Sunday, November 27, 2005

A meeting of minds in the Mile High City

Here's an amusing column featuring an exchange between Frank Rich who founded Modern Drunkard magazine and Mason Tvert, the young mover who shook up Denver by organizing, and more importantly winning, the referendum to make marijuana legal in the city.

The two debate pot, booze, prohibition and political tactics.
"I have nothing against alcohol," Tvert says. "I'm pro-choice all the way around."

"But there will be a backlash," Rich warns. "People are moving to prohibition. There's less consumption of alcohol every year."

The campaign was just politics, Tvert repeats. He's not called "Karl Rove for the pleasantly stoned" for nothing.

Not that he'll officially say whether he's ever inhaled: "Would you ask a pro-choice person if they've ever had an abortion?"

If you're Frank Rich, you would. "Do you smoke?" he asks Tvert. "I'm pretty sure you do."
I have to admit the Rove reference bothers me and so does Tvert's coyness but that's the dirty little reality of drug policy reform. The movers and shakers at the top are competent and articulate people who should be the first to proclaim their consumption proudly and publicly, but they can't because then the debate becomes over their own habits, rather than the larger issue of reasonable policy decisions.

We'll know we have won this war when no one asks that question.


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