WASHINGTON -- From the annals of mistaken reasons to vote for Mitt Romney, a new winner: "Dilbert" cartoonist Scott Adams said he's under the impression Romney would be softer on marijuana than President Barack Obama.
Nevermind that Romney has explicitly opposed pot "for all purposes" and once personally accosted weed-smoking drifters on a beach. Scott Adams makes the case for Romney on his blog. He has some good points:
[Obama] is putting an American citizen in jail for 10 years to life for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in California where it is legal under state law. And I assume the President -- who has a well-documented history of extensive marijuana use in his youth -- is clamping down on California dispensaries for political reasons, i.e. to get reelected. What other reason could there be?
One could argue that the President is just doing his job and enforcing existing Federal laws. That's the opposite of what he said he would do before he was elected, but lying is obviously not a firing offense for politicians.
Personally, I'd prefer death to spending the final decades of my life in prison. So while President Obama didn't technically kill a citizen, he is certainly ruining this fellow's life, and his family's lives, and the lives of countless other minor drug offenders. And he is doing it to advance his career. If that's not a firing offense, what the hell is?
Adams' initial argument -- that the Obama administration crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries operating in full compliance with state law violates the president's campaign promises -- is well taken. In an interview with Rolling Stone back in February, Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, went so far as to call Obama "the worst president on medical marijuana," with more than 170 aggressive SWAT-style raids.
But the idea that Romney would be more permissive strains belief. Here's how Adams sees it:
Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he's enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can't be sure. And I'm fairly certain he'd want a second term. He might find it "economical" to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states' rights, so he's got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.
So while I don't agree with Romney's positions on most topics, I'm endorsing him for president starting today.
Despite the endorsement, Adams doesn't appear to agree with Romney's position on medical marijuana.
"Governor Romney has a long record of opposing the use of marijuana for any reason," a Romney spokesperson recently told The Washington Post. "He opposes legalizing drugs, including marijuana for medicinal purposes. He will fully enforce the nation’s drug laws, and he will oppose any attempts at legalization."
That's after Romney promised to fight medical marijuana "tooth and nail," explaining that he sees pot as a dangerous "gateway drug," unlike Democrats. "Medical marijuana is designed to help get marijuana out of the public marketplace and ultimately lead to legalization of marijuana overall," he said back in July. "In my view that's the wrong way to go. If you'd like to get somebody who's in favor of marijuana, I know there are some on the Democratic side of the aisle that will be happy to get on your campaign, but I'm opposed to it, and if you elect me president you're not going to see legalized marijuana."
Still unconvinced? There's video.
That leaves us with the "chameleon" argument. Does Adams really think Romney's secretly a pro-legalization hippie who's just blending in for his political campaign?
Because that sure would make for a great cartoon.