Cory Booker's big idea for achieving racial equality: More black youths smoking pot

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday August 10th, 2017

Just what black America needs. Thanks, Cory.

It's a brave new world, I realize. Maybe given the current state of our culture, this is his ticket to the White House.

The pursuers of "equality" are bizarrely unconcerned with the level at which the equality occurs, as long as it occurs somewhere. If we're all equally miserable, or sick, or despondent, or drug-addled . . . hey, as long as it's equal!

Booker is bothered by the fact that so many black people are getting busted on marijuana charges. Now, if you were really concerned with the well-being of black people, the part of that equation that would bother you is the drug use. When so many in your community are born into generational poverty, the last thing you need is to set yourself further back by getting stone when you should be working to overcome the challenges you already face. Don't compound your challenge by adding self-inflicted problems to the ones you've faced since birth.

But Booker doesn't see it that way. He just wants to find a way to make things equal, so why not force the police to back off and let black youth smoke all the pot they want? That way, they won't get arrested, and their not-being-arrested experience will be closer to equal with their white counterparts. They'll still be in a drug-induced stupor, but what does Cory care?

Cory Booker, New Jersey’s ambitious junior senator, has gone to pot. Last week the Democrat introduced a bill that would legalize marijuana at the federal level while withholding funds from states that don’t legalize it and that disproportionately incarcerate “low-income individuals and people of color for marijuana-related offenses.”

The legislation may help Mr. Booker burnish his image with progressives if he runs for president in 2020, but it almost certainly is going nowhere. Republicans control Congress, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a drug warrior, which is one reason President Trump put him in charge of the Justice Department. Nevertheless, Mr. Booker’s arguments for drug legalization are worth considering because they represent a large and growing consensus. Support for marijuana legalization has nearly doubled to 60% since 2000, according to a 2016 Gallup survey. Even 42% of Republicans support legalization.

In his Facebook posts promoting the bill, Mr. Booker cites some of the more common rationales put forward by proponents of pot legalization, including racial disparities in drug arrests and prisons teeming with “nonviolent” offenders that drain state budgets. “In the United States today, black people are almost four times more likely than their white counterparts to be arrested for marijuana use or possession,” writes the senator. “This is the right thing to do for public safety, and will help reduce our overflowing prison population.”

Author Jason Riley goes on to point out what we've often discussed here: Almost no one is doing hard time for marijuana possession. If you get sentenced to a lengthy prison term, it's either for large-scale dealing or for some other violent crime. You would barely dent the prison population by legalizing pot.

Ironically (then again, maybe not), racial disparity in pot arrests has increased in Colorado since "recreational" use was legalized in 2012. How? Because there is still a legal age limit, and now that adults can toke up without legal sanction, underage stoners are the ones getting busted. And black youths are getting busted at a much higher rate than whites.

Yes, that's a problem, but as usual Booker is looking at it backwards. Contrary to much of what you read in today's culture (and no doubt in the comment section below), smoking marijuana messes you up. It's been credibly linked to brain damage, psychosis and a higher likelihood of poverty. Yes, I realize alcohol is legal and that represents an incongruity in the law. I don't care about the incongruity. I care about people. Don't drink. It's a bad thing to do. Don't smoke pot. It's a bad thing to do. Do good, smart, responsible things instead and you will do well in life.

GDP growth for Obama's final year? A measly 1.6 percent

Or listen to Cory Booker, who wants you to think your biggest problem is not that you addle your brain with marijuana smoke, but that you might be more likely than a white stoner to get arrested. That is not your problem. Your problem is that you value "recreation" via a toxic chemical more than you value doing responsible things and building a future for yourself.

And black people? Cory Booker thinks you will vote for him if he makes it easier for you and your kids to continue getting stoned.

Is he right about that?

Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!