the voters and is still imprisoning sick and dying patients who have a legal right to grow, possess, and ingest marijuana. Even the Oakland City Council has taken up growing and distributing marijuana so that they can better fight the illegal and unconstitutional federal authorities who continue to ignore the will of the People. Don't worry, David, I am not going anywhere, and before my time is done marijuana prohibition will be gone. I only hope your kids get caught with pot one day so that you can see how ludicrous the system is and all the stops you will pull out to keep them out of jail.

Mike, Norwalk

Archer, after reading my little didly, it read some what different than my feelings or thoughts. The one friend I referenced won't touch anything but marijuana and an occasional beer, his attributes are stunted nonetheless. My point was that even though marijuana is more harmful than its proponents claim, its personal use is still a matter of right and the largest political body that has authority to address the effects of its use is the State. I do believe severe penalties should be inflicted upon those that place undue pressure on others to partake, on those under the influence that impose on the rights of others and upon those that sell it to children.

E Archer, NYC

Understood, Mike. There are a great many dangers, cons and temptations in this world -- some of which have dire consequences -- like jumping off a cliff into a mountain lake or driving your car in Boston. Life is full of risks -- it still amazes me that we make it to age 20 with (most of) our fingers! And all of us who raise children know what mistakes we want our children to avoid. But in the end they will be on their own without our supervision and will have to rely on their own wits and good sense. Government makes a poor parent. What will a free man do with his freedom? If experience be any guide, there will always be someone who indentures himself yet again and voluntarily forges his own chains. I have a tremendous respect for an addict who has conquered his dependency and is yet free again. You cannot protect a man from himself without turning him into a slave.

David L. Rosenthal

Does this mean that you would not prohibit the use of any substance? Are you willing to prohibit any type of behavior at all? What, and why? Or is everything acceptable to you?

Mike, Norwalk

I agree with everything Archer has said here. And for David: de jure statutes can never prohibit any type of behavior, it can only define where my rights end and your nose begins which is consistent with what I've written here. Justice is then the entity that corrects the infraction.

David L. Rosenthal

Try English. The law, when it declares something a crime, means to prohibit.

E Archer, NYC

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. (Thoreau)

John Thomas

This is a good quote, but it doesn't belong to Buckley. Buckley was quoting Richard Cowan, ex-director of NORML. See: http://www.marijuananews.com/... Seventh paragraph down.

John Thomas

Better yet, see Buckley's article where he gives credit to Cowan here: http://www.marijuananews.com/...

bea hickey, butler

The Government should legalize marijuana. I have not heard a negative except for the punishment of using.

Kristen, Magnolia

I think what E Archer said first is exactly correct. Marijuana is used for lots of things. When it first came around and was't illegal it was used to help people go to sleep. And I have never heard one story of a man beating his wife and kids because he was on marijuana. You only hear stories like that about alcohol. Marijuana is much safer and the side effects are much less worse then alcohol. Very very nice quote.

Tim, Maui
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    Tim, Maui    2/27/08

    When they legalized 18 year-old alcohol sales in 1970, there was carnage on the highway for 12 years until they changed the laws back to 21. Legally stoned drivers would be a nightmare for law enforcement and the public. That people seem to need intoxicants is such a pity and that peer pressure reinforces their use is another shame. If only it would be cool to be straight, people could save so much money and grief. Listen to someone speak who is drunk or stoned to hear the damage done. It's all bad. The old argument between drugs or alcohol is empty logic.

    John Thomas, Atlanta

    Tim from Maui --- Most people who would consume marijuana after legalization, already do so. 100 million Americans have smoked pot. It's as American as apple pie. -- With all this experience with all these consumers, we have seen marijuana is not a significant cause of auto accidents. Marijuana is NOT alcohol. Studies have shown marijuana is less intoxicating and less impairing than alcohol. More importantly, they have also shown that while alcohol drinkers think they are better drivers, thus driving faster and more aggressively, marijuana consumers prefer not to drive. If they must, they drive slower and more cautiously to compensate. So, there is little to worry about on this score. --- Marijuana is not just an intoxicant. It is considered a mental enhancement. See: http://www.marijuana-uses.com/read.html

    Angie, Lynnwood,WA

    Kristen, I just need to correct you on a small matter of historical accuracy. You say "When it first came around and was't illegal it was used to help people go to sleep." A native of central Asia, cannabis may have been cultivated as long as ten thousand years ago. It was certainly cultivated in China by 4000 B.C. and in Turkestan by 3000 B.C. It has long been used as a medicine in India, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and South America. The first evidence for medicinal use of cannabis is an herbal published during the reign of the Chinese emperor Chen Nung five thousand years ago. Cannabis was recommended for malaria, constipation, rheumatic pains, absentmindedness, and female disorders. Another Chinese herbal recommended a mixture of hemp, resin, and wine as an analgesic during surgery. In India cannabis has been recommended to quicken the mind, lower fevers, induce sleep, cure dysentery, stimulate appetite, improve digestion, relieve headaches, and cure venereal disease. In Africa it was used for dysentery, malaria, and other fevers. In the United States it has only been prohibited since the 1930s, and many of our nation's founders grew hemp for both agricultural and medicinal products. "When it first came around" LOL Thanks of the laugh.

    Phil Thatchet, Derwood, MD

    I have to say I'm loving everything I'm reading here...Look, The Drug War isn't ending anytime soon. And the reason is because EVERYONE is The Big Winner, so long as the War continues...Growers make money, traffickers make money, distributors make money, local governments make money in drug enforcement set-asides...The only loser is the taxpayer, but he has been so hideously indoctrinated by government propaganda that he's happy to foot the bill. If you contrived this system, you couldn't possibly make it any more cynical or ugly. Prohibition in the 30s was not NEARLY as catastrophic a failure as Nixon's War on Drugs we have today.

    Al West, Winchester, UK

    If you oppose marijuana legalisation, then you are an evil human being with no sense. Marijuana will continue to be smoked, no one will die from it, but the police and government will continue to waste money trying to stop them when we could legalise it (freeing up the money used to fight it) and tax it (adding even more money to the pot). You want to half the deficit right now? Legalise and tax marijuana. Pretty simple. And if a conservative chap like Buckley can get on board with the idea, anyone can.

    B.G. Kinanne, Powell

    Drunks cause car crashes get violent and can be over a-holes. Alcohol is the worst drug of all second only to nicotine as far the cost to society. We don't dare ban those. We tax them. Mr. Rosenthal has a typically average, short sided, American view. Know ones has ever died from simply smoking a joint. Both of parents are dead. One from Alcohol, One from nicotine. Mr. Rosenthal needs to get stoned or get a hobby. The funny thing. I DON'T SMOKE POT. I say tax it. Cigarettes are the gateway drug, not pot. My best friend was killed by a drunk driver. If he would have been stoned I doubt he would have been going 90 in a 40 and killed her and himself. The war on drugs is a waste of tax money and criminalizes many people that are just like you and me. Yes, they are people

    Bruski, Naples FL

    Right on!!

    Says it all and it's the truth.

    "And the truth shall make you free"



    George, Rockaway, NJ

    Most definitely a gateway drug. Most who agree with legalization are trying to justify their own weakness.

    jim k, austin tx

    This gateway notion is nonsense. Well, maybe it's a gateway drug to tobacco, a far worse habit. Let people decide what they take into their bodies.

    watchman13, USA

    Laymen are always the most superstitious. There are two things from the beginning of time, the tool box and the medicine cabinet. Most do not have the benefit of a solid foundation of knowledge growing up. Professional parents, Military and Medical, I grew up under. People of faith, Leaders in their field of craft. Tempered with compassion. Color of skin was not an issue. Knowledge, of use, explained when administered. Loyal Doctors at one time pushed away the pill pushers, at their door. But over time, greed won over the younger MD's. Children are always curious, What's in your hand, Dad, Mom ? Well, this is to build son, This to heal or ease the pain or frustration, says Mom. Go get the book, bring it here. Medical library. PDR,s also. In a world of temptation, they guided us with the knowledge of, Who, What, Where, When, How, Why And to what Degree. Seven questions that should be answered very precisely, and a matter of fact. Not fiction or superstition. Being taken in the back door of the hospital, laid on the table, and sown up, or given a shot, or sent home with samples, cast put own. With out a Bill ! We were family. To this day, with out doubt, moderation is the key to good behavior. Facts concerning My faith, under Liberty and Freedom are made very clear in ancient doctrines, But must be taught, and or searched out. Facts Concerning my Understanding of application of medicine, are in the same category. Minds are made weak through withholding knowledge. The far right in politics, play upon these principals as does the left. Knowledge is power, understanding is strength. Educate and set free, the bird leaves the nest. Love them with all honesty and teach them the whole truth. If my child runs away or my animal. I do not scold them when they return, but with open arms receive them. The more organic in nature, the med, the safer in side affect. Passiveness is a good side effect, for restless minds, caught in, not knowing. But moderation, tempered with activity while being taught good knowledge, and understanding, makes one, to teach the next. Compassion for the patient and your own children, win the respect of, and create a wise teacher and leader.

    L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada

    We are on the verge of making possession of small amounts a misdemeanor in Canada - at the Federal Level. This is going to be done by a Conservative Government; based on the recommendations of the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs. It's interesting to note that when any leniency regarding marijuana laws looms, the largest hew and cry comes from UCCO - Union of Canadian Correctional Officers. Why? Because marijuana laws are a blank cheque, a sure thing to bring more people into their system, virtually guaranteeing continued employment.

    watchman13, USA

    Great observation Mr. Hanson. We do not hire, to police the conduct of responsible citizens. We trust in our common sense, to police that which is out of their control. ! Watching out for your neighbor !! On point !! This misdemeanor is of correction of the responsible parent or guardian. I am glad for your response. It brings to light these problems, concerning ones own control of the situation. We can employ for better purposes, than administering Indian remedies to up set tummies and troubled or restless minds. This, the conduct of control and delegation of responsibility brings, about to weightier matters. Keeping the guard where you want them, and not they telling, you what to do !!! Done with gravity and authority. !! This has to be done with an adults point of view ! Not for compromise but with conviction of authority !! Bringing stability of presence, and leadership to focus !! God Bless your leadership, with all Blessings from above. Our Creator, the God of Nature. And just me, watchman 13, down the hill a little bit. Ronald Virgil Pittman. Yachats Oregon.

    Mike, Norwalk

    My above comment concerned the attempted justification through comparison. It is an individual sovereign's right to do what ever he so chooses as it does not impale the other guy's proverbial nose. Marijuana also also MANY medical benefits - lawfully, so what ? ! ! The representative servant only has de jure duty to protect the individual sovereign's inalienable right(s). (again, the proverbial, your rights end at my nose)

    E Archer, NYC

    Marijuana is legal in Canada today!  More US States are voting on legalization in November.  Trump has signaled a desire to re-schedule marijuana and let the State governments decide their own regulations.  Mexico is likely to legalize as well.  All the Central American nations are ready to end this war.  Legalize all 'drugs' which are forms of medicine in varying strengths, risks and benefits.  Let people take responsibility for making informed choices.  The real resistance is from those that make money from the racket  lawyers, doctors, police, prisons, officials are all employed by the drug war, not to mention the foreign growers, the distributors, the corrupt cops, officials, and politicians that play a role.  The evils associated with prohibition far exceed the evils of consumption.  It's a racket.

    Michael Bol, Seattle

    it hurts the brain of those 25 and less, other than that, go for it, take your own risks


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