TPM’s Marshall Evolves on Marijuana

In a recent interview with The Denver Post, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that since the voters had spoken, the federal government should stop fighting its repeal and accept the fact that recreational use of pot is the law of the land in Colorado.

In response, TPM’s Josh Marhsall posted this piece titled “Is Pelosi Nuts.” Marshall seems to suggest that by Pelosi welcoming the Colorado vote, she’s opening the door to complete chaos. Marshall believes that “federal supremacy is the bedrock of our governmental system,” therefore states making laws that contradict federal law is a slippery slope. The issue of marijuana legalization has been a tough one for Marshall.

How has he evolved?

In 2010, Marshall penned this piece on Prop 19 in California, that would have legalized marijuana for recreational use. That proposal was shot down in a statewide vote. At the time, Marshall wrote more about the federal vs. state argument, but also talked about his personal views on weed. He wrote:

“I just don’t know if I think marijuana should be legalized at all. Maybe it’s that I’m getting into my 40s. And maybe I’m a hypocrite. I of course know people who smoke grass. And I don’t have any problem with it. Decriminalized? Yes, I think probably so. But that’s not the same as legalization. It’s very different actually.”

At the time, Andrew Sullivan blistered Marshall in The Atlantic. Sullivan wrote, “The point is the government has no business regulating how its citizens derive pleasure from a naturally occurring plant. Period. The whole idea is preposterous. And yet it is taken for granted.” Reason’s Jacob Sullum ridiculed him because one of his arguments against legalization was because he was in his “40’s.”

When it comes to the use of recreational marijuana, it seems that TPM’s Josh Marshall has, to borrow a phrase from POTUS, evolved. In his most recent piece, he writes, “This is actually something I’ve thought a lot about because while I’ve slowly come around to the pro-legalization position.” Maybe Marshall has gotten wiser with age.