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Last Word — Lord, Help Save us From Out-of-Step Politicians

No one ever said the road to cannabis acceptance would be easy.

Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham pointed out recently that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has decided to lead a fight against legalizing marijuana in the Bay State, and she questions why he’s doing that given that the mayor is also trying to lead Boston’s fractured 2024 Summer Olympics bid.

This is a man with a lot on his plate. Is fighting the rising tide for legal marijuana really worth his time and energy?

Columnist Abraham says “no.”

Here’s how she puts it in the Globe:

 Purely from a policy perspective, it’s the wrong fight to take on.

There are, by some estimates, at least half a million marijuana users in Massachusetts. Keeping pot illegal hasn’t done anything to stanch demand. It’s easy to get, and it’s everywhere; ask any high school or college student. …

The laws we have now are not only ineffective, they’re oh so unevenly applied, with black users targeted way more heavily than white ones — even though the two groups use at the same rate. An ACLU study found that in 2010 — the year after possession of an ounce or less was decriminalized here — black people were four times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession in Massachusetts. …

Inequities like that should stop the mayor of a city that is 25 percent black in his tracks. …

This is a losing battle for Walsh, and not just because he hasn’t got time for it. Legalization is not just inevitable. It’s right.”

Amen to that. It IS a losing battle, but that doesn’t seem to stop hard-headed politicians like Marty Walsh from trying to hold back the tide.

And, here’s another grandstanding political type cut from the same cloth — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Now that the media has awakened and figured out that Christie is more loud-mouthed blowhard than straight-talking statesman, it’s getting hard to listen to him when he gets up on his soap box bleating about what he would do about the state’s marijuana legalization efforts if he were to become president.

Here’s what he said Sunday:

The Republican governor, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said his administration would use federal rules that outlaw marijuana to clamp down on states that legalized recreational pot use.

“Yes sir,” Christie told host John Dickerson when asked whether he’d go after Colorado and Washington.

“If you were president would you return the federal prosecutions in the states of Colorado, Washington states?” Dickerson asked.

“So, if somebody’s enjoying that now in their state, if you’re president, that’s getting turned off?” Dickerson continued.

“Correct,” Christie responded.

“Yes,” Christie said.”

Although I admire politicians who take principled positions, but Christie’s position is hardly that. It’s simply a short-sighted view of the world that doesn’t consider the heavy opposition that would line up should Christie actually end up in a spot on Pennsylvania Avenue where he could do something like this.

Thankfully, that doesn’t seem very likely to happen.

Both Marty Walsh and Chris Christie can’t seem to see the forest for the trees. Their positions on legal marijuana are not only out of step with where the country is going, but they reflect the political hubris of men who continue to want to fight a battle despite what any decent poll, or common sense, should make absolutely clear — legal marijuana is moving ahead in more states and municipalities, and politicians who try to stand in the way are simply going to get run over.

Lord, help save us from out-of-step politicos like Marty Walsh and Chris Christie. There will surely be more like them, but like all those dinosaurs running around this summer in Jurassic World, they are a dying breed heading for extinction.

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