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Will Godfrey Will Godfrey

Video: Is This America’s Dumbest Marijuana Debate Yet?

The sad answer, despite NBC's efforts, is probably not.

9 Substance

When the New York Times editorial board historically called for federal marijuana legalization this weekend, it might have been expected to spark some serious media discussion of the subject. Not so on NBC’s Meet the Press, when a panel—moderated by David Gregory and including David Brooks, Judy Woodruff and Ruth Marcus—drew widespread ridicule for an ill-informed conversation that ignored some fairly important consequences of current marijuana policy like, say, racially biased mass criminalization and mass incarceration.

Mediaite even drew up a list of its seven most ridiculous things that were said during the segment, in reverse order:

7. “David Brooks.” — David Gregory
6. “I don’t know what they’ve been smoking up there.” — David Brooks, referring to the Times editorial board.
5. “I think it’s important to have the debate but I wonder, what’s the rush? Pardon the pun!” — Judy Woodruff
4. “I don’t think we can say ‘Adult fine, [but not] if you’re 18.’ That’s not going to work.” — David Brooks
3. “I don’t have a huge problem with letting states experiment, but I think for states to decide to go the full legalization route is a problem precisely for my ‘mommy reason.’ You can you say it’s okay for adults, but everybody knows who has teenagers like me, the fact that alcohol is legal increases their access to alcohol. Making marijuana readily legally available — my kids are at home laughing at me.” — Ruth Marcus
2. “The country is getting more libertarian on a lot of these issues. It’s ‘everyone should do what they want.’ But we’re part of a community, we’re part of a culture, we’re affected by each others’ views, each others’ values. To me, there’s some role of government in playing some role in restraining some individual choice, just to create a culture of health for teenagers.” — David Brooks
1. “When I think of grass I think of something to walk on, pot as something to put a plant in.” – Judy Woodruff  [Pro-tip: this is a great person to invite to a marijuana legalization debate.]

If you watch the clip, you may find a list of your own.